July 6, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.


Dear Rita,

I received two letters from you last night while I was on guard.  I had to read them by cigarette lighter, but I sure was glad to get them.  The mail has been screwed up over here lately, so it’s been awhile since I got one.  Hope mine are getting to you okay.

I’m glad you’re finally getting some action on our wedding pictures.  I figured it had something to do with trouble between Arlyn and the company.  I would say let me know when you get them, but I’m sure you wouldn’t forget that.

Hey, you misunderstood me — our hooch didn’t get hit, it was two hooches around us.  And there’s no reason to be worried — we weren’t.  We were just wanting to go back to sleep.

You asked about Skip and Sergeant Reyes.  Skip just put a Band-Aid on his chest and forgot about it.  Sergeant Reyes it turned out, broke his arm.  I guess he’s going stateside because it chipped a bone and they’ll have to do some work on it back in the world.  Clay is leaving.  He’s getting transferred to a unit near Phu Bai.  He’s going to be last because it’s a strictly maintenance unit, and all he’s ever done is crewed.  I’m sorry to see him go, but I guess it can’t be helped.  He supposed to leave this afternoon sometime.

Before I forget, I better tell you that my serial number has changed.  Our Social Security number is now our service number, and mine is XXX-XX-XXXX.  I’ve known about the change for a long time but kept forgetting to tell you.

Tonight my team starts working nights.  We’ll be on for a month then switch back to days.  I don’t particularly care for nights, but it does get the NCOs off our backs, and we don’t have to bother with formations.  Sleeping during the heat of the day is hard though.

You asked about the number of days I have left, so I whipped out my handy little pocket calendar and started counting.  I figure 258 days left today (after today).  I may have messed up on my counting in some of my letters though since I just count in my head sometimes.  My DEROS date (day I leave RVN) is 19 March, but I’ve been counting up to the 21st since our record arrival in country is the 22nd.  I’ll try to be more accurate after this.

I’m glad to hear all our bills are pretty well out of the way.  You have been doing a real good job — I figured it would take longer to clear them up.  Now the savings account should really grow.

I don’t know if I told you or not but I’ve got a couple hundred saved over here.  I was going to send it to you once but decided not to since we need at least $200 on us before we leave here on R&R.  So I’ll just hang onto it.  I hope to have about $150 more before October, if possible.

You talk about flying to LA and then on to Hawaii, but wouldn’t it be smarter to fly from Minneapolis?  That way you have a round-trip to the cities and wouldn’t have to run the risk of being bumped between home and LA (if you’re flying standby that is).  It only costs $11 to fly from Brookings to the cities if I remember correctly.  I have to go to work now so I’ll try to finish this tomorrow.  I love you!

Jeff


Back again — this is Monday afternoon now.  I’m tired and plan on getting some more sleep this afternoon, but I want to finish this letter first.  They’re expecting an attack on our perimeter sometime in the next week, so right after noon chow today we had to set up a secondary perimeter around our battery area.  Each section is getting a machine gun too, so they must think there’s a good chance of something happening.  The chance of them getting through to us is pretty slim though.

Our CO just got his ship shot up this morning.  He was lucky to make it back here.  Another one had its rocket pods shot to pieces.  More work.

Now we have only two Charlie models left.  I guess we’re going to keep one for a passenger carrier, and that’s all.  We’ve done a lot of work on the Cobras lately and I still don’t like them any better than I did before, maybe less.

I’m going to close this up and grab a few winks now.  As you can tell, I really don’t have much more to say, except that I love you.  I could tell you that all day and mean it every time.  I love you Rita!

Your Husband,

Jeff