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May 28, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Hi Love,

I just got off work, ate chow and was ready to relax for a while when I was informed that I have to work all night too.  The night shift is shorthanded tonight, so guess who’s the lucky one.  Piss me off!  So now I’m here skipping the formation to write you a few lines.  It’s been a couple days since the last one.

I got paid today and found that I have $208 riding the books.  Maybe more — I’m not sure of their figuring.  I’m going to check on that tomorrow (I hope).  At any rate, I should have a pretty nice pile by the time R&R rolls around.   Are you going to have enough to get to Hawaii?

Tomorrow I hope to get those pictures I’ve been promising you.  I’ll send them right away.  I’ve got another batch of slides I’m sending to the folks too.

Clay is back.  They weren’t going to let them out for a while, but last night some guys smuggled him some clothes and he came down here for a couple of hours.  The doctor found out and decided if he wanted to do that he may as well release him.  He’s on light duty for at least a week though.

Get this — our weapons have been taken away.  We have to go check them out when we need them and turn them in afterwards.  And this is Vietnam!  Several things brought this on — for one the threats directed at our first Sergeant.  For another, several guys have pulled guns on someone they were mad at.  Like the other night in a poker game a guy drew a revolver on the other players and chased them out of the hooch.  The 1st pig came running up but when he saw what was going on he turned tail and ran.  Finally the CO came and took it away from him at gunpoint.  Real cool.  That’s about the fifth or sixth incident like that since we’ve been here.  Still, it would be nice to have a weapon if Charlie comes running through here.

Enough of what’s happening here.  I’ll answer the last couple of letters I’ve received from you.  The thing you’ve been talking about most is the puppies.  Well, congrats, grandma.  Now what are you going to do with them?  Hope you don’t have any trouble giving them away.  No, I don’t mind getting a couple pictures of the pups, but it better not be before I get one of you in your négligée!

Thanks for the clippings hon.  I was really interested in the one of Petey.  She’s really a cool kid.  It sounds as if that Whip to White bit was kind of a dud.  Most have been if they couldn’t drink up 900 cases of beer.  That’s chicken feed.  Maybe it was because they didn’t have Wakeman there.  But what was the bit with Art B.?  Just something you tossed in?  I couldn’t see any reason for it, but it was funny.

When his graduation at the college?  I just realized this week that Jeannie A. will be graduating.  Since I can’t get a card I’d like to get a letter off to her if I can find time.  Don’t know if I will or not.

This is Thursday now.  I worked until 5:00 this morning, so I got the day off.  I am going to the PX today, if I can remember how to get over there.

Okay, I’m back.  I did make it to the PX and got everything I need.  In fact, I bought you a birthday present too.  I’m going to send it as soon as I find a box, since I don’t know how long it will take to get there.  But you can’t open it until your birthday.  Don’t even open the package, since I have no way to get any wrapping paper over here, okay?  Just let it sit and build up your curiosity.

Must get ready for guard duty now.  I’ll write again as soon as I can.  I love you Rita,

All My Love,


May 26, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Hi Reet

I’m sitting here on my cot being eaten alive by bugs and I ran out of bug spray.  I hope you appreciate the utter agony I’m enduring to write you this letter.  I guess it would be the same if I wasn’t writing, except then I would have both hands free to slap them.

I just got back from visiting Clay.  He’s feeling fine and wants to come back to the unit.  Of course he wouldn’t be able to do much for a while, but at least he’d feel more at home.  He’s awfully bored there.

Kim went to see the doctor today too.  He figured out he has athletes foot — on his ear.  It could only happen to Kim.  It bothers him a lot though, and seems to be spreading.  He’s been getting a lot of crap about it too.

Our battery seems to collect casualties right here at Evans, without ever going to the field.  Bill, Clay, and Kim I told you about.  Another guy had a piece of burning match fly in his eye .  Another one went to Da Nang for a day — 2 weeks ago.  He hasn’t been heard from since.  Still another split his foot open stumbling around in the dark going to the showers.  At this rate, who needs Charlie?

