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May 13, 1968.  Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia

Hi Beautiful!

Excuse the stationery, but it’s for a reason.  I don’t have much time right now, but during class breaks I’ll be able to add a few lines.  And if there’s a boring class I’ll just make like I’m taking notes, but my mind will be over a thousand miles away — with you!

Well, let me tell you about my exciting weekend.  Saturday night after writing all those letters I killed some time then went to a show.  “War Wagon” with John Wayne.  Then back to the barracks.  A very interesting evening.  (Ha!)

When I got back, a couple guys and I sat around shooting the bull for quite awhile.  Just before going to bed I pulled out my tape recorder and played that Letterman tape we made.  Zap!  Everyone awake yet was around my bunk listening.  I ended up playing the whole thing through three times, both sides.  It made things kind of quiet and moody around here.  Everyone was talking about home and their girls and things like that.  I think it really made everyone homesick, myself included.  It was really neat though.

Yesterday, Sunday, three other guys and I forced ourselves out of bed as early as possible — 9:30 — and headed for Virginia Beach.  We never made it.  It was kind of a drizzly day, so we got off at Norfolk and spent the day there.  Not much going on Sunday, so we ended up going to “The Graduate.”  Mostly we just walked around and saw the town.  Grabbed a 1:30 bus and got back here at 3:00 this morning (yawn).

We have a company softball team here.  We have a game this afternoon (it’s going on right now).  I was supposed to play but the barrack needed cleaning and everyone bugged out but myself and about four others (no squad leaders), so I had to stick around and see that it got done.  What I was going to get a floor buffer I ran into Sgt. Stahl (the one from SD) who’s in charge of the team.  He asked why I wasn’t going out to play and I told him.  He said he’d make sure that didn’t happen again, so it looks like I’ll get to play after all.  It ought to be fun, and Sergeant Stahl is a hell of a nice guy.

I forgot to mention this, but while I was waiting for my plane in Chicago on the way out here, a Navy corpsmen and a girl about 20 and myself got into a conversation.  She looked so darn familiar I about went nuts trying to figure out where I’d seen her.  Yesterday I figured it out.  She looked and acted just exactly like that girl in “The Graduate.” It was really something.

In class now.  Don’t think I’m going to have too much time for writing now.  Keeping us pretty busy.  It’s all about forms and records we’ll have to keep.  As well as a mechanic you have to be a secretary too!

The last couple weeks we’re here we’ll be going up in helicopters and firing the machine guns, etc.  Now they told us these are going to be the same helicopters we work on in class.  I think it has some guys scared!

Tomorrow we’ve got a test in here.  There are some guys who are going to be hurting.

It’s eleven o’clock out here, and we’ve still got three hours of classes to look forward to.  And then bed.  That sure sounds good about now, but it would sound much better if you were there.  No, it would be nice for me to be there.  I don’t think you’d like my two inch thick mattress and a springless bunk too well.

Honey, I do wish I could be there.  You don’t know how much I miss you and how much I love you.  The more I hear guys talk about their girls the happier I am that we have a relationship that’s as perfect as it is.  I love you!

One more hour now.  I’m getting so I see these damn forms with my eyes closed.

Greetings — it’s Tuesday night now and I’m back at it again.  We are on a break now so I thought I’d write this sweet kid I know back home.  Guess who that is?  I’m sure you can’t figure that one out.

Sorry about the pencil but I lost my pen.

All our “free time” today was spent being fitted for our summer dress greens.  It’s so stupid — we’ll wear them for graduation and that’s all probably.  They usually turn them in before going to Nam, so I won’t have them very long.

Today two of the biggest duds in our platoon got promoted to Pfc.  They were National Guard for five years, so that time counts for them.  Whoops, got to go back to work, more later.

Okay, I’m back.  You know something, honey?  I have the feeling this is going to be an awful long eleven weeks.  Less than two weeks ago I was with you, but now it seems like months ago.  Yet time seems to be going pretty fast so far as this place is concerned.  In other words, time is pulling me both ways, and that’s a bad deal.

I just counted — 74 days left.  Remind me not to do that again for a long time.  Right now, 74 days seems like forever.

Okay, it’s Wednesday.  If you haven’t gotten any letters for a couple of days you know why.  Sorry.

I got a letter from mom today.  She mentioned going down to the farm and taking you along.  Hope you had a good time — she thought you did.  She also said Brenda had a ball at the horse show, and thought it was real nice of you and Sue to take Brenda along.

Mom also said that she and dad think we should get the rings through my uncle.  It would be a lot cheaper, or we could get a lot more expensive set for the price we’re paying for this set.  I agree that would be smart, but since we’ve already got some down on this set, I hate to take it back.  So I think we’ll just leave things the way they are.

Honey, I’ve got a big problem — what to get you for graduation.  Give me a hint, huh?  Just an idea or two of what you’d like and could use.  I’ve done a lot of looking around but just haven’t been able to find anything appropriate.  And time’s running out.  Help!

I’m going to close this out now so I can get it sent tonight.  Three days on one letter is enough.  I love you honey, remember that —

Love you much,

Jeff

PS.  Did you or mom tell my grandparents about our rings?

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Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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