Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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want to know what am I doing here? I'm in some valley in God knows where and I haven't heard silence in who knows how long! I'm a paratrooper, I should be jumping on airborne missions, landing and wiping out all these yellow people that are getting me mad. Instead, I'm in this hot, filthy, rat infested bunker with urine in every corner you look into. I wake up and I see propaganda , "surrender" and "give up you'll never win." Several of my buddies have gone out to patrol and guess what they haven't got back yet. I certainly don't want to be the next one. These VietMinh run strapped with explosives so when I try to kill them they blow up like bombs and destroy the little we have. They got us surrounded, everywhere you look you see artillery. Firing and firing constantly, driving us insane and believe me we are some crazy-ass soldiers.

Men getting injured every day, un-sterile instruments being used on our soldiers. It's just horrible the way they set us up to fight this war. We are suffering a major disadvantage but we keep going, we don't surrender. We have hope that the U.S. or France will send us supplies and food and artillery. If they don't we'll just keep dying but we'll kill as many as those Vietnamese possible before. They sure as hell get me vexed. None of my soldier friends have any interest in this country, we just want to kill and leave. This isn't possible considering you step outside for a second and your probably dead. There is too many VietMinh with too much ammunition.

Today for lunch we had to share canned pasta, a big percentage of the soldiers barely get fed. I'm aware this is war, but in the conditions I'm in its more like hell. Insufficient everything except Vietnamese and rats. Let me not forget the unbearable heat. I wake up in the middle of the night with sweat like I just had a fever and rats biting at my toes like they were sushi. The conditions are truly unexplainable, I want to go home.