Things have slowed up a bit this week.  All the ships are flying and we’ve only had minor maintenance to pull.  We still have to fill sandbags in the evening, but we keep running out.  Funny thing.  It seems that three or four empty bags accidentally get shoved in every one we fill.  Can’t figure out how that happens.

I got your last package the other day, so now I’m busy munching sunflower seeds.  The fudge is real good, although a little gooey.  I put it in the refrigerator next door, so it’s better now.

I also received the pictures you sent.  Boy do they make me homesick for you and our trailer.  They really brought back the memories.  When I saw them it hit me harder than ever how much I miss you.  I love you Rita, and I want everything to be just like it was then — just the two of us in our own home again.  But it won’t even take that to make me happy.  Just as soon as you are my arms again I’ll be the happiest man in the world.

Must close now and get some sleep.  I’ll be dreaming about you honey.  I love you!



PS.  Get that picture taken of you in your négligée.  Immediately!  Take a whole roll so I won’t have to wait.

PS again — only 299 days to go!

May 25, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita —

I’m sorry about that last tape.  I hope you could understand some of it at least.  We put new batteries in now, so the next one should be okay.

I’ve got some bad news about Clay.  He’s in the hospital.  We were on guard duty last night and some sandbags gave way while he was on top of the bunker.  He fell off and landed chest first on a metal fence post and stuck there.  He pushed himself off and fell another 8 feet or so to the ground.

I was sleeping at the time, so at first I thought he had just had the wind knocked out of him.  Then the other guy up top told me about the post.  I opened his shirt and there was a good-sized hole in him just below the breastbone.  First time I ever saw the insides of a human being, and it had to be a friend of mine.

I had Wally (the guy on top) call for an ambulance while I did what I could for Clay.  After he got his breath back he wasn’t in much pain.  I didn’t let him get a look at it or tell him how bad it was, but when the Sergeant of the guard came down, he told Clay was real bad and that he was bleeding internally.  I just about shot the S.O.B.  Here I was trying to help keep him calm and all so he wouldn’t go into shock, then that idiot tells him something like that.

It took about half an hour from the time he fell until they hauled them away in an ambulance.  Most of that time was wasted by the OD (officer of the day) deciding if one was needed or not.  He wouldn’t believe us or the Sergeant and finally came down himself before he called one.  I could have shot him, too.

After church today I went to the hospital to see Clay and bring in some books, writing paper, and cigarettes.  He was sleeping, so I went back right after chow.  He was awake then and feeling pretty good.  His whole chest is one big mass of bandages and he has all sorts of tubes sticking out of his arms.  He’s not sure how many stitches it took to close him up, but they had to do some sewing inside, too.  Also he has a cracked breastbone than a couple of cracked ribs.  He’s already bored with lying around in the hospital and wants to get back here.  I know exactly how he feels, but I’m sure they’ll keep them up there for a while yet, then give him light-duty or bed rest when he does come back.

Something else — remember when he was afraid Barb was pregnant?  Well, it turns out she is.  She wasn’t going to tell him because she didn’t want to force him into marriage right now.  She planned on giving it up for adoption.  Why she decided to tell him now I don’t know.  Anyway, he’s got that to think about now, too.

Enough of that for now.  I’ll keep you posted on him though.  I still haven’t heard a thing about Bill and I’m beginning to wonder what the hell is going on.

I received a letter from you today so I’ll go on to answer that.  First I want to thank you for writing as much as you do even though I can’t keep up.  Your letters are about the only thing that makes this place bearable, and I love you for it.

Honey, you sound as if you expect me to bite your head off for getting new frames.  Nothing of the sort!  If you wear your glasses more I’m all for it.  But if you don’t wear them they’re not worth it, right.  So wear ’em, okay?  And send me pictures of the new ones on you as you can.  I’d kinda like to see what my wife looks like now.

