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June 11, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dear Rita,

It’s noon now and I decided I’d start that long letter I promised you.  Don’t know what I’m going to say to make it long, but…

I’m on sandbagging detail today.  We’re making sure we don’t work too hard though.  We laid three rows of bags all morning (about a half hours job).

Honey, I’m all out of tapes, so if you want to get any more you’ll have to send one first.  I can’t get a hold of any more over here.

I know what you mean about that carnival.  I remember how big it seemed when I was a kid.  Now it’s hard to see why I bothered to go.  Maybe before too many years we’ll be taking our own kids to it.  Then it should be a blast.

I’m glad you finally got your glasses.  I hope they help your eyes so you don’t have any more problems like you did with your old ones.  And I hope you wear them when you’re supposed to.  Don’t forget to send me a picture (négligée picture too!).

I was surprised to hear about Les K. extending over here.  I thought he was in a hurry to get back stateside.  But an early out does look good.  There is talk about a nine-month early out now, and if that goes through I may extend for a month to get it.  But no more than that.

This is six o’clock now.  I’ve heard rumors that we aren’t going to have a work formation tonight, but I don’t know whether or not to believe it.  It’s too good to be true.

I got a letter from you which was mailed before the one I got last night.  It’s the first time that has happened.  Anyway, I’ve got two to answer now.

One question I guess I’d better answer right off is about our food.  Well, I could describe it very vividly, but I won’t.  Suffice to say keeps me alive.  My biggest gripe is the iced tea — I hate iced tea.  And that’s all they have, so I stick to water.  Goes great with the meals.  I think I have lost a little weight, but nothing serious.

Thanks for the Times, and yes I would like to get them regularly.  Any current news is hard to get over here, and Time does a darn good job of presenting it.

That bit about Jeannie & Virgil — I kind of expected it, and I’m real glad.  For awhile I thought it was all over with them.  Wish I could be there for their wedding.

Why bug your mom about getting bulbs for the camera?  Couldn’t you pick some up?  Or is that just an excuse for not taking the picture?  If it is I’ll cut you off — whoops, guess I can’t do that, can I?

A picture of me with my mustache would look just like the same as a picture without one.  It’s too light to show up.  However, I started another one and when it gets long enough I’ll darken it with a grease pencil and have a picture taken, okay?

Well, Reet, it’s 6:30 now and no work formation yet.  So I’m going to take a shower and change close now.  I’m going to put on some civilian clothes! That will be different.  Be back shortly.

Okay, this is shortly.  I didn’t get all dressed up like I was going to because it’s too hot yet, even though it’s raining.  Instead I’m keeping cool by sitting around in my underwear.

I hope it was just a trim job your mom did on your hair.  I know what you call a “trim.”  But that’s another reason I want some pictures.  Got to keep tabs on my wife’s hair.

He said you saw Gene C. — where has he been?  I thought he was over here somewhere, but he couldn’t have completed his year yet.  And if he’s coming over at all he won’t really have too long.  He’s only got about nine months left in the Marines.

You know something Reet?  It’s too bad we didn’t get you pregnant before I came over.  Then he could have the doc say there complications and I could get a 30 day emergency leave.  Maybe that’s not so bright after all — I’d go back just as horny, wouldn’t I?  Oh well, it was a thought.

Seriously, I wish we could have children right away, but I guess there’s plenty of time for that.  First there’s a million things I want to do with just you.  And they start out with just being with you, forever.

I love you Rita.

All My Love,


Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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November 2009