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June 24, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Hi Rita!

Boy, am I tired tonight!  We worked like the devil all day and this evening.  It’s after eight thirty now, and we just got off a little while ago.  I’m so tired that it’s hard to lift this pen.

Part of it is that we didn’t get much sleep last night.  We got hit and hit hard about midnight last night.  I woke up with explosions all around our hooch.  All we could do was roll onto the floor — not a chance to get to the bunker.  The hooch right in front of us was hit once in the corner, which is about 10 feet from ours.  Luckily the guy who slept there was out flying (Donnie S., already has a Silver Star — I was gunning for him).  Another one tore into the hooch right beside us and smashed into some wooden gun racks without exploding.  Coming in it and missed one guy’s head by about two inches while he was still in bed.

All told we must’ve taken forty rounds.  A lot of them were air bursts, so the only ones who got hit were the ones who tried to get to the bunkers.  A couple of officers got some shrapnel, but not too serious.  Sergeant Reyes & Skip both caught some too.  Skip’s okay — just a scratch on his chest.  Sergeant Reyes was a little worse off with a broken arm.  He’ll be spending some time in the hospital at Da Nang.

Anyway, we didn’t come out too bad.  They didn’t hit any of the ships, which is what they were probably most interested in getting.  However, some of our officers did that.  In a hurry to get the ships off the ground two of them collided, destroying the main rotor of one and the tail rotor of the other.  Then another one hit the second ship.  So now we have two sets of main and two tail rotors to change.  That knocks the hell out of our percent of flyable aircraft which was so high.

So that was the excitement around here.  I’m not going to tell the folks about it in such detail, ’cause mom would have kittens and they have enough now.  I hope it doesn’t bother you — it’s really nothing to worry about.  The worst part is losing the sleep.

Enough war stories for now.

I got a couple of letters from Brenda tonight and one from the folks.  I don’t know what the deal is, but I received about four letters from them in about five days.  I guess it’s because mom has more free time and is feeling a little better.  And I also got a letter from Jeannie that was real nice.  I’m really happy for her and Virg.  I was kind of concerned for a while, but her letter took care of that.  I hope I can find time to write her occasionally now.  Sure wish I could be there for her wedding.

Must go now, honey, I’m very tired.  But not so tired I won’t dream of you.  I love you Rita, with all my heart.



Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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January 2010