Okay, you mentioned that darn poster several times now and keep saying you’re going to send it, then change your mind.  What’s it about and what does it say and you’d best tell me or it’ll drive me nuts.  Got that?

You asked for ideas for Brian’s* graduation.  I would suggest something he could use when he goes away to college.  Even a travel alarm like you got Dale would be good.  I don’t believe he has one, but you might check with mom to be sure.

I remember dad’s birthday on his birthday.  Real cool.  I’m going to write him a letter as a combined birthday / Father’s Day card.  They have cards at the PX but I haven’t been able to get over there for better than a month now, and it will have to be mailed tomorrow if I expect it to get there on time.  As far as gifts go on birthdays and other occasions, our family usually just sends cards.  So don’t go gift crazy over them, okay?

I’m going to have to close this now and start that letter to dad.  I’m thinking of you all the time Reet, and I love you very much.  So long for now, Mrs. Johnson!

Your Hubby,


*Jeff’s brother

May 17, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

Don’t have much time tonight but I thought I’d write a few lines anyway.  I’m kind of in a lousy mood because I’ve got KP tomorrow.  Whenever I see my name on the roster it ruins my whole week.  And I know they’re going to work our butts off because we have an I.G. inspection Monday.

The IG coming up here has all the brass in a panic.  We’ve spent the last couple days prepping for it.  Some guys are working until midnight getting everything ready.  You’d think they’d cut out all that kind of bullshit in a combat zone.

Still don’t have any word on how Bill is.  I’m hoping he’s not too bad off, but he sure was sick when he left here.

I haven’t had a chance to get over to finance yet.  Dave D. is going to try to get that extra money too, so we’ll go as soon as we can get an hour off.  When that will be I have no idea.

I’m sorry Rita, and I’m going to have to close this and go to bed — I can’t even see straight.  I’ll try to get a longer letter or a tape off you tomorrow — no, Monday.  I won’t feel like doing anything when I get off KP tomorrow.  Anyway, real soon.

I love you Reet.

Your Hubby,


May 15, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

I finally got two letters from you today after a lapse of about six days.  Lousy service.  But they were worth the wait.  Now I’ve got a lot of answering to do.  And I promise this is going to be a long one for a change.

First of all, I still think that you’re not getting all my letters.  You keep telling me to write and I keep writing and writing,.  And then you tell me to write again.  I’ve been writing just about every other day, so I don’t know what the deal is.

You asked about your package again too.  I think I told you in my last tape that I had received four of them.  So unless you sent another one I’m all caught up.  As far as the dresses you spoke of, you know I’d have to see them to be able to tell.  However, I can definitely say I like the T-shirts.  You really turn me on when you wear them.  Wish I could be there to get turned on.

No, I don’t think you’d best send any civilian clothes.  I have very little chance and no place to wear them.  Maybe before R&R, but not just now.  Thanks anyway honey.

I’d best tell you now before I forget that one of the letters I got from you had our marriage license in it.  As soon as I can I’ll get to finance and try to get the ball rolling on that extra money.

So, my wife is turning into a booze hound, huh?  Seriously, I’m glad you had a good time.  And I know all too well how depressed and lonely you can get after a few beers.  It’s happened to me many many times.  Keep on flashing that ring too.  Cut ‘em down cold.

About Dale now — I know how you feel when you say you want to be friends, and I’m all for it — as long as he realizes that’s the way it must be.  I’m glad you don’t go out alone with him.  I know that you wouldn’t do anything I wouldn’t want you to.  I believe in you, I trust you, and I love you.  Yes, it did bother me when you went out to dinner and drinking with him, even if some others were along.  But you and I have always been too honest with each other to hurt the other one if it can be helped.  I love you Rita.

