U.S. Marine Corps photo

Editor’s Note: Task & Purpose is proud to publish this fictional essay by Brooke King — the winner of a writing contest presented by the Armed Services Arts Partnership and the Atlantic Council’s The Art of the Future Project. The contest sought letters home from a conflict set in the 2030s as part of a first-person exploration of what homecoming might be like after future wars.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jose Villalobosrocha

Letters home from soldiers offer one of the most intimate windows into wartime experiences. Whether written on parchment paper or in a Facebook message, the recounting of hopes and fears in stories, funny and sad, are an important way to understand something as complex as wartime experiences from a personal point of view. This has been true in the past, even with censorship, and it will be true in the future, too, no matter what form letters take.

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