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July 4, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.


Hi Honey –

Boy, what a drag today has been.  You’d think on the Fourth of July there’d be something to do.  I slept till eleven this morning, ate lunch, then went bowling.  I really didn’t feel like it, but there was nothing else to do.  Bowled a lousy 93 the first game.  Then I got hot and pulled a 218 out of the second.  That’s my highest game ever.  After that we were going to go to a show, but the theater was filled before we got in, so that shot that.  So now I’m sitting around the barracks again, and I hate this place.  It really gets a guy feeling low sitting around here.

I think I told you we’re in the shops now working on the choppers, and it’s really interesting.  The instructors are some real cool guys, and after sitting in the classrooms or eight weeks this is great, but it sure wears a guy out.  By the time we get done I’m shot.  But three weeks from today we’ll be done.

This morning at 5:30 one of the guys I mentioned before, Mike, took off for California to get married.  His girlfriend’s pregnant so he got an emergency leave.  He was happy as hell when he left here, and I don’t blame him.  We got together and gave him a card and $30 Spears and I collected.  I think every guy here envies him.  I just wish I was coming back to marry you, but I’m glad it won’t have to be because you’re pregnant.

Now it’s Friday, and all hell broke loose last night.  I spent half the night at the MP station.  Five of us had been into Newport News at a drive-in, and we were on our way back when they stopped us.  No big deal at first, just a speeding ticket.  Then they started checking passes, and one guy didn’t have one.  That guy, Wood, had had his pass revoked by the Battalion Commander.  Then he tried to lie his way out of it by saying he hadn’t been off post.  But the driver, Peters, without thinking said we had all been with him in town.  Then they found that Peters’ license plates and post tag weren’t good and he had no title for the car, just a bill of sale.  So we sat down at the station until 3:00 this morning, and our first sergeant had to come down and get us out.  We all had extra detail today and had to see the first sergeant today at two.  He was pretty nice about it, just said he didn’t want to see us in trouble again.  Wood got off with seven days extra detail, when he could have gotten a summary court-martial for disobeying a direct order if Battalion had found out about it.  Peters is going to have to go through a lot of red tape to get his car back, but other than the vehicle charges he should come out okay too, I hope.

Another guy got picked up last night too, and started fighting a cop.  He got tossed into a paddy wagon when he started a fight with another guy getting hauled in, and ended up in the hospital.  He’s going to be sitting in jail for a while, and when he gets out the Army will probably put him right back in.

Tomorrow I’m going to DC to see Bob!  Only I just about got screwed out of that too.  I was afraid I’d get restricted for last night, but I lucked out.  Then I got posted for duty this weekend, but I got another guy to take that.  Then they told us we have a Battalion rollcall formation tomorrow, and I can’t get out of that.  So I’m stuck here until noon anyway.  I’m getting a ride to and from DC with our class commander, so it’ll be cheaper than flying but also a little slower.  I just hope Bob doesn’t give up on me before I get there.  I sure want to see him!

Also I hope to get to DC early enough to find a birthday present for you.  Nope, I didn’t forget.  I have an idea what I’d like to get you if I can find it.  It would be different but I know you’d like it.  On the other hand, it’s not what you’d usually give a girl for her birthday, but then you’re a very unusual girl.

Remember last year on your birthday when we went to the Town Club?  And then we went to the races.  What a dumb way to finish a night after a romantic dinner.  Too bad we couldn’t do the same this year.  No matter what kind of dumb things we used to do, they were always very special to me.

There was a class that graduated from another company last week who all had orders for Vietnam, and then got them all canceled.  They’re casual here now waiting for new orders.  I’m just afraid it might be the same with our class.  All that would mean is I’d be sent somewhere else, I’d probably be casual here for a while and wouldn’t get my leave right away, and it would be longer before I got to Nam and back.  I’ll be highly pissed if that happens.

I’ve got to go now hon, got to get up early.  I’ll write again soon — promise.  I love you Rita, with all my heart!

Forever,

Jeff

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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