Those pictures I talked about are being developed now.  They should be ready in a couple of days.  When I’ll get a chance to pick them up is another story.  I’ll send them to you as soon as I do.  I think I told you that it’s almost impossible to find print film over here.  There’s something you could send me.  It’s 126 film I used, color.  Then I could send some more your way.

You asked about those big guns on the tape.  I think I said there are 155 howitzers, but I found out they moved some 8 inch guns in and that’s what you heard.  They are out on the perimeter about 400 yards from here.  They shake our hooches whenever they fire.

No, I haven’t replaced the glass on your picture.  I can get it here, but just can’t get over to the place to get it.  But I’ll keep trying.

Okay, okay, I’m sorry about my nagging.  Won’t even mention school again.  Just let me know how you’re doing once in a while, okay?  I sure don’t want to sound like mom!  I do want to say one more thing about money though.  Now that you’re working, please try to put all you can of your allotment into the bank.  Take out for Wink’s and our pictures (if and when) of course.  And keep me posted as to how much we have in the bank, okay?  Now, I’ll try not to mention it again.

Nope, I don’t have that nickel anymore.  I lost it out on perimeter guard a week or so ago.  Piss me off!

Yeah, I wish I could’ve been there to help you take that shower.  They’re much more interesting that way.  And if you want to back me into a closet while we’re on R&R go right ahead.  I won’t fight it.  In fact, I kind of like the idea, but wouldn’t the bed be better?

I think I’ve answered just about everything in your letters, so I’ll let you know what’s happening around here.

I told you that I’m flying as a gunner now.  I really enjoy it, but the hours are awful long.  We’ve been flying in the A Shaw Valley a lot, but haven’t run into much ground fire.  A couple of medevacs got it in there this week though.

Tomorrow we have to go in there and clean a landing zone.  I don’t care for that at all, it’s too much like hard work.

We had two ships go down this week, but no one was hurt and both ships were recovered and are flying again.

The crew chief of the ship I’ve been flying on is a great guy — Danny is his name.  He was crewing the ship that went down and killed that pilot about three weeks ago.  He got a Silver Star as well as a Purple Heart out of the deal for saving the other pilots life.

Bill L. has been sick for about a week, and they finally sent them out to a hospital ship.  They didn’t know what was wrong and if they found out yet we haven’t heard.  He was pretty bad off so he may be in for a while.  I guess I forgot to tell you that he’s been gunning for a couple of weeks now.

Clay just told me to say “Hi” and tell you he loves you.  He’s not so sure you appreciate him now, since he helped me get into the flying game.  He and I are in the same hooch now since I came into flight platoon.  Before this I didn’t get to see him very often.  Our jobs kept us busy at the wrong times.

I have to hit the sack now hon.  It’s close to midnight in I had to get up early.  I guess I managed to make a fairly long letter out of this.  I wish I could do it more often.  I’ll sure try.

I love you Rita.  I think about you and us all the time, and pray for our safe reunion every night.  When the time comes when we can be together again I’ll be the happiest guy in the world.

Goodnight, Mrs. Johnson.

I love you!


PS.  Sending 8th card.  Have you received all the others?

May 13, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

An awful lot has been happening since I wrote you last — that was Saturday, I believe.  Anyway, Sunday night we got hit for the first time here at Evans.  So we spent the night sitting outside on top of our bunkers watching the show.  We had to stay on alert and in full combat gear until 2:30 the next morning.  Two cobras blew the hell out of an orphanage right outside the gate by mistake.

Then I had to get up at 4:30 to go flying.  I’m a gunner now.  I really enjoy it but it means some long hours.  The ship I’m assigned to was hot last night, meaning we had to stay in the ship ready to take off.  I got two hours of sleep — maybe.  That makes five hours for the last three days.  You’re lucky I’m writing at all tonight.

