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March 19, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Hi Love –

Boy, it seems like years since I’ve had a chance to write you.  And it seems just as long since I heard from you… I didn’t get a letter today.  But I got to yesterday, so I guess that makes up for it.

I tried to mail you something yesterday, but I’m not going to tell you what it is.  They wouldn’t send it from the post — said I had to get it mailed outside.  I’ll have to try to get our sergeant to mail it for me tomorrow.

Thursday night I have C.Q. duty, so I’ll try to write a real long letter then.  I’m afraid I don’t have too much time tonight.

You asked about Carol.  I guess I answered all your questions in my last letter.  You know I can’t just ignore her letter, and that I don’t see any reason not to write her once in a while.  I’m glad you could talk with her like you did, and hope it will continue.  I know you’ll try, and I’m pretty sure she will too now.  Okay?

Mom told me about the State “A” when I called home Sunday.  From what you said in your letter it sounded like a blast.  Wish I could’ve been there for them.  We sure could have had a blast, huh!?  And I wouldn’t have let you get trampled like you did either!

Honey, it’s getting so that all I can think about is getting home to see you.  I think about you all the time, and stare at those pictures whenever I have half a chance.  I love you so much, R., that if anything ever came between us I’d be the last.  I know that nothing ever will though, because I believe we love each other too much for that.  I’m so much in love with you I can’t believe it, but I think you know it’s true.  I love you!!!

There’s a fellow in the squad with a Polaroid camera.  Several of us chipped in for film the other day, so he’s going around taking candid shots and giving them to the guys.  He took two of me which I’ll send along.  I just wish I would have had something on my head so I wouldn’t look so bald.  Oh well, maybe next time he’ll catch me in my skivvies.  He took some like that.

Gotta go quick.  Remember I love you and cherish you.  Longer letter as soon as possible.

Love forever,

J.

The Polaroid photos are posted below.  I linked “Polaroid camera” because blog is for posterity, and it’s perfectly reasonable that someone in the future will read this and not know what it is.  If Wikipedia goes away though, I’m screwed on a number of levels.  I’m still scrambling for a reel-to-reel tape recorder but it’s not looking good.  Found a place that can do it for me, but it would be many hundreds of dollars to get them all converted and I haven’t fallen backwards into any money lately so…

Working on it.

I also asked mom about what “State A” was:

“State A is the sport division [our hometown] was in for competition. We had State A Basketball in [the nearby large town]. I think there is were we won in the last couple of minutes of the game when we weren’t even support to place. Everyone stood up run down onto the floor in celebration. I don’t remember why, but I got knocked down and everyone trampled over me. I was banged up and bruised for quite awhile. But we won. We also took State A in wrestling that year too.”

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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