Over the last week we got moved to the front lines. They stacked us boys into an unventilated cattle truck, 40 boys per truck. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the road kept gettin’ worse and worse as we got closer to the lines. We went through a couple of towns that the Hun had blasted all to hell. In one of them, we passed under a statue of the Virgin Mary hangin’ at a real funny angle over the street in front of a blown-out church. Local rumor is that the war will be over when the Virgin finally falls.
We finally got to our assignment, and I got my first taste of what the war was really like over here. This whole ordeal’s bein’ fought in these God-awful trenches. There’s barbed wire and mines everywhere. The Hun shells us constantly, and it’s almost impossible to get any sleep. There’s no trees for miles and miles around, and mud is everywhere. This ain’t you’re average rain-puddle mud back home, but this is knee-deep mud that’s so thick you can’t barely walk through it.
Life in the trenches is just about as dull as life can get. There ain’t nothin’ that you can do all day, except maybe read, when you get a chance. Sometimes one of those Hun planes will fly low overhead and you can take pot shots at it, but besides that there isn’t much else a body can do, except wait. There’s a rumor of an offensive bein’ planned in our area soon, but I dunno about that, ‘cause there’s so many rumors flyin’ around nobody has a real good idea what’s goin’ on. Oh well, there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it anyway.
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from Diary of a Soldier

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