I wasn’t going to tell you about my flying at first, but I figure you’ve got a right to know.  Besides, this probably won’t last too long because we’re supposed to be getting cobras.  In fact we got two of them today.  And cobras don’t have any gunners or crew chiefs.  So don’t worry about me — I’ll be fine until then.

I haven’t been here for the last couple of days for mail call — so I don’t have any answers for you.  And I’ll try to write you every couple days it least, but it may be harder now.  But I’ll do my best.

Must go to bed now before I fall asleep writing this.  More as soon as I can find time.

I love you, Rita.



May 11, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dear Wife!

I’m going to start this now, but I’m not sure if I’ll get it finished.  I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to have to work tonight.  I worked last night until about 2:30, so I’m kind of tired.  Got off to grab a couple more hours this morning go.  That helped.

Haven’t really done much today, which surprised me.  Even sat down and played cards for a while this afternoon — no one pushed us today which was nice for a change.

Didn’t get any mail from you today or yesterday, so I figure on a couple tomorrow they seem to come in spurts of two or three at a time with a day off in between.  I seem to be getting better service than a lot of guys though.

Honey, you said in one of your last letters that you were going to spend your life making me happy and proud of you.  Rita, I don’t think you could make me any happier or prouder of you than I am now.  And I know you’ll always make me happy, just because you’re the way you are — proud, because you’re my wife.  And I know our love will always remain strong and as beautiful as it is now.  I love you Rita, with all my heart.

I was right — we have to work.  Darn!  I’m just going to send this the way it is.  I’ll try to get a longer one off tomorrow, but that’s no promise.  I’ve found it’s easier said than done.

Goodnight, Reet.



PS.  Where’s that picture of you in your negligee?!!!

May 9, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.


May 8, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

I guess it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written, and then it was a tape anyway.  Sorry about that, Reet, but I wasn’t feeling too good last night and went to bed early.

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to write tonight either.  We had to work tonight, and in the rain to boot.  And I mean to say it was really coming down.  We couldn’t get the ship up a slight hill to the hangar because of the mud, so we had to work out on the flight line.  Then, as soon as we finished, it stopped raining.  Tick me off!

I got another tape from you yesterday.  It was great to hear your voice, but I just about dropped my drawers when you said you got rid of $110 in an hour.  And you still have bills left?  Well, once you’re paid-up, please, please don’t charge anymore for a while, okay?  I don’t think I could afford it!  Just kidding, hon.  Seriously though, charging too much isn’t a good habit to get into.

Oh, say, this is the first — I’ll have to tell you about it.  I actually got a day off yesterday.  Well, a half day.  And I got to go to the beach!  Wasn’t bad at all.  It’s a real nice beach — Eagle Beach — with a beer hall, PX, and the works.  The water was warm and the clearest I’ve ever seen.  Not any surf to speak of, but what the heck.  And I got sunburned.  On my legs and feet.  Wearing boots and pants was pure hell for me today.  I hope I can get down there often enough that my legs catch up to the rest of my tan.

Oh, another thing — if you haven’t found The Fountainhead yet, don’t bother.  Kim’s sister sent it to him.  But if you have found it or do see it, you’d probably like it.  And I’ll send you Atlas Shrugged real soon because Kim got a copy of that too.

About that bit about Dale you spoke of — I’ve had some mixed emotions about that.  I think I’ll not say anything about that for now and try to get a tape off to you tomorrow.  I think it would be easier to explain how I feel on tape than in writing.  I’m glad you told me about it though, and I can’t help but hope that he doesn’t come around anymore while he’s home.

Rita, I love you.  More than anything in the world.  Remember that always.

Your Love is My Life!

Your Hubby,


May 5, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

May 3, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Hi Love!

Okay, listen close — send me one of those photostatic copies of our marriage license.  I needed it to get another 60 bucks a month out of the Army.  And that we can always use, at least I think I can get it.  Anyway, send it over, okay?

