March 29, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.

Hi Beautiful!

Done for this week and actually have some free time.  So I’ll put it to good use and make up for the week, okay?  I hope to be able to send another letter too, but…

We’ve been having some testing today on everything we’ve learned since we got here.  The group I was in got through early, and got to come back first.  It’s about five o’clock, so we’re glad about that.  The others probably won’t be in until six or later.

You mentioned my glasses in one of your letters.  I meant to say something about them several times and never did.  The Army issued us two pair, both just like the ones in the picture.  As you can see, they’re not the greatest.  I haven’t worn them too much, but just happened to that day.  Don’t worry, I’ll wear my own when I get home.

We’re supposed to go for haircuts tonight, but I’m going to try to get out of it.  It’s been three weeks since I’ve had one, so now it’s almost long enough to get a hold of.  I’m going to have one of the guys in my squad trim it up with a razor and try to get by.  Maybe I’ll have a little bit up there when I get home.

Speaking of home — it’s only three weeks away now.  By this time three weeks from now I hope to be with you!  I can’t wait for that day.

It’s Sunday now.  Just got back from church.  Reminds me of when we would go to church together.  For some reason it always seemed to mean a lot more when I went with you.  Someday, and I hope it’s not too far away, we can go to church together always.  That will be great.

Sorry I called so late last night, honey.  I’m sure glad you were there yet.  I hope you’ll have a little more privacy when I call today.  I’ve got to get a hold of some change first, but I’m going to have enough so we can talk for an hour if we want to.  I’ll bet I could with no sweat when you’re on the other end.

We got paid Friday.  I got a big seventy-one dollars.  I hope I’ll be able to save some of it and put it away when I get home.  Have to start saving for us.  I’d send some home for you to put away but I may need it to get home on.  I figure I’ll get around $180 travel pay, but that’s got to get me all the way to Virginia or wherever I go.  I may have to use some of my own money if I want to stop at home, and I am definitely going home if I get the chance.  Nothing could keep me away.

This is Monday now, about 5:00.  We just got back from the field.  Boy, what a day!  We’ve been low crawling, jumping in foxholes, going through barbed wire and all sorts of good stuff.  Charging all around firing blanks.  Kinda fun but now we’re all about shot.

Mail call!  Be back in a minute.  Nope, false alarm.  It should be pretty soon though.  I figure I should get a couple of letters from you today.  I sure hope so anyway.

I know I said I was going to finish this yesterday, but I just didn’t have time.  To be honest with you I did have time in the evening but was slightly detained by a small poker game.  I hadn’t planned to play long, but you can’t quit when you’re ahead.  When it finally broke up I was eleven bucks to the good.  So it was very profitable anyway.  If I had known I was going to be so hot I would have played a lot more.  There was always at least one game going all weekend.  I could have doubled my pay — or lost it all.  Maybe things are best the way they are.

Remember when I was talking to you yesterday and I said my company was marching by?  You were worried about us getting caught.  No sweat.  We (the other guy who went there with me) just kind of hid until they had passed, then follow them down the street.  Our platoon was in the rear, so when the sergeant wasn’t looking we just ran out and fell in at the end.  We ended up going to a movie with a company.  It was “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” with Sidney Poitier.  We had both planned on going anyway, so things worked out okay.  I didn’t like the show though.

We just had Mail call and no letters from you (sob).  Well, maybe tomorrow.  I got one from [my younger sister] though.  She told me all about her birthday presents.  Big deal.  She told me the same thing in her last letter.  I’d much rather get one of yours.  What you tell me I could hear over and over again forever.

One of the other squad leaders just told me that four of us in this platoon are supposed make E-2 in our seventh week, myself included.  That’s a pay raise in other words.  It may or may not be true, but he said he saw the papers.  I sure hope so.

I’d best close this now.  I’ve got lots of work yet tonight.  I’ll write again as soon as possible.  Remember I love you very much and am thinking of you always.

Love forever,


We’ve finished book one of six of dad’s letters.  I’m pretty happy about the progress and, if we keep it up at this pace (about a book every 4 months) this should take about 2 years start to finish.  Hope you stay with us.

In other news… $11 translates to $64.89 in today’s money, which means he’s making about $418.83 a week for basic camp.  If it were an 8-hour a day job (which it’s not) that’s about $10.50 an hour.  Much less when you count nights and weekends.  And did anyone else laugh out loud when he said “Charging all around firing blanks.  Kinda fun but now we’re all about shot.” ?  I did.

I’m afraid my quest to get audio is not going well.  Open deck reel to reel players are hard to come by and since the tapes are 40 years old the odds of damage are high.  I’ll keep working on it and update you when I have more info.