Sunday, October 20, 1968.  Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Hi Beautiful!

Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote.  Really no excuse I guess.  Just been busy and tired.  I’ll try to make this nice and long, okay?

Remember me mentioning Jerry W.?  Well, he was playing around with a car today and slopped some gas on himself.  Then the carburetor backfired and he caught on fire.  His right arm and stomach got burned pretty bad.  Another guy got burnt hands trying to put him out.

Thursday afternoon I finally went flying.  I didn’t even ask Mr. Bisson if I could go.  A lieutenant who works in the same office with us was going up so I told him I was going along.  Flew for just about two hours and I really enjoyed it.  Hope I can do some more.

Friday I got a letter from you that was mailed in September. I can’t read the date on the postmark, but you dated the 16th.  Real fast service!

Hon, remember I told you not to count on me getting home at Xmas?  Well, don’t count on it at all now. The way things sound now, only guys who have leave time coming will get it then. I’ve used most of mine already, so I probably won’t get one.  But then I get a longer one in January or February.  And I would rather have a longer time to be with you anyway. That extra month or so may be hard to take though.

You’re going to have to excuse my writing tonight.  I’m on my bunk ’cause the table is in use.  Hope you can read this.  I spent this weekend up at Chapel Hill, and just got back about 5:00 this afternoon. Had a great time.  We went to see the Letterman Fri. night. They were great!  Sat we went to the football game – UNC 22, Fla. 7.  Real good game, and it rained the whole time.  Then there was a dance Saturday night.  I went ’cause we wanted to, but I played pool in the game room most the time.  I did dance a couple times though.  I hope you don’t mind.

A letter from Dex the other day. Sounds like he’s been having a pretty wild time.  Brings back memories — He also gave me an address of a girl at State and told me to write her and feed her line of bull.  He didn’t explain why, but knowing Dex, he’s up to something.  I’m going to get Kim to help me compose one sometime.  After talking to him the other night you can probably imagine what kind of stuff he could come up with.

Dex also said mom had sent the clothes I asked for, but they’re not here yet. Hope they don’t take as long as your last letter.

This is Tuesday night now Reet. I didn’t quite get this finished Sunday.  I was planning to finish at last night, but a couple guys wanted me to go to town with.  I said no cause I was nearly broke. I went.  I’m broke.  So now I’ll have no excuse for not writing the rest of this month.

Sounds like the weather there is pretty bad for this early.  But that South Dakota weather for you.  I’d be willing to go through 10 blizzards right now if I could be with you.  Then maybe we’d get snowed in, and to keep each other warm. I guess we could do that anyway, huh?

Out here fall is just getting a good start.  I crossed a river last weekend, and looking up and down it all you could see was colored trees on the bank.  I would have loved to just walk along the shore with you.  It was just beautiful.

I got a box of clothes from the folks today, including the sweater you gave me.  I made sure she sent that.  Brenda (I guess) sent some brownies and cookies — which were pretty well crushed.  And I’ve got a box at 82nd Headquarters that I have to go down and sign for.  Don’t know what that is.  My jacket I hope.

Sounds like that weekend at Vermillion should be fun.  I guess I should say “was fun” now. Just don’t let any wild parties and good-looking guys turn your head, okay?

Say Honey, did you take your ring back down to Winks to be fixed?  If you haven’t, do it! That makes me mad, and you can tell them that.  I can understand if you had been wearing it for years and years, but not after five months.

No, I don’t know Bob G., but I think you mentioned him a couple times.  I wish I could be as lucky as he is and had gone to Nam after five months.  Then we probably could have had that October wedding you always wanted.  And for some strange reason it doesn’t bother me a bit that Bob was disappointed that you are engaged. Personally, I’m kinda glad you are.

I’m supposed to say “hello” to you from a couple guys — Skip, Ron, and Hal.  So — Hi!  They’re standing here making sure I do it to.

They’re gone now and I can get back to my letter and tell my fiancé how much I love her.  And I do love you Rita, more and more every day.  I pray every night that our love will grow and keep us together even though were apart, until the day we can be together forever.  I know I’ve got to be the luckiest guy in the world, because I’ve got the most wonderful girl in the world, and she’s going to be my wife!  I couldn’t ask for more.

All my love


Jerry W. is the guy in this post who is pulling up his pants in the background behind Clay.

Just thought you’d like to know.

This past weekend my grandmother turned 90 (Happy Birthday Grandma!!), and while we were at her house she gave me a book of letters that dad wrote them while in bootcamp and Nam.  So now I have those and while I’m going to love reading them, I’m not sure if I should be throwing them into this blog.  It would be nice to see the contrast between what he wrote to mom vs. what he wrote to HIS mom.  I’ll take a look and see if anything is interesting and if it is I’ll let you all know.  As always, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.