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Wednesday, September 4, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

 

Hi Wife –

I’m pissed off!  I’m not going to get to have a monkey after all.  There are no more pets allowed in the unit.  That means everything has to go.  The dog will stay and be our official mascot (that’s the only way).  But I was looking forward to having a monkey, darn it all.

This is Saturday the 6th now, and the date up top should have been the 3rd, but I gained a day somewhere.  Anyway, I’m sorry I haven’t written for a few days, but things have been happening around here.

First off, we had an 18 hour stand down from 12 noon yesterday ‘til 6 this morning.  All that means is that nobody works and no ships fly – and it’s party time.

We were supposed to have a band and a strip show, but that fell thru. But we did have plenty of free beer – 80 cases.  Everyone got pretty well looped.  When the beer was gone and the ice in the trailer it was in melted, we started throwing people in.  It started with just a few of the guys, but before it was over all the officers and NCO’s had gone in, including Major Miller and the first shirt.  When most the water had been splashed out the beer baths started.  By supper time people were passed out everywhere – on top of bunkers and on the ground and in the road.  But everyone had a good time.

Today when we had to go back to work there were a lot of people who were hurting.  Hope we can do it again tho.  It was the first stand down we’ve had in six months, and most units get a three day stand down every couple months at least.

In the letter I got from you tonite you asked how long your letters have been taking.  Well, the letter tonite took three days – a record.  Most take 4-6 days tho.  And it’s not unusual to get your latest letters before some older ones.

Right now LZ Sally, which is about five miles from here, is getting hit hard by Charlie.  There’s about three companies of NVA roaming around raising hell, and they’re expecting us to get hit any time in the next three days.  They’ve said this before and it never happens, so I feel pretty safe.  We may catch a few rounds but that’s no sweat.  All you do then is lose sleep.  However, I’ve lost enough of that in the last few days, so I think I’ll hit the sack now.

I’ve still got three letters of yours I haven’t really answered.  I’ll try to get that done tomorrow if we don’t have to work all day.  Sure hope we don’t.

I love you Rita.  The words don’t sound like much, but they mean one heck of a lot.  I love you!

Forever,

Jeff

LZ mean Landing Zone.  LZ Sally was a small base that housed (and was base for) air missions into enemy territory.  The map below shows both Camp Evans (top left, where dad was stationed) and LZ Sally (where the attacks from the North Vietnamese Army were taking place).  The map below was posted on LZSally.com.

 photo sallao2.jpg

Here is a home movie put together by a former serviceman, Michael Elliott, stationed at LZ Sally.

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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