I’m sending back those pictures you sent me.  I’m keeping three of them though.  Something to remember my wife by, you know.  Not that I could ever forget her.  I’m looking for that picture you promised me of you in your négligée.  Let’s get on the ball, girl!

I’m sending another box of slides to the folks today.  I turned in some prints to be developed yesterday, but they won’t be done for a couple of weeks.  I’ll send them to you as soon as I get them.

I guess I told you on the tape that I’m working nights now.  I really like it — there aren’t so damn many people trying to tell you what to do.  Besides, we usually work from six to midnight, then get the next day off.  Kinda nice.  The only bad part is we’re working when the beer hall is open.

I’m going to close this and get it sent.  I want to write Curt this afternoon, and Dex and Bob too.  Then I may just write my wife again.  You never know.

All My Love,


May 1, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

24min 12sec

I remember dad getting malted milk balls every time we went to the movies, and somehow over the years I picked up a similar habit.  I still horde them every Easter when I get a chance.


April 29, 1969.  Da Nang, Vietnam.

Hi Beautiful!

Guess where I am now?  Back at Da Nang.  I really get around, don’t I?  I’m in the hospital down here — they still haven’t let me out.  They’ve been taking blood and x-rays and making all kinds of tests and can’t find anything wrong with me.  I don’t see why they don’t admit that I’m healthy and let me go.  One of the doctors here said he couldn’t understand why I was sent here in the first place, and neither do I.

I’m not griping though.  I like it here.  The hospital is right by the ocean, I have free run of the hospital and there are lots of good looking nurses running around.  The chow is good and it’s great to sleep on a real mattress.  They have a nice PX here too, but I don’t have any money along.  And if I don’t get back tomorrow I’ll miss payday.  War is hell.

I got your tape the other day — Sunday I guess it was.  Dave D., Gene W. and Greg T. came to the hospital and brought the recorder along so I could play it.  It was really great Reet!  I hope you’ll start sending them as fast as you can turn them out.  I also got one from the folks.  They really made my day for me.

You asked about my getting shipped out of the unit.  Well I’m not going to this month anyway.  But a good number of my friends are going.  Clay is as I’ve already told you, and so is Kim and Rich S.  Kim is the one that really hurts the worst, since he was in our hooch and we got along so well.  That place will really be dull without him.  They’ll probably be gone by the time I get back to the unit.  Kim came to the hospital the other day to say goodbye in case this happened.

I’m glad to hear you’re looking for a job, and pretty hard it sounds like.  I hope you find a good one.

Honey, about not going to summer school this summer — I’m against it all the way.  I want you to go.  Remember, that was one of the conditions of going back to North Carolina with me.  I figured something would come up like this, but you assured me over and over that you would be back in school this summer.  I will be very disappointed if you’re not.  I know it would help Steve and Gail but I’m sure they can make other arrangements.  Please go back Rita.

It’s time for me to hit the sack.  This lying around all day really gets me down.  I’ll write again real soon.

I love you Rita.  I sure wish when I went to bed at night it was with you in my arms.  I’ll dream about it anyway, like I always do —

All My Love,


April 21, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dear Rita,

One month ago today I said goodbye to you for a year.  I think that was the hardest parting I’ve ever had to make.  I had been so happy and I didn’t want to leave you.  But when I get back it’s going to be even better.  I promise.

I got two letters from you yesterday, along with the pictures you sent.  They really brought back a lot of memories.  Are these all that turned out?  Shucks!  I’m keeping the two of you though.  Clay says he’d like a copy of the one of you and me together, if you could get it.

I’m back again after a long delay.  This is Friday now, the 25th.  I haven’t had a chance to write because of duties and our regular work schedules.  Then something else came up too.  Now I don’t want you to panic out because I’m okay, but I’m in the hospital.  Guess I’ve got a slight case of malaria.  Went on sick call yesterday ’cause I felt a little dizzy, and they won’t let me go.  I feel fine now except that I caught a cold in this air-conditioned hospital.  War is hell, ain’t it?  Looks like I’ll spend a few more days here relaxing.  Only trouble is I’m bored stiff.

