You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 2, 2016.

Friday, August 15, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.


Hi Reet,

Bad news Honey.  It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting Hawaii for R&R.  We were told that today.  Too many people want R&R in Hawaii, and they are going by the date you arrived in country.  Since I was in the last group to come over my chances are almost zero.  Only four allocations a month have been coming down, and there’s about ten guys each month who came in ahead of me.  By October that means twenty guys or better ahead of me, and just about as many equal to me as far as time in country goes.  So, I guess seeing each other in Hawaii is definitely out.  I’m sorry Rita, I know you were looking forward to it – so was I.  But I guess there’s nothing we can do about it.

I left my name on the Hawaii list anyway, altho the chances of getting it are about a thousand to one.  They asked if anyone wanted to change, but I couldn’t see it.  If I can’t get to Hawaii to see you, to hell with it.  If I got to feeling like I’ve got to get out of here, later on, I may try to get to Australia, but I doubt it.  If I can’t see you I’d rather save the money.

I guess that’s one thing we can console ourselves with.  We’ll have nearly six hundred dollars more without the R&R.  But I think it would have been worth more than that to both of us.

Well, enough of that.  I guess we’ll both live, but it will be harder.

Now, what’s this bit about my romantic greetings?  I know I start my letters lots of ways besides, “Dear Rita.”   Maybe not quite as often as I used to, but pretty close.  When I’m in a good mood I always start them different, but so often I’m tired and not bright enough to write anything else.  Anyway, I’ll try to do better, okay?

Kim said he’d marry Nancy as soon as he gets back, but feels to be fair to her they should wait at least a week.  He’s very thoughtful that way.  But he’s not sure whether she was serious or just playing with his broken heart, leading him into another one.  He wanted to write her, but I don’t know the address.  But maybe it would be nicer if she wrote him, a lonely G.I. in a strange land.  I know he’d like that and would know she is sincere.  But you’d best warn her he may blow her mind with his letters.  Battle fatigue, you know.

Hi Hon.  This is later. I just went and took a look at the psych course Skip got today.  It really seems like a well set up course.  He got the same book as in the class I took at ol’ SDSU, which is actually a sophomore course.  And it doesn’t look easy.  I’m really getting anxious to get mine and get started.

I was working a little math the other night from a book a guy here has.  I figured out a cool equation [Insert complex equation here that I am not going to take the time to figure out how to insert properly -Ethan-] = our zip code!  I haven’t figure out what good it is yet, but –

I got a letter from Jeannie the other day.  She’s been down with mono for a month.  It was a real nice letter, written three days before her wedding.  It’s going to seem funny writing to Jeannie R. now.

Nope, no WAC’s here.  Mom must have made a mistake, or meant those Red Cross girls I told you about.

Last nite there was a big beer party in our hooch.  For some reason tho I didn’t feel like getting drunk.  I was thinking of you.  So I just sat in my own little world and spent the evening with you.  Can’t let myself do that too often or I’ll go mute, but once in a while is great.  I sure do miss you Rita.

It’s getting late so I’m going to hit the sack, so I’ll see you in my dreams.  I love you Honey, with all my heart.

Your Hubby,


P.S. When are you going to send me some China patterns you like?


For my own curiosity, I’ve gone back and looked at how many different salutations Jeff sent to Rita.

They are as follows:

  • Hi Reet,
  • Hi Love,
  • Deer Reet,
  • Hi Beautiful,
  • Dear Rita,
  • Dearest Rita,
  • Hi Rita!
  • Hi Lover,
  • Hi Honey,
  • Dear Wife!
  • Hi Wife!

I only looked back to December 19th of 1968 and I didn’t take an actual count of how often each greeting was used, because it’s almost 1am and I’m thinking a full statistical analysis might be a bit much even for me.  I will say that “Dearest Rita,” “Hi Beautiful,” and “Dear Rita,” seemed to be the most common.

Make of that what you will.

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


How it all works

We publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
For a quick rundown of the family, start by reading this post
Make sure you read the comments. People who are mentioned in the letters will sometimes expand on whatever is being discussed in the posts.


If you spot an error, broken link, or have a suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment.


You can always get back to this blog, no matter where it's parked, by heading to
September 2016