May 13, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

An awful lot has been happening since I wrote you last — that was Saturday, I believe.  Anyway, Sunday night we got hit for the first time here at Evans.  So we spent the night sitting outside on top of our bunkers watching the show.  We had to stay on alert and in full combat gear until 2:30 the next morning.  Two cobras blew the hell out of an orphanage right outside the gate by mistake.

Then I had to get up at 4:30 to go flying.  I’m a gunner now.  I really enjoy it but it means some long hours.  The ship I’m assigned to was hot last night, meaning we had to stay in the ship ready to take off.  I got two hours of sleep — maybe.  That makes five hours for the last three days.  You’re lucky I’m writing at all tonight.

I wasn’t going to tell you about my flying at first, but I figure you’ve got a right to know.  Besides, this probably won’t last too long because we’re supposed to be getting cobras.  In fact we got two of them today.  And cobras don’t have any gunners or crew chiefs.  So don’t worry about me — I’ll be fine until then.

I haven’t been here for the last couple of days for mail call — so I don’t have any answers for you.  And I’ll try to write you every couple days it least, but it may be harder now.  But I’ll do my best.

Must go to bed now before I fall asleep writing this.  More as soon as I can find time.

I love you, Rita.