April 21, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dear Rita,

One month ago today I said goodbye to you for a year.  I think that was the hardest parting I’ve ever had to make.  I had been so happy and I didn’t want to leave you.  But when I get back it’s going to be even better.  I promise.

I got two letters from you yesterday, along with the pictures you sent.  They really brought back a lot of memories.  Are these all that turned out?  Shucks!  I’m keeping the two of you though.  Clay says he’d like a copy of the one of you and me together, if you could get it.

I’m back again after a long delay.  This is Friday now, the 25th.  I haven’t had a chance to write because of duties and our regular work schedules.  Then something else came up too.  Now I don’t want you to panic out because I’m okay, but I’m in the hospital.  Guess I’ve got a slight case of malaria.  Went on sick call yesterday ’cause I felt a little dizzy, and they won’t let me go.  I feel fine now except that I caught a cold in this air-conditioned hospital.  War is hell, ain’t it?  Looks like I’ll spend a few more days here relaxing.  Only trouble is I’m bored stiff.

We lost another ship yesterday too, as well as a pilot.  The copilot was messed up pretty good too, and the crew chief was a mess of cuts and bruises.  The copilot and crew chief were lifted out by hoists from other ships, but the pilot was pinned in and by the time a ground force got there the gooks had been there first.  Some of the pilots got pretty shook up about that.

I’d best close this up and write the folks a line or two.  They’ve gone without one a lot longer than you have, so I imagine they’re wondering what is going on.  Just remember that there is no reason to worry — I’ll be fine.  I love you Rita.



PS.  Happy anniversary tomorrow!