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


Hi Beautiful!

Boy, three letters in three days!  That’s a pretty good average.  And pictures yet.  The picture  of the ring may not be too clear, but I know it’s there, and that’s the important thing.  Honey, I love you, and that ring holds every bit of it.  When I get home that’s the first thing I want to see after I get done squeezing you to death.  It looks great on you, Rita!

The picture of you is real good too, and I like your hair after all.  It isn’t nearly as short as I imagined.  And it looks like you’ve got yourself one heck of a good tan.  Your arms look so brown I can’t believe it.  Looks like I may have a tough time beating you after all.  I notice too you’ve got one of my letters in front of you.  Couldn’t miss that stationery if I tried.

You mentioned going to the races.  Is Nemitz racing this year, and if so, how’s he doing?  You bet we’ll be going to some while I’m home.  I bet they’re a lot better this year than last, aren’t they?

Gotta go now.  Add more later (probably between classes tonight).

Nope, I’m back again and have a little time yet before we have to start cleaning the barracks before we go to class.  Yes, we’re still having night classes.  Just started tearing into the engine this week.  It’ll be a couple weeks yet before we switch to day classes, I guess.

About that little hint to call you – I sure wish I could honey, but I’m just about broke now.  I won’t call collect, and I don’t like to charge it to my folks, but I just may one of these days.  I’ll probably wait until after payday to call though, if I can wait that long.  I’ve wanted to call you for a couple weeks now hon.   I really want to hear your voice again, and tell you “I love you” again instead of writing all the time.  But writing it will have to do for now.  Rita, I love you with all my heart!

It’s 9:30 in the evening now. We’re back for chow and just got the word we are getting a new company commander.  He just returned from Nam, and he is a special forces Green Beret. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to be worse than our old one, if that’s possible.  He doesn’t take over until this weekend sometime, but he inspected our barracks with our old C.O. today and tore them apart.  We were uptight but he still found plenty to gig us on.  And he hasn’t even taken over yet.  Things could be bad when he does.

It’s three in the morning now, we just got back from class.  We tore a turbine engine apart and put it back together.  It’s good to be doing something besides sitting in class all the time.

It’s later now, and we’ve just had a little trouble here.  Tell you about it in the morning.  I’m going to bed now.

ZZZZzzzzzz….  SNORE ———

Okay, it’s Thursday morning now.  I’ll tell you what happened.  We’ve got a guy in 4th squad who hasn’t taken more than two showers since we got here, I swearHe stinks so bad people can’t stand to be near him.  He’s been told very bluntly, asked nicely, threatened, and everything else to get him to bathe more often, but he won’t.  So some guys decided to give him a G.I. shower, where several guys work on one with strong soap and stiff brushes.  Well, the guy heard about it, and when everyone started moving in on him he pulled a tire iron out of his locker and started swinging.  That kind of pissed everyone off, so the whole bottom bay was ready to tear him apart when our class commander came in and broke it up.  Good thing too or someone would have got hurt bad.

Say, I forgot to tell you but we got a new class sergeant.  Actually he’s a Spec 5.  He’s from Hot Springs, South Dakota and is a hell of a good guy.  He’s the fourth one we’ve had, but he’ll at least do something for us.  All the others would do was wake up in the morning and chew our _ _ _ all day.  You can tell Dex he knows Val Thompson.  You probably don’t know her, but Dex had the hots for her about two summers ago and still writes her.

Just had mail call and got a tape from the folks.  Finish this after I listen to it,  okay?

Back again.  Dad made the whole tape.  He told me about grandpa and how bad he is.  I was sorry to hear that.  I had thought he was doing pretty good again.  What really bothers me though is that if something happens I won’t be able to get home.  Emergency leaves are only for the immediate family usually.

I’m going to have to write them soon.  It’s been a while since I wrote, and there’s a lot of things he asked about I should fill them in on.  I’m going to have to knock this off now.  Got this damn barracks to clean.

Honey, I love you like you’d never believe.  And in a little over a month I’ll be there with you again.  That’s all I think about anymore, and thinking about it makes time here seem to go so damn slow.  That’s not good.  But I couldn’t stop thinking of you or loving you if my life depended on it.  I love you Rita.

Forever,

Jeff

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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