March 16, 1968. Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Hi Beautiful!

Sorry I’ve been so long in writing again.  It’s not that I haven’t tried though.  Right now it’s 3:30 in the morning, and I’m writing this on C.Q. duty.  I was planning to do this last night, but the Army had other plans.  We went on a nice little walk in the rain until nearly midnight.

That’s all it’s been doing here for better than a week — rain.  We were soaked to the skin by the time we got back last night, and I mean soaked.  I could have jumped in a lake and wouldn’t have got any wetter.  And cold!  I just about got rid of the cold I had last week, but after last night I’ll probably end up with pneumonia, if not worse.

You know R., I wish I had the time and the material to keep a sort of diary or journal.  There’s a lot of interesting things going on, and a lot of seemingly stupid or silly things too.  A guy thinks and feels a lot of different things and a lot of different ways in the course of one day.  It would be interesting if they could all be recorded and looked at after this is all over.  A person could write a book about this place.

Enough of that.  Now let’s talk about my favorite subject — you!

I guess you’re getting ready to leave for [larger nearby city] today, right?  Now, I never did get the whole picture on that.  You’re staying there overnight, right?  That’s assuming you make it down there in the old beast.  Where are you staying?  Last I heard you are having a time finding a place.  Hope you managed.

I just had to run over to first platoon and get the K.P.’s “off their asses into the mess hall,” to quote the sergeant.  That’s one other advantage of being squad leader — no K.P. I was supposed to have it yesterday, so another guy had to take it for me.  So I shouldn’t have it all during basic.  That won’t bother me a bit.

Now back to you.  I love you!  Wish to hell I were back there with you.  Wednesday it will be one month since I left, yet when I think about you it seems like years.  And when I think of another month to go it seems even longer.  But when I think of that ring waiting for us I know it will all be worthwhile.  It will be worth anything to get that on your finger.  I love you, R.

I’m due to be relieved in about two minutes now, so I’ll finish this later.  That’s if I get the chance and if we don’t go on more night marches.  Just remember how I feel about you and how much I love you.  And I do, R., I love you very much.

See you later —

Love always,

J.

Today’s letter is being split into two posts as it’s a long one and I’m trying to buy myself some time to get the audio up.

As I’m sure you remember from yesterday, dad is now thinking about sending audio tapes to mom.  And it turns out he actually starts to send them in a few weeks.  That means I’ve got to get off my butt and find a way to transfer the audio I have onto the computer so I can find out what’s on them and which tapes apply to his time in boot camp.  I’m going to have to somehow track down an audio card for the computer (that fits into a PCI slot, which you can’t buy new any more), a reel-to-reel tape player/recorder with some kind of audio out, and a tape player which believe it or not, we just don’t have around the house any more.

I’ve struck out at the pawn shops in the [nearby large town] so I’ll have to get started looking in more obscure places around home.

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