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July 21, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.

Hi Beautiful!

It Sunday morning at 11 o’clock and everybody’s still in bed, including me, so you’ll have to excuse the handwriting.  I just can’t find enough energy to get up.  I’ve just been lying here thinking about you and looking at your pictures and missing you.  I just wish I knew when I will be able to get home.  It could be this week or next month.  The worst part is not knowing.

We’ve had a typical weekend around here so far.  Four guys went into Hampton to a dance.  After the dance they were talking to some guys outside, real friendly like, and all of a sudden those guys started beating the daylights out of our guys.  They came back with some beautiful black eyes and swollen lips.

Another guy was at Buckroe beach and got jumped by a couple of colored guys.  They beat the tar out of him, toss them in the street, then jumped in the car and tried to run over him.  He rolled out of the way, but they ran over his ankle.  It’s all black and blue and swollen, but it could’ve been worse.

There are several others out on pass yet, and I imagine there will be a few more incidents like that we’ll hear about tonight.

Friday night we had a little incident in our barracks which is actually quite humorous.  Since we’ve been going today classes, and class 84 next door is still going to night classes, they’ve been coming over at 2:00 in the morning when they get back and waking us up by  screaming and hollering and slamming doors, etc..  Then the next morning we do the same thing to them when they could sleep till 10:00 and we have to get up at 6:00.  But Friday night when they got back a couple of guys were still awake and heard them.  They grabbed fire extinguishers and planned to spray anyone who tried slamming doors.  But class 84 decided to run through our barracks this time.  About six guys got through the door when they opened up with the fire extinguishers.  All the noise woke several of us up and we grabbed four of them and worked them over pretty good.  The other two ran back out the door, but some guys from upstairs were ready and dumped a big bucket of water on them as they went out.  Since then we haven’t had any problem.

This is Monday evening now.  We got to go flying today and it was out of sight!  I was sitting in the crew chief’s seat behind a machine gun, and it was just like watching a movie.  It was completely different than a plane.  I never cared for planes, but this was outstanding.  The door gunner and myself didn’t wear seatbelts, just a harness affair on a strap, so we could move around and even hang clear out the chopper.  Now more than ever I want to make crew chief while I’m in Nam.  After today I’d go nuts if I had to stay on the ground.

Tonight I’m going to start getting my stuff ready for packing.  I just hope and pray I’ll be hauling it home and not just to another post.  I love you Rita, and I want to see you so bad!  If the Army will let me I’ll be home sometime this weekend, even if I have to walk.  Until then, or until I write you from Bragg, remember my love for you.



Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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January 2009