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April 14, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam


Dear Rita,

I’m sorry that it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written. I haven’t really been working too hard, but I haven’t had the time either. Last night I had perimeter guard so I figured I’d write a nice long one this morning. Only I was so tired that I slept all morning (we get a half day off after perimeter guard now). Just woke up a few minutes ago and must eat chow before long. Then back to work.

It’s turned quite warmer out here — 90° yesterday and feels warmer today. Up till now it’s been pretty nice, just comfortable.

Did I tell you I heard about Sioux Falls floods on the radio over here? Yeah, I guess I did, didn’t I? Hope it’s not as bad as it sounded.

I’ve been expecting a recording one of these days. Sure hope there is one on the way. Of course I keep forgetting it hasn’t been that long since you got back from California. Oh yeah, Clay says he doesn’t love you anymore for being there when he wasn’t. I don’t think he means it though.

Back again — it’s 4:00 now but we knocked off early. Now we just have to make it a point not to be seen for an hour or so. Then I’m going down and get a cold beer. Sure could use one now.

You wouldn’t believe the tan I’ve got already. I bet you’ve never seen me this dark. In fact I know it, cause I haven’t been this dark for several years. And my hair is bleaching out — you won’t recognize me when we get to Hawaii.

In case I haven’t told you already, I will take R&R in Hawaii if I can get it, and you will fly out there. Only bad thing is that it will probably take you out of school for a week or so, but it would be worth it to both of us I’m sure.

You know, I became lonely as hell for you this morning. I was trying to go to sleep after coming off guard when I started thinking of you. I must have laid awake for a couple of hours — I miss you so much honey! And I love you even more — more than I can ever tell you. But I’ll try when we can be together again.

It’s almost 8 o’clock now. When I went to eat chow at six the thermometer at the mess hall read 100°. I’d like to know what it was earlier in the afternoon. Afterwards I showered and put on some civilian clothes for a change. Then Clay and I went and had a couple beers. He says he still loves you so not to feel bad.

Clay will be leaving the unit in a couple of weeks, or did I tell you? I think I’ll be leaving too, either this month or next. I sure hope so. I’ll hate to leave all the guys I know, but this unit is so screwed up that everyone is praying that they’ll be infused. And there will be a few guys I know going with me, so it won’t be too bad — it could be worse.

I think I’ll close now and do some reading. I’m still working on Atlas Shrugged it is really a cool book. Should be able to finish it in a week or so.

I love you Rita, and think of you constantly. Remember that always.

Your Love is My Life,



Inspired by my father, I recently attempted to do the same thing and read the classic, the revered, and the entirely too long Atlas Shrugged.  After the 278 pages of what was truly a good book, I thought it should have ended there, but we all know it didn’t.  No, this doorstop went on for another 800 pages so I put it down.  The time/reward ratio was just too high, too much time for a point I had fully grasped by page 278.

I’ll wait for the movie.


April 11, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.


Hi Wife!

Really don’t have much to say, but I was thinking of you so I thought I’d write a few lines. Didn’t have to work tonight for a change so it’s still early. Just finished my shower and really feel good. A couple of beers helped too.

The beer came from a new club. Just open tonight — in fact the whole thing was put up today. It’s a tent with benches made out of ammo boxes, but it’s not bad for around here. The beer is even halfway cold, not that anyone would mind if it wasn’t. It’s got a bar in one corner with the record player and TV.  Pictures from magazines like Playboy are pasted up all around to give it some atmosphere. It may not sound like much, but it’s sure welcome to us.

I suppose I should tell you that Clay’s ship crashed yesterday. He’s fine, as is everyone else on board except for one sprained back. They had a tail rotor failure and went down on the beach in soft sand. It had been anywhere else they would have been killed. They totaled out the ship completely so we’re down to 10 ships now. Less work for us maintenance people.

Got a letter from you last night. From the sound of it you were probably back home a couple days ago. Must have found quite a bit of mail from me, huh? Sure hope it all got there.

I heard about floods in Soo Foo* on the radio today (yes, we do get a couple of stations run by the Army). How are things around Brookings? Hope they’re not too bad, but I bet there’s a lot of water there, right?

Best close now and do some washing. The laundry service here is so slow and so lousy we just do our own. It gets cleaner that way too.

Sure wish I could be there with you honey. I’m thinking of you more and more all the time. And I pray that this year will pass swiftly and safely for both of us. I love you with all my heart.

Your Husband,



*Sioux Falls

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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