Moms Love Their Marines: Letter 1–Inquiring Minds Need to Know

Who Really Typed the Letter to Justin?

Actual text of letter written to actual older son when he was in Iraq. (Okay, slightly edited to take out the stuff he’d shoot me for.) Our family was very fortunate: He came home safe from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why would you want to read my private letters to my son? Because you’re one sick puppy? (Oops. No, sorry, that’s me.) Because you have no life and must live vicariously through others? (Uh, no, sorry–that’s me too.) Maybe it’s because they’re filled with odd meanderings, like The Last Half mommy blog, and occasionally may entertain you? (Entertain? MY posts?)

Or maybe it’s because you have a friend far away–maybe a friend or child in the service–and you feel like you’ve run out of things to say. I ran out of things to say, too, but, as you’ll see, I never let THAT stop me. Be inspired!

Dear Justin,

Thank you for the Valentine’s phone call–sorry I missed it! It would have been good to hear from you.

(“Good” to hear? Almost broke the phone when I saw I’d missed his call…)

Jonah and I just got back from his Valentine’s gift to me: we went to see “Rambo”. Nice graphic violence, must say. Sly looked good, even if the lip collagen was a teensy overdone. (Jonah is Justin’s brother.)

Take That, That, and That-at-at-at-at!!

Very glad the locale is nicer than you expected. Not knowing your expectations, don’t know exactly how nice that is, but if there are no body parts flying or lying around, I’m happy.

Just a few questions:

How hot? How sandy? Did you soak your neck keep-cool thingy yet? Have you played pool yet? How far is the nearest house of ill repute? (And, do they wear purdah-shikis there?) How many guys have converted to Islam? How does the non-alcoholic beer taste? (Surely the American military is respecting the mores of the locals.) Were you all issued camo[1] prayer rugs? How far to Mecca? Did you see limos with flags in Kuwait?

Not At All the Way I Have Always Imagined Mecca

Do you guys get to ride the jeeps jumping over the dunes, like in the opening of “Rat Patrol”? That would be so cool! (See the 45 second mark–about halfway.)

You wouldn’t recognize our house (It was being prepared for sale.). The Open House visitors were really happy seeing my bunny, who loved having all the attention. She was so excited, she ate one of the agapanthus entirely out of the ground, leaving an attractive, gaping hole, bless her furry heart.

Do you guys invent games with sand? I would. And would definitely organize a snipe hunt for the new guys, thinking of some weird tracks to leave–maybe like a sidewinder, but with feet. Ya’know how I told you once that in Biology lab Chuck and I used to play “Hot Pencils“—like Hot Wheels, only with pencils and chalk? Well, in Iraq, I would think of some racing game with objects sliding down sandy inclines. (Maybe something kinda like this):

Fun Sandgame Companion!

Let’s see…would also definitely do a latrine near palm trees, like an oasis–maybe a visit to that appealing spot could be the prize for the snipe hunt! Or…you could do ice-cube melting races, focusing magnifying glasses on them.

Ooh! Ooh! How about camel contests, to see who can spit the farthest? Of course, you have to tie pillows on your backs. Or does your mouth fail to garner enough moisture out there? Or, maybe the spit evaporates before it hits?

Arabia, the land of figs. Does Iraq have figs? If so, find out what the heck “figgy pudding” is.[2] It always sounded disgusting. Did you know that the only way figs mature is because a disgusting little wasp climbs inside? You won’t catch me eating a fig.

Do they give you popsicles? Maybe I can mail you one…

What Can Be Said About This Popsicle That Wouldnt Have To Be Censored?

Well, that’s enough rambling. My favorite part of your first email was the “ttfn” at the end: that’s the figgy news.



P.S. Good night. Except I guess it’s tomorrow morning…?

Just Another Beautiful Day in the Land of Death

Footnotes & References:

[1] camouflaged.

[2] If you really have a hankering for waspy desserts, a lovely figgy pudding description, photo, and recipe can be found here.

[3]This post did have a fantastic bunny-at-keyboard photo lifted from “The Analog Blog (a.k.a. “The Daily Lagomorph”)“, the absolutely-adorable bunny-filled blog found at David Mack’s official site. However, after noticing that the site clearly forbids such lifting without prior permission…whoops! Stop over there and see the cute bunnies and captions, though. The very cute bunny-at-keyboard photo used instead is from David Dust’s blog, whom I also didn’t ask for permission, but his blog doesn’t expressly forbid it (and if I’d asked him, he might have said no (and he still may, but I hope he doesn’t…David, are you reading this…?)

 Next letter, please.


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