We lost another ship yesterday too, as well as a pilot.  The copilot was messed up pretty good too, and the crew chief was a mess of cuts and bruises.  The copilot and crew chief were lifted out by hoists from other ships, but the pilot was pinned in and by the time a ground force got there the gooks had been there first.  Some of the pilots got pretty shook up about that.

I’d best close this up and write the folks a line or two.  They’ve gone without one a lot longer than you have, so I imagine they’re wondering what is going on.  Just remember that there is no reason to worry — I’ll be fine.  I love you Rita.



PS.  Happy anniversary tomorrow!

April 19, 1969.  Camp Evans, Vietnam.

Dearest Rita,

Guess what?  I finally got your package today, as well as a letter.  I figured by now the packaged stuff would be old and stale, but not so.  The cookies were real fresh yet and real good!  They’re half gone already and I haven’t passed them around yet — and I may not!  Thanks a lot Reet, and they’re my favorite kind too.  And now I can look forward to another one too.  Keep them coming gal.

Sorry about that last tape.  I can’t remember what it was all about either so I guess you’ll never know.  I’ll try not to make the same mistake again.  Sure am looking forward to one of yours.  I was planning on making another one tonight, but I’d have to borrow one from Kim.  Since he’s out at the hangar (he’s on the night shift) and I’m sitting here in my underwear too lazy to get dressed and go out there, you’ll just have to settle for a letter.  Maybe tomorrow night.

Hey girl, I don’t want a picture of Kathy, I want some of you.  I want some of our first home.  The letter you said you were sending them in was empty.  This is the second time I mentioned this, but I want to be sure I’ll get them.

When I sent you a card in my last letter I sent a three.  Did I send you all four deuces before that or just three of them?  If I sent four of them I’ve sent one too many cards for the time I’ve been gone.  If I just sent three, then I lost one somewhere.  Let me know either way okay?

Yes, I was surprised to hear you were sorry I didn’t get crew chief.  Thanks honey.  It wouldn’t have made much difference though.  The guys who are going to be chiefs were sent back to maintenance the next day anyway.  Don’t ask me what the deal was there.

So you think I’m only going to be in the Army for three years, huh?  What if I told you I was going to go for 20?  That I decided to become a lifer?  Well, I’m not saying that, and if I ever do, get me to a hospital quick.  It’ll mean I’m delirious.

Speaking of lifers — where’s [your brother] going now?  Will he be stateside for a while or will he be going overseas again?  Bet he’s hoping on staying in the US for a while.  I know I would be (I wonder why?).

I still haven’t written Curt or Les yet.  Seems whenever I get a chance to do any writing it’s to you.  Must be because you’re the most important thing in my life.

I finished Atlas Shrugged the other day — finally.  It is one of the most outstanding books I’ve ever read.  It taught me something — it taught me to hate.  To hate incompetence, to hate people in positions of power they don’t deserve, to hate people who don’t produce to the best of their ability.  It also made a point I’ve believed in all my life — that the aim of a person’s life should be to be happy.  It made several other points along the same lines which I won’t go into.  I really thought it was great.

Honey, do you suppose I could talk you into sending me another book by the same author?  The one I want is The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.  I don’t know if you can find it in the bookstore in Brookings or not.  Or you might find it up at the college.  I would certainly appreciate it.  Decent reading material is nearly impossible to find around here.

Right now I’m listening to some tapes, and they really bring back the memories.  But it’s a lot different now than it was before we were married.  Before, I used to always think about what things might be like if we were married.  Now I know what it is like and what it will be like when I get back.  It makes me more eager for that day, but I also know that will more than make up for the time we are separated.  I love you, Rita.  And I will spend the rest of my life telling you that and proving it to you.  I love you.

All My Love,


Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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May 2021