March 9, 1968. Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.

Hi Lover,

Man, I must really rate!  A letter 22 pages long!  Yes, I finally got it, and another letter the same day.  That was two days ago, Thursday.  Then today I got your tape.  Finally my mail is getting here.  I’m damn glad.

Now I’ve got to find someone who has a tape recorder.  I want to hear your voice so bad!  If I possibly can I’ll send one back to you, but I wouldn’t count on it.  I may have the folks send mine here.  It would be unhandy when I left, but that can’t be helped, I guess.

I sure wish I could have been there the night I left for a walk in the snow with you.  Neat things like that, little things that mean so much, is why I love you the way I do.  Things like that are what make life so wonderful, and that’s what is going to make our life together so wonderful.  That day can’t come too soon for me.  Honey, I miss you so much!  It’s ten times as bad as when I was in Denver, because then I always knew I could go back to you anytime I decided to.  Now I can’t.  That is really the only thing I hate about the Army, and it’s just about enough to make me go AWOL, although we both know I never would.  We’ll just have to work on having you with me permanently.

I wish I could’ve been there for Jay’s funeral.  It sounded nice, and the Marine Honor Guard is really a stirring site.  I’ll bet that made up Bob’s mind for sure.  I remember how it affected me at my cousin’s.  I just hope Bob and Gene don’t come back that way.  Me either, for that matter.  Sometimes you really wonder about that though.  It makes you feel both proud and sad, if you know what I mean.  I can’t explain it, but I’m sure you understand.

R., I wasn’t going to tell you this until I saw you, that I may as well do it now.  Toward the end of our first week we were asked our preference of overseas assignments.  I was planning to say Germany or Japan, but when I got there I said Vietnam.  I guess we both knew I would, but I really hadn’t planned it.  I guess that’s something you just don’t plan — you just do it.  I wouldn’t have felt right doing anything else.  That’s a long ways away now though, so I won’t worry about it yet.

I’ve been hoping to get a letter from Bob, but I suppose he’s having the same difficulty finding writing time as I do.  Right now I imagine he is concentrating on Ruth.  See if you can get his address from her and send it to me, okay?

In your book you said your period was late, but you never mentioned it again.  Did it come?  I’m sure it did, but let me know one way or another.  I’m not worried, just wondering. Okay? Okay!

Now, about your hair.  Uh, yeah, well now, uh, I guess there isn’t too much I can say about it, is there.  It’s okay though cause I love you any way you are.  I know it’s easier for you to care for when it’s short, so I won’t gripe too much, I guess.

I’ve got to cut this off now so I can write a quick letter to Brenda.  This is Sunday night now, and the first change I’ve had to write since I talked to you on the phone.  That was great, and we’re really looking forward to those brownies.

I love you, R.  That’s all I really want to say when I write.  I love you and always will.

Good night, love

J.

I think I’m going to start putting comments at the end of the letters. I really haven’t been enjoying putting them at the beginning before you have a chance to read them.  It’s like someone telling you how the movie ends before you see it.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Mom gave me a little more info on Jay.  He was in Dad’s class and was killed in the Tet Offensive, and according to her, was extremely kind and terribly handsome.  Like the letter says, mom always knew that dad would end up going to Vietnam.  He was always saying that he did wan’t to “pussy-foot around” by going somewhere else.

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