July 18, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Dearest Rita,

Do you realize that tomorrow I’ll have been in the Army six months?  Really doesn’t seem that long in a lot of ways, yet seems like years in others.  But now I have only 2 1/2 years left.  Doesn’t really sound much shorter, does it?

Well, I’m getting Spec 4 for sure.  Just about got the shaft on that though.  Our class N.C.O. (the guy from Hot Springs) grabbed me this morning and told me I couldn’t get Spec 4 because I had a D.R. (delinquency report), but I never got one.  So we went and cleared that up and the list went in and I was approved this afternoon.  So in about one week it will no longer be Pvt., and that’s okay with me.  It means another $60 a month too.  So I’ll be able to send more home, and we can start putting some in the bank as well as on the ring.  How does that sound?  On what I can start sending next month and all the extra I’ll get when I get to Nam, we’ll have quite a bit saved by the time we get married.  That would always be okay.

Speaking of getting married, I got an announcement of Lee and Anne’s marriage.  If you see them, tell them I may be able to be there.  The way things look now I’ll go straight from here to Bragg, but our class N.C.O. told me we’d probably get a leave right after we get there.  Of course we can’t really count on that until we get there.

Now it’s Friday evening.  I heard today from one of the cadre that we should get 14 days leave out of here.  But I’ve quit believing anything I hear.  If I get one, fine.  If not, I’ll put in for one as soon as we hit Bragg.  I’ll let you know one way or another.  Why don’t you plan on being home Thursday the 26th, and I’ll give you a call that evening.  Let me know if you have to work though, okay?  But, you’d best send any letter no later than Monday or I may not get it in time.  Honey, you asked if I’d mind you writing to Dale.  This is up to you.  But you know that I think it’s silly for two people to ignore each other when they break up.  I’ll admit it bugs me just a little — a touch of jealousy I guess — but I feel you should if you want to.

I’m glad you’re getting your college stuff taken care of.  I just wish we were both going to school there this year.  You don’t know how I’d like to be running around that campus again.  I just hope you will realize how great it is.  I never did until too late.  Remember, if you have any questions or problems, let dad know, okay?

Already, with the weekend just starting, I’m thinking of you too hard.  Then it’ll get so I don’t feel like doing anything except think about you, and then I get moody.  I’ve got my favorite pictures of you taped on the door of my locker so I can look at them while I’m writing.  People keep coming over and admiring them.  They think you’re great, but they don’t know how wonderful you really are.  I love you honey, and I want to get home to see you so bad!  Do you realize I could be home by this time next week?  I just hope and pray I’ll be able to.  I want to hold you and kiss you and just be with you more than anything in the world.  I love you Reet, very very much.

Forever,

Jeff

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