One of the things I like about this letter are how far an American dollar could take you.  For example, looking around the (ever reliable) internet has found you could get a six pack in the states for 99 cents.  I can sympathize with this plight.

Also, DEROS is known as “Date Eligible for Return from Over Seas.”

It seems like he’s looking forward to getting home.


July 21, 1969.  Ving Tau, Vietnam.

Dear Rita,

I finally made it to the beach yesterday, and had a real good time. It’s a lot different from our beach, ‘cause there were females around.  I don’t care what anyone says, a beach isn’t a beach without bikinis and something to fill them.  And some of these Viet gals fill them pretty darn good.  I still haven’t seen on that could beat you in that category tho.

I went with a guy I met here name Al.  He’s suffering today – his legs got roasted. I didn’t have any problem, which I’m thankful for.

We got to the beach about ten and left about two.  Then we headed downtown to look around.  The bars were too expensive for us (70 cents – $1.00 for a beer) so we just wandered around until we ran into a couple other guys from the school here.  They had a couple fifths and invited us to share, so what could we say?  We hit the bars and had a blast.  We had to spend half our time fighting off the bar girls trying to make us buy them Saigon tea ($1.00 to $3.00 a glass) and whatever else they had for sale (90% are prostitutes).  Finally we got smart and just gave them a hard time until they got mad and left.  I’ll have to admit it got kind of vulgar at times, but it kept them away.

I met a couple of guys from Australia in one bar, and got to talking to them.  One was English and the other Scotch who had moved to Australia from Great Britain.  They couldn’t say enough good things about the place and really got me interested.  I wish I could have talked to them longer.  Jack and Jock were their names.  Because of the accent I couldn’t understand their last names.

We finally left the two guys with the booze cause they were getting too drunk and loud.  (One was still sick at noon today).  I couldn’t see hanging around and getting grabbed by the M.P.’s.  I really did have a good time tho.

I sure did miss seeing you out on the beach yesterday.  Seems like that’s the first thing I think about anytime I see a beach.  I would love to have you with me just once.  I think it’s mostly cause I like to show you off and let everybody see what they’re missing.  That may sound kind of funny, but I’m awful proud of my wife and I want everyone to know it.  Let them eat their hearts out!

Must go take a shower and clean up now.  Remember that I love you Rita, more and more every day.  It won’t be long now until I can tell you that while you’re in my arms. I love you!

Only two months and days till R&R, and only 243 days till Deros.

All My Love,


P.S. I’ve got a 96.7% average in school so far.