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May 8, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Hi Honey,

Got a little time off today so I figured I’d start a letter.  Haven’t had much time the last couple of days because we’re preparing for a battalion inspection.  These inspections all the time are a pain in the —!  This afternoon I’m on a detail cleaning an empty barrack, which will take most of the afternoon, so we were given a couple hours off now.  Everyone else will probably get most the afternoon free.  Just my luck.

Yesterday I was CQ runner all day.  I got to know most of the cadre pretty well.  There’s one sergeant who came from Doland, South Dakota.  He’s a young guy and we got along pretty well.  He even tried to help me find Neil, but couldn’t.  Are you sure it was Eustis he’s supposed to be [at]?

Honey, I miss you something terrible.  It seems like so long since I left, yet it hasn’t been long enough for letter from you.  And I still don’t know if your little “friend” ever arrived.  Be sure to let me know one way or another, okay.  I still worry about that sometimes.  And I pray for us every night — just a little habit I’ve picked up.  Sure makes things look better, doesn’t it?

I don’t know if I told you or not, but out of the class before us, 53 out of 54 in the class were ordered to Vietnam.  So… Everyone knew that’s where we’d end up, though.

Got a go for chow now.  I’ll finish this later.  I love you, Rita.  Always.

Back again.  Thursday noon now.  Got paid today, but not much — $33.  So I’m going to send thirty to you.  And next time you go down to Wink’s you can give it to him, and probably try the ring on now, if you haven’t already.  You shouldn’t have any problem with the travelers checks, I don’t think, as long as I remember to sign it before I send it.  I just hope I can make it the rest of the month on the money I have left, which isn’t much more than what I’m sending you.

This morning I was made a squad leader.  I didn’t really want it, ’cause it cuts down on your free time.  We may rotate squad leaders though, which wouldn’t be so bad.  Each guy would be squad leader for a week, or something like that.  Hope so, in a way.

Well, honey, best I go.  Have a few things to do, and more details this afternoon.  I hope that one of these days I’ll have time to sit down and write you a nice, long letter and tell you a hundred times how much I love you.  And I will!

Goodbye, love.


We have no info on who Neil is at this time, and mom’s “friend” was eventually found.

Doland, SD is just northwest of Brookings (dad’s hometown).

Special thanks to Yahoo! Answers for the CQ runner info.


Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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November 2008