Dear Josh / Love Heather
Thank you for letting me write you. Thank you for telling your story through me. Before I met you, I would have felt sorry for you, and angry at the war for taking away your leg. But I wouldn’t have really seen you. You would have been another nameless Marine caught up in the complicated War on Terror. I would have been angry for you, especially after I learned you were only nineteen years old. I would have shook my fist at the heavens. But after that, I would have just gone back to my life and forgotten about you. But because I had to get in your head and your heart, I couldn’t forget you if I tried.
I spent over two years bringing your story to the world. I hope I did right by you. I hope you feel like I left it all out on the field. I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could write you honestly. I mean, you burp and drink too much beer and stare at girls’ boobs. Gross! But you also have nightmares about the bomb that took your leg away and about your friends you lost in Afghanistan. That stuff made me forget you were a dude and made me realize you’re a real person, complicated and hurt and hopeful.
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