adBlockCheck

Report: Love Letters From U.S. Troops Increasingly Gruesome

Top Headlines

Politics

What Is The Alt-Right?

A recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the “alt-right” movement and its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump has shone the national spotlight on the ideologically conservative group. Here’s what you need to know about the alt-right

Diehard Trump Voters Confirm Rest Of Nation Should Stop Wasting Time Trying To Reach Them

‘If Anything Could Change Our Minds, It Would’ve Happened By Now,’ Say Candidate’s Supporters

WASHINGTON—Saying it should be very clear by now that absolutely nothing can change their position on the matter, steadfast supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the rest of the nation Wednesday that it really shouldn’t bother trying to persuade them not to vote for him.

Tim Kaine Found Riding Conveyor Belt During Factory Campaign Stop

AIKEN, SC—Noting that he disappeared for over an hour during a campaign stop meet-and-greet with workers at a Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant, sources confirmed Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was finally discovered riding on one of the factory’s conveyor belts.

Why Don’t People Like Hillary Clinton?

Although she’s secured the Democratic presidential nomination, many voters across all demographics are still hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Onion breaks down the reasons Clinton is having a hard time luring reluctant voters.

Who Are Donald Trump’s Supporters?

As Election Day draws near and GOP candidate Donald Trump continues to retain a loyal supporter base, many wonder who these voters are and what motivates them. Here are some key facts to know

How Trump Plans To Turn His Campaign Around

As Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall, many wonder how the GOP presidential nominee can turn his campaign around before Election Day. Here are some ways Trump aims to regain his footing

‘Why Can I Never Seem To Say The Right Thing?’ Weeps Trump Into Pillow

NEW YORK—Quickly running into his bedroom and slamming the door behind him after hearing public criticism of the statements he made regarding the family of a fallen Muslim-American U.S. Army captain, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly threw himself on his bed Tuesday and asked himself “Why can I never seem to say the right thing?” while weeping into his pillow.

Trump Campaign Ponders Going Negative

NEW YORK—Saying they weren’t afraid to take the gloves off for the general election if need be, the campaign team for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly considered the possibility Monday of pivoting their strategy and going negative.

What’s Inside Trump’s Tax Returns

Donald Trump’s aides have confirmed that the Republican presidential nominee will not release his tax returns despite numerous public calls for him to honor the expectation of transparency for presidential hopefuls. Here are some of the potentially damning contents that Trump prefers not to release to the public

Hillary Clinton Holds Infant Grandson Upside Down By Ankle In Front Of Convention Crowd

‘Family,’ Candidate Says

PHILADELPHIA—Seeking to make her case to the nation’s voters as she accepted her party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, Hillary Clinton reportedly began her headlining address at the Democratic National Convention by holding her infant grandson, Aidan, upside down by his ankle and firmly intoning the word “Family” in front of the assembled crowd.

Hillary Clinton Waiting In Wings Of Stage Since 6 A.M. For DNC Speech

PHILADELPHIA—Saying she arrived hours before any of the members of the production crew, sources confirmed Thursday that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been waiting in the wings of the Wells Fargo Center stage since six o’clock this morning to deliver her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot

WASHINGTON—Saying she has grown increasingly concerned about her husband’s mental and physical well-being since last Friday, Christie Vilsack, the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, told reporters Thursday that the despondent, butter-covered cabinet member has entered the sixth day of a destructive corn bender after being passed over for the Democratic vice presidential spot.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Report: Love Letters From U.S. Troops Increasingly Gruesome

WASHINGTON—According to a Pentagon report leaked to the press Monday, love letters written by U.S. troops have nearly tripled in their use of disturbing language, graphic imagery, and horrific themes since the start of the war.

The report, which studied 600 romantic notes sent over a period of two years, found a significant increase in terrifying descriptions of violence and gore, while references to beautiful flowers, singing bluebirds, and the infinite, undulating sea were seen to decrease by 93 percent.

An April 28 letter from Sgt. David Howard to his wife, Monica.

"Not only are U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq less likely to compare their lover's cheeks to a blushing red rose," the report read in part, "but most are now three times more likely to equate that same burning desire to the 'smoldering flesh of a dead Iraqi insurgent,' and almost 10 times more likely to compare sudden bursts of passion to a 'crowded marketplace explosion.'"

According to detailed analysis of the letters, the longer a U.S. soldier had been stationed in Iraq the more macabre the overall tone of his correspondence became. Troops who had been fighting for less than a year lapsed into frightening allegory only 15 percent of the time, while those who had been serving between two and three years described their affection for loved ones back home as more vibrant and alive than any of the children in the village of Basra.

Troops stationed in Iraq for four years or longer composed their letters entirely in blood.

"The more often U.S. soldiers are confronted with images of carnage, the more these elements become present in their subconscious and, ultimately, in their writing," said Dr. Kendra Allen, a behavioral psychologist who reviewed the Pentagon's findings. "This is precisely why we see so many passages like, 'Darling, I miss the way your bright green eyes always stayed inside your skull' and 'Honey, how I dream of your soft, supple arms—both of them, still attached as ever, to the rest of your body.'"

Allen went on to say that many of the harrowing details found in the love letters were linked to specific events in Iraq. A bloody clash with Islamic extremists in late March resulted in more than 40 handwritten notes from a single battalion, all of which contained some version of the message "My love for you spills out of me like my lower intestine, my gallbladder, and my spleen."

The most noticeable change came after a violent border skirmish in May that left four U.S. soldiers dead and dozens more severely injured. Since the incident, a number of letters, which had previously signed off with "Yours forever," instead ended with "Please God, deliver me from this nightmarish hellhole! The screaming—it never stops! Christ, I beg you, make it all go away! Make the parade of blood and pain and tears go away!"

A number of wives and fiancées of servicemen in Iraq, many of whom are now unsure how to reply to their partners abroad, provided personal accounts of how the tone of their correspondence has changed.

"Getting love letters from my husband used to be my favorite part of the week. But these days, they're almost impossible to get through," said Sheila Miller, whose husband, Michael, has been in Iraq since 2004. "Yes, it's still flattering to be told that you're as beautiful as a syringe full of morphine, or that you're as much a part of his being as the shrapnel near his spine. But I'm really starting to worry about him."

"My husband has never really been the romantic type, but even this is strange for him," said Margaret Baker, the wife of Sgt. Daniel Baker. "How am I supposed to react to hearing that my name is the sweetest sound in a world otherwise filled with desperate cries of anguish? I made the mistake of showing [daughter] Gracie the birthday card her father sent her from Tikrit and she hasn't spoken for a month."

In response to the damaging report, Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke on behalf of the thousands of soldiers on active duty in the Middle East, saying the study's findings were "misrepresented" and any rise in horrific metaphors and similes was in no way related to the situation in Iraq.

"I've been to our bases overseas and let me be the first to tell you that conditions in Iraq are the best they've ever been," Gates announced at a press conference Friday. "In fact, I would go so far as to say that we're making as much progress here as, say, an army private who accidentally falls on a land mine, and instead of choosing to die in the middle of the road like some dog, drags his bleeding trunk—inch by throbbing inch—to the side of a nearby ditch."

Added Gates, "It's that good."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close