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December 2, 1968.  Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Hi Beautiful!

And how are you at this wonderful time of year when Christmas bells are ringing and good cheer is in the air?  But I think I hear wedding bells too, don’t you?  In fact, they sound like they’re only about 54 days away!!  And getting closer!  And only 47 days before I leave this dump and head home to see my beautiful bride-to-be.  What more could a guy want?  Besides a discharge.

If I sound drunk — I am.  But just with happiness.  I’ve never seen the world so beautiful or the future so bright.  And that’s pretty good considering where I’m at and what I’m in.  See what you do to me?

Tonight I sat down (actually I was standing and writing on my bunk) and wrote a long letter to my folks, and told them all about the plans we’ve made so far and all the who’s, what’s, when’s, and how’s we’ve decided on so far.  It’s really the first they’ve heard from me about specific plans in fact, it’s the first letter I’ve written in over a week.  But I told them to start a guest list right away.  Have they?  Anyway, they’ve got the big picture now and I think they’ll stop fighting it and give a hand now.

In a letter I got from them today, they (mom) said they knew once I made up my mind it wouldn’t change.  They just felt I wasn’t ready to accept the responsibilities of marriage.  Maybe I’m not, but I’d like to believe I am.  But then, is anybody really ready to accept them when they’re married?  I doubt it.  But most manage, and if anyone can, we sure can.

Don’t you ever dare get so frustrated you say “forget it,” because I won’t let you.  Not on your life!  You can’t weasel out now.  You’re going to be an old married woman before long.  (Hope you don’t mind)

Have you contacted your little cousin about being your flower girl?  And how about Brenda?  I told the folks but said not to let Brenda know.  I know you want to tell her yourself.  I still don’t have any ideas for opposite your cousin, but I asked mom and dad.  Maybe they’ll have an idea.

What did you find out about your job at Waltz?  Sure hope it pans out.  Even if it’s just for the holidays, the experience and reference is good.

Outside of that, I don’t have a damn thing to say besides I love you.  And I could say that all night!  In fact I do, in my dreams.  But I’m waiting for the day I can tell my wife that.  I love you, Reet.  With all my heart.

Forever,

Jeff


“Waltz” is the now defunct Waltz Hardware, a place mom worked during the holiday season before the wedding.

Ethan

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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