January 12, 1969.  Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Dear Rita –

Well, we finally got a day off and I’ll get a letter off to you.  I spent most of the day in bed trying to get rid of a bad cold.  I think the worst of it’s over now.  Hope it’s completely gone before I get home.  I need to give it to you.  It’s a beaut.

One weekend I’m home!  I’m leaving here Friday and I should be home Saturday afternoon.  So make plans to be there, as you are the first place I’ll stop, you can count on that!

I’m already packed to go.  As much as possible anyway.  There’s so much junk I have to leave here – and that causes a problem.  When I get back our battery area will be closed down and everyone will be on leave.  I don’t know where I’ll have to report in or where I’ll be staying.  The stuff I’m leaving here will have to be left with some guys from another unit.  It will be a mess, but I don’t care.  As long as I get to go home.

For a while it didn’t look like I was going home.  The first sergeant disapproved my leave request.  I had to go in and talk to him again.  He isn’t too happy about it but I got it finally.

In case you’re expecting any answers to your last couple letters, forget it.  I haven’t got them yet.  Due to the stupidity and laziness of our mail clerk I haven’t got a letter all week.  Best don’t write anymore after you get this or I’ll be gone.  But I’m going to call you tonight and tell you all this, but I figured I’d write anyway.  I was thinking about you as usual.

Do you realize that two weeks from today we’ll be man and wife?  It’s still hard to realize that we won’t be waiting a year or more, but two short weeks.  I love you Rita, and I know you’re going to make me the happiest guy in the world.  Hell, you already have!  I love you!!

Yesterday they had some finance people here. I wasn’t able to set up an allotment for you, of course, until I get back.  But I did make arrangements to have one hundred dollars a month put in the bank while I’m in Nam.  I won’t even see that – it goes straight to the bank.  I was going to increase my bonds too but decided against that.  I can do it later if I want to.

Say, I just remembered I didn’t send you any money for the rings this month.  Well, I’ll take care of it when I get home.  And we’ll also get that other ring on your finger too.

You know something?  I’m nervous.  No, that’s not a good word.  Restless is more like it.  I can’t wait to get out of here and head home to you.  I can hardly sit still long enough to write this letter.  And I’ve been smoking like a fiend today.  About the only thing I’m not doing is chewing my fingernails, and I’m about ready to start that.  It’s never bothered me like this before, but I’m so close to having you in my arms I can’t help it.  I love you, Rita!

I’ve got to write Bob yet and let him know when I’ll be there, so I’ll have to close this up now.  But I’ll be thinking of you Reet, until I can tell you myself how much I love you!

Forever,

Jeff


So I completely blew it.  I had planned on posting all the Fort Bragg letters, the audio, the pics, then start up on  his letters from Vietnam, but in my haste (and excitement) to get the audio posted I somehow overlooked his very last letter from bootcamp.  So instead of the first post that actually lives up to this blog’s name, you get his last letter from before the wedding.

Ethan

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