Saturday, October 25, 1969 – Camp Eagle, Vietnam.

Hi Beautiful!

I’ve got two letters in two days to answer now.  I thought the one I got last night was great, but today you apologized because it was in installments.  Didn’t bother me a bit – I really enjoyed it.

You asked me how I feel about the war.  I could write a book on that, and on how I feel about the Vietnamese people.  Maybe I’ll try answering that later in this letter, or write a separate one about it, I don’t know.  But I’ll tell you this now – I’d rather spend ten years over here and away from you than desert these people and make the lives of so many dead Americans a worthless waste.  You asked if I feel that I’m doing some good over here.  Yes I do.  I’ve often wished I were more directly involved in the fighting (like when I was flying) but overall I’m probably doing more good where I am.

You said you found out a lot from that vet in your class – like what?  I’ve often wondered what vets back home feel about all this anti-war stuff.

What did Pete say that upset you so much?  And what were those “truths” you mentioned?  Wish I was there to agree or disagree with him.  Everybody has his own experiences and forms his own ideas and opinions, but they just can’t be put into a letter clearly.  I’ll have a lot to tell you when I got home tho.

No, I haven’t gained weight like you asked in your first letter, nor have I lost any like you asked in your second.  At least I don’t think I have, but with no scale it’s hard to tell for sure.  True, I sometimes don’t get much sleep for several days, but I’m pretty well used to that by now.  And the food isn’t too bad here, usually.  So now will you quit worrying? (How’s your weight?  You’re not getting fat on me are you?)

I don’t mind you getting yourself some clothes.  I know you needed them, and I’ll get as much out of them as you do when I get home.  And I know how badly you needed shoes even back in Bragg.  Only one problem – now I’ll have to learn where all the zippers are.

I don’t know about getting clothes for myself over here.  Sure they’re cheaper, but that won’t mean much if I don’t like them when I get them.  Besides, they don’t make Levi’s.  I may get a sports jacket or a suit, but probably not much more than that.

I don’t know what to say about using the Chrysler again.  I had always figured on buying a used car around five years old or so, depending on what was available and what we felt we could afford.  I had thought of buying the Chrysler from your folks to use as a trade in, but never really thought of actually keeping it to use.  It’s not really such a bad idea tho – if you really think it will make it.  Remember, if we do go west there are mountains that make the ones we crossed look sick.

And since when have I been too proud to be sensible?!!  Sometimes I think I try to be too sensible most the time.  But one sensible thing to consider – how long will the Chrysler go without giving us trouble.  And if we have to pull a trailer, would it take it?  And eventually we’ll want to get another newer car anyway.

I tell you what.  Ask your dad if there’s anything wrong that would be too expensive to fix.  If we do take it, I think we should buy it from them, rather than just use it too.

I’ve thought about asking Dad if he’s about ready to get rid of the ’64 Chevy.  If I could talk him into selling that to us reasonably, that would be a good car for us.  He should be getting in the trading mood again before too long… Think I’ll mention that next time I write them.

I’m sorry to hear about your grandfathers – both of them yet.  I know how you feel about your Grandpa Page – knowing it’s only a matter of time.  Sometimes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better if they went quickly, especially when they’re in pain, yet you can’t stand the thought of them being gone.  Just remember that it’s in God’s hands now – that will help.

So Galen and Ann are expecting again huh?  And Jim and Vicky.  Following the normal sequence of events (marriages) we should have ours next August.  I’m afraid we’ll disappoint them tho on that.  Did you happen to get Galen’s address?  That’s something I don’t have.  I don’t’ have Jim and Vicky either, but if I remember right it’s 1710 Trailer Court, isn’t it?  Unless they’ve moved of course.  I should write them both – meant to a long time ago, but when I don’t even get around to writing my brothers, who can blame me?  You take up too much of my time, so it’s your fault.

Oh yea, I got the word officially today from our platoon leader, Captain R. – I am going up for 5 next month.  The board will be between the 20th and the end of the month.  There’s only one way I could get screwed – you’re supposed to be with a unit 90 days before being put in for promotion.  They could delay it since I’ve only been here a month and a half, but I doubt they will.  That means I’ll get my orders in December, the same month I go over two – which means a hundred dollars a month raise.  Not bad at all.

Full moon out tonite Honey.  It may be snowing there, but here it would be a beautiful night to lay outside on a blanket.  I could really go for that now – and all that goes with it.  I love you Reet, and I miss you so damn much on nights like this. But it won’t be long til we will spend these nights together again.

Good night, my Love.

All My Love,

Jeff

I’m always interested in what my father thought about the war he was a part of, and I look forward to hearing his thoughts in future letters.   I hope he doesn’t wait to tell it all to mom when he gets home, though; while mom is a fantastic source of information on dad, everything we know and remember about the people we love is tainted by time and affection.

Feelings towards vets have changed significantly, as most people generally honor soldiers even as they rail against the government that sent them into harm’s way.

Maybe I’ll learn more in future letters…

 

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