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May 2, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Hi Beautiful!

I thought I’d write a bit now before I hit the sack.  I just left you this morning, but already I miss you something awful.  And I never told you I love you at all today, so I’ll tell you now — I love you.  It’s going to seem like forever before I can tell you that myself again.

I had a three hour layover in Chicago today.  For a while I thought it was going to get bumped, but I made it with two seats to spare.  I’m afraid if I had waited until tomorrow I’d have had problems.

Oh yeah, right now I’m in Newport News, Virginia.  I never heard of it before but that’s where I am.  It’s closer to Eustis, so I took a plane here from Norfolk.  And it didn’t cost me a cent.  Don’t ask me why.  Anyway, I met a couple other fellows going to Eustis, and we picked up a fourth, and decided there was no sense in reporting too early or we’d get all kinds of details.  So we got together and got a hotel room.  We plan to sleep late tomorrow and report tomorrow afternoon.  We thought we’d have a big time in town tonight, but this burg is deader than Brookings, if you can imagine that, although it’s easily ten times as big.  Very disappointing.

Hey, I forgot to write that excuse for you this morning.  I hope you don’t get in trouble for it.  Sorry about that.

Well, it’s midnight here, so I’d best hit the sack.  Finish this later, okay?  Good night, love.

Later — like Sunday morning.  Well, things are sure different here than in basic.  No one bugs you near as much.  It’s after 10:30 and I’m still in bed, and can stay here all day if I wish.  That alone is great.

We got to Eustis about 5:00 Friday afternoon, they sat around the reception station until two in the morning filling out all sorts of crap.  By the time we hit the sack it was 3:30.  Saturday we got squared away in the barracks, then about 5:00 we all got passes if we wanted them.  I didn’t use mine, figured it was too expensive to stay in town overnight.  I may go to an air show with some guys this afternoon though.  We thought we would go to Virginia Beach, but it’s kind of cloudy and cool today, so I doubt it.  Last night a couple of guys and myself went to the gym and played basketball for a while.  On the way over we stopped at a PX and drank some beer — a little too much, because we played about two minutes and were sweating it out something terrible.  We had to slow it down for a while then.

Watched TV all night after returning from the gym.  All this was in civvies, too, which really felt strange at first.

One thing that I found out is that we graduate July 25, which means that I can’t be home for Jim and Vicky’s wedding.  Pisses me off!  If you see them tell them for me, okay?  I’ll write myself today.

I don’t know how I’m going to like this class.  We have night classes from 5:00 in the afternoon until 2:00 in the morning.  We talked to several guys who just finished the course and some of them said night classes were pretty good, soo…

Honey, I’ve got to go now.  I’ll send you some money this week when we get paid, as much as I can.  We got to get that ring paid for, right?  Remember, I love you, and I think of you all the time, and pray for us each night.  I love you!



At his point dad has finished his leave from boot camp and is back at the base for specialist training.  It also looks like dad didn’t know that Fort Eustis was in Newport News.  I’ve checked every source I could find and Fort Eustis has always been in Newport News.  We figure it’s becuase he was on base so much and all his mail was addressed to the base, not the town.  That’s our best guess anyway. Jim and Vicky are some local friends.  No relation in any way.

EDIT: Got an email from my mom this morning about the excuse he was supposed to write.

MOM:“Well, I have a feeling it was for school. I think this was my senior year where I only have classes in the morning. We weren’t suppose to leave campus but when your Dad was home, I left. I might have cut classes early and needed an excuse written. That’s the only thing I can think of….I remember being scared when I would leave the building and run to his car waiting for me in the parking lot. Don’t know why I didn’t get caught. They were great times!! We always drove through the Purple Cow and picked up shrimp burgers and chocolate milk and then drove out of town for a picnic.”

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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November 2008