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I swear I haven’t forgotten.

Things are still crazy around here.  Planning on returning next Monday.



See you next Monday.


Wednesday, October 8, 1969.  Camp Eagle, Vietnam.

Hi Beautiful!

I got a letter from you today!  Sure was glad to get it.  It was the first time mail got thru this week.  I also got a nice long one from Brian, and finally got his address.  Wrote him a quick letter this afternoon.

Maybe you’d better remind Nancy that Kim doesn’t have all the time in the world to write her. I make time to write you because you’re my wife and I love you.  The same doesn’t apply to Kim and Nancy.  He’s got his own family and friends to write to.  I think she’s expecting a bit too much.

Remember what I said about pictures of you in my last letter?  Well I just remembered that I still don’t know what you look like in your new glasses.  They’re not new to you now I know, but they are to me.

This is Thursday now, and I spent all afternoon at the photo lab.  A guy named Dave M. is teaching me how to develop pictures.  We developed a roll of his film, but couldn’t do mine because they are only set up to develop black and white.  But I did take some negatives along to print.  We ran out of time tho, so I only got one of mine printed.  Actually it was from a roll of Kim’s that he gave me the negatives from.  It’s a lousy picture of me (I didn’t realize until it was printed how bad it is).  I may have sent you the original print already, I don’t know.  Anyway, I had a ball and want to do some more when I can.

Say honey, if you can find the negatives of that picture of you in f front of that Texas motel, would you send it to me? I know it’s probably been lost or thrown away by now, but I would love to get it and blow it up.  And the one of you in my field jacket saluting – that’s a little more recent so maybe you can find that.  In fact, send any negatives of yourself you can find, okay?  I want to see what I can do with them.

Oh yes, just about forgot to tell you.  My platoon sergeant told me yesterday he’s putting me up for E-5.  I’m not really too excited about it cause I expected to get five long before this, but he said it was definite.  So maybe… He also said he’s going to make me a crew leader as soon as one we have now leaves.  There’s another guy next in line for it, but SFC S is going to jump me over him, both for crew leader and for five.  He went on and on about what a good worker I am too, which is really funny.  I haven’t worked so little since I’ve been in the Army.  It’s just that when there’s something to be done, I do it, which nobody else does.  That really impressed him.

Even if he does put me in for five this month, it will be a while before I get it.  They don’t go in to battalion until the 25th of this month, and it takes about a month for them to send it down to Bien Hoa to have my records checked and get it back.  Then I have to go up before a board, whenever they decide to have one.  Then, if I pass, I have to wait for a n allocation to come down.  Shouldn’t be any problem there since we’re short of E-5s anyway.  Still, it’s going to be a while.  But as long as I make it before leaving here, I’ll be happy.

You know something Rita?  I miss you something awful tonite.  I don’t know why it should be worse tonite than it usually is, but it is.  I guess this is just one of those times when it all seems so far in the future.  I want to be with you now.  I want to hold you and kiss you and make love to you.  I want to be with you.  More than ever.

It’s late Reet, and I’m half stoned and feeling sorry for myself, so I’d best give this up and go to bed.  I love you Honey, more and more each day.  Always remember that – I love you!

Your Love Is My Life!


I think, in light of the previous letter regarding marijuana, we should be clear he’s almost certainly talking about alcohol.  You know, like in Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” when he says “And the waitress is practicing politics, as the businessmen slowly get stoned…”


Sunday, October 5, 1969.  Camp Eagle, Vietnam

Hi Wife!

Just got off KP a while ago, so figured I’d write a few lines.  I was going to leave it for tomorrow nite, but I think I may have bunker guard.  Not that it makes much difference – no planes are flying because of the weather, which means no mail going in or out from here.   So don’t be surprised if this takes a while to get to you.

Yep, it’s still raining.  Has been all week without a let up.  What used to be a creek you could walk thru without getting your feet wet is now a big, deep, fast river.  Since it’s between us and the perimeter, and it washed all the bridges away, the guards have to be taken out by helicopter.  It’s gonna get worse too.

In another unit nearby, which happens to be in a low spot, their hootches are filled to the windows with water. They were paddling around inside on their air mattresses, but I don’t imagine it’s too comfortable sleeping that way.

Yesterday I had a chance to play grunt.  Our unit sends out a patrol every couple of days outside our section of the perimeter.  It’s to check for any weapons or rockets Charlie might hid out there.  Anyway, we went tromping out thru jungle and rice paddies and the whole bit.  It was interesting for a change, but I wouldn’t want to do it every day like the grunts.  It would get old quick.

This is Monday now.  Worked this morning and stayed in the hootch this afternoon.  Just ain’t no work.  Too bad.

I heard on the radio a few minutes ago that we’ve had 21 ½ inches of rain in the last 24 hours.  And it’s been like this for a week.  No wonder everything is flooded.  The South China Sea comes right up to Highway 1 now, and it used to be miles away.

I can’t get to the laundry to pick up my clothes either.  There’s a river between here and there that wasn’t there before.   So I’m sitting here with a big bag of dirty clothes and no clean ones to wear.  War is hell.

We haven’t been getting any mail because of the rains, so when we do get some I should have quite a stack.

Say, you still haven’t told me how many hours you’re taking this semester, or what your subjects are.  Did you cut down on hours this time like you once said you were going to?

And when am I going to get some more pictures?  You said quite a while ago that you were going to have some taken to send me, but that was the last I heard of it.  You know, Gene W.’s wife had a great idea (and this is a hint).  She sends him a picture a week of herself.  And I’ve got to admit he’s got a great looking wife, but not as great as mine.  Anyway, if you wanted to do something like that, I wouldn’t kick a bit.

I keep looking over the pictures I have of you, and you know which two I still like best?  One is that picture of you at that Texas Motel.  The other is the one I took in the car after the Revere and Raiders concert.  I like the first because it’s a good picture of you and shows off you’re bod something beautiful.  The one I like because I remember all the fun we used to have.  The pictures of our home in North Carolina run a close second, but they don’t concentrate on you, and I do.  That’s about all I concentrate on anymore.  I love you Rita.  Before long I’ll have more than just pictures to look at and hold.  Then I’ll be the happiest guy in the world!  I love you!

Good night, Love.



167 days!


The photo above I believe is the one Jeff is talking about when he refers to the
Revere & the Raiders, who, by the way, are pretty great.  Their most famous song is “Kicks,” which you can see here.

I feel like I’ve seen the other photo he’s mentioning, but can’t find it for the life of me.

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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November 2016