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July 12, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.

Dearest Rita,

I’m sorry I didn’t get a card to you in time for your birthday, but I’m sure you’ll understand.  I skipped formation to get it, then I had it two days before I had a chance to write in it.  Then I didn’t get it sent right away.  But it’s the thought that counts, and believe me, I’m thinking of you constantly.  Happy birthday honey, with all my love.

Honey, I don’t want you to get all excited about what I’m going to say now, but we’ve been talking to a lot of people trying to find out where we’re going from here.  Nothing is definite until  we get our orders, but there’s a good chance that most of us will be going to Ft. Bragg, N.C. from here for a build up unit to Vietnam.  If that’s the case, I may not get leave until I get there.  That would mean a couple more weeks at least.  I hope and pray this isn’t the case, but it could be, so I thought you’d like to know.

Honey, you don’t know how much I miss you!  It’s worse now that we’re nearing the end of this course and I keep wondering how long it will be before I’ll get home to you.  The moon was full this week, but luckily it was cloudy here all week.  If it hadn’t been I would have gone nuts.  I hope the next full moon finds me in your arms and nowhere else.  Then I’ll be happy.

Today we started day classes, and right of the bat we got the shaft.  We should be used to it by now.  We were supposed to go flying today, but the three choppers they use were all in for maintenance.  So we didn’t.  We’ll get to go next week, but we’re still getting screwed out of this week’s time.

Honey, what can I write when all I can do is think about you?  I can tell you how much I love you, but a letter willed with that isn’t much of a letter.  I want to talk to you so bad!  There’s a million things I want to tell you that don’t mean anything on paper.  Nothing special, nothing big, just thinks I’d tell you if we were just talking.  And you’d tell me about little things that happened to you.  Honey, if we can always talk to each other that way we’ll have it made.  And I know we always will.

Hey, in the last letter I got from you Sue added a little.  She said something about you getting your ears pierced.  Are you planning on it?  You never said.  If you do, don’t let Sue do it though, please?  Go to a doctor – it doesn’t cost more than a couple bucks, and it’s a hell of a lot safer.  Okay?

Last night I had to go see our class sergeant about our schedule for today.  We shot the bull for a while, then he showed me a newspaper clipping with a poem in it that his brother wrote before he was killed in Vietnam.  It was real good and expressed some good thoughts.  I’ll see if I can copy it and send it to you.  You might like it, or at least understand how a lot of guys, myself included, feel.

This is Saturday night now, and I miss you more than ever Rita.  Didn’t have anything to do tonight, so I borrowed a whole stack of 45rpm records from our class sergeant.  Now I wish I hadn’t.  Some of the songs make me so home sick it hurts.  Whenever I play a Righteous Brothers song I remember the concert we went to with Jim and Vicki.  Right now “She Cried” is on, and now Gene Pitney.  Boy, what I wouldn’t do to be with you right now.  I love you honey, very much.

You know, all week long we look forward to the weekends, but when they come and a guy has the time to think, everyone starts moping around thinking about home and his girl.  It almost makes me wish it were over, yet I hate the thought of starting another week too.  But when that week is over I’ll be that much close to being home with you, and that’s all that counts.

Honey, I’m going to knock off now and get this in the mail.  I’m sitting here doing more thinking than writing, and it’s all about you.  I love you Rita, and I always will.  I can’t think of the future without thinking of you, and all I remember when I think of home is you and things we’ve don’t and places we’ve been.  I cherish these memories honey, because every minute I’m with you is a moment to be cherished.  I love you Rita, with all my heart.

All my love,



I am seriously close to putting the “Gushing Young Love” subtitle back up.


Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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January 2009