So we’re finally at boot camp and I’m able to drop the “Gushing Young Love” from the blog title, not to mention the annoying green font.

Dad started dating all of his letters from here on, so no more “postmark” headers.  I’ll kinda miss them to be honest.  Fort Eustis is the home of the Army Transportation Corps, of which my father was a member.  He doesn’t mention where he is, but that’s mom’s best guess as to where he was when he wrote this letter.  We’re not 100% sure where he went to boot camp is in the same place though.  I have his entire military record around here somewhere so I’ll try to verify it in the next few days, and I’m sure he’ll give us more details as we go.

February 20, 1968 – Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Tuesday, February 20, 1968

Hi Honey —

This is the first chance I’ve had to write.  It’s only been one day here but it seems like weeks.  It’s 6:00 now and we get three hours three until lights out at 9:00.  I just can’t believe they are so generous.  I’m too tired to do a damn thing, so I figured I’d write a few lines and then turn it early.

I knew it was too good to be true.  About two seconds after I finished the first paragraph we were ordered to fallout and took a nice little hike through the rain to see some orientation films.  It’s about twenty to nine now so I don’t have much time to write, but I’ll use it since I don’t know when I’ll get another chance.

Do you realize I’ve been going since early Monday morning on two hours sleep?  We didn’t get here until after 12:00 Monday and didn’t hit the sack until almost 2:00 (4:00 your time) and it was dressed in leaving for breakfast before five.  We’ve been going strong all day, but this afternoon when we were taking some tests I was all but seeing double.  It wasn’t enough to make me stop thinking of you though.

I’m bald now.  Got it all chopped off this morning.  It isn’t as bad as I expected.  Doesn’t look too bad once you get used to it.

Well, I’m going to bed.  Goodnight, honey.  I love you —

J.

Back again.  Almost three Wednesday afternoon now.  We are waiting for pay call now.  We are getting a big $35.  Well, it’s a start anyway.  I’m having a $25 bond is taken out each month too.  I figure that’s about as easy a way to save as any.  I’ll still send you as much as I can.  We’ll have that ring before you know it.

We just got our money, so will be going to the PX in about an hour.  I got to pick up some of those cheap cigarettes.  Everyone in our platoon is willing to bum you want if you’re out though.  I gave away most of my last pack, so I’ve been bumming them myself since before noon.  We’ve got a pretty good group.  It includes three Japs, four Negroes, and a couple of Indians.  Everyone’s pretty good shits, but we haven’t really got a chance to get to know each other yet.

Fine watch.  1:00 — 2:00 in the morning.  I got a great one.  Three hours sleep before and after.  It’s dark in here so you’ll have to excuse the writing.

We got over to the PX last night.  I had to spend over $15 of my hard earned money.  Wasn’t too bad though.  Some guys spent nearly twenty five.

I’m lonely, honey.  I haven’t had time before, but I sure am now.  It’s going to seem like forever until I see you again.  Can’t wait to hear from you.  I’ll enclose my address in this letter when I get it.  That six-page letter you told me about on the phone should be three times that by now.  Sure hope so.

It’s Thursday morning now.  We’re supposed to have the day off for Washington’s birthday, but our platoon doesn’t.  Our drill corporal is bucking for sergeant so we are going to drill all day.  Should have a little more free time though so I’ll try to get this sent today.

We have two prior service men in our platoon.  They help us a lot because they know halfway what’s pulling off.  One was a sergeant before, but now he’s just a boot like the rest of us.  Glad to have them around.

I have some pictures taken at the PX at one of those twenty-five cent stands.  I’ll try to remember to send them along with this letter.  They’re not too bad, considering.  We do find a little consolation in the fact that everyone looks as funny bald as we do.

We are on a short break before noon chow right now.  I’m going to finish this now so it will go out today.  I think about you all the time, R., and I love you very much.  Never forget that.

Love forever —

J.

P. S.  Sorry about the pictures.  They weren’t dry when I put them in my billfold and they stuck.

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