K Troop 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

The Blackhorse In Vietnam 1966 - 1972

hosted by Bob Hersey


Photo On My Stationery

Friday, April 26, 1968
7:00 PM

Dear Mom & Dad,

Well, this is my first letter from the field (if you can call it that). We are located at the 1st Infantry Division base camp.  Of course the troop is out in the "boondocks" but the mess section is set up in the mess hall of B Company, 1st Infantry Div. (Phu Loi).  Actually, this place is much better than Blackhorse.  Oh, let me explain about what I mean by Blackhorse.

Blackhorse is our Base Camp.  So when I refer to Blackhorse in my future letters you will know what I am talking about.  Right now we are located about 50 miles from Blackhorse.  The guys in the mess section are real nice guys.  My Mess Sargent is a colored fellow.  He seems like a pretty nice guy. 

I flew from Blackhorse to here by cargo plane earlier this morning.  From the airport I caught a truck over here.  We sleep right in the mess hall which makes it convenient.  Tomorrow, I start cooking.  I really like it here.  For once in my life I really feel that I am doing something important.  I wouldn't want to be any place else in the world (except of course - home).  But if I must do my time, here is where I will do it.  The duty here is good and it's nice and safe.  The hard part is packing up and moving to a new location.  Just like the circus but as long as there is hot chow, a roof over my head and cold showers, I won't complain.   If anyone is looking for adventure, this is the place to find it.  I guess this is what my life needed, a change of pace.  I think I can put up with it for a year.  Even though there is a lot of hardship and inconvenience it's well worth it.

Even though my job is one of non-combat, I feel that I am doing my share.  I am real satisfied with what I am doing.  There are good times as well as the bad.   The good times are only amplified by the situation.  It's not often you get a chance to laugh in the face of battle but when you do, it's a good laugh.

Right now I am penning this letter while listening to my Sony (cassette tape recorder) and sipping a coke.  Slow Gin Fizzes are hard to come by over here.  It's a far cry from Germany but I am much happier here and time will go by much faster.  the morale here is much higher among the troops than it was in Germany.  These guys over here are doing a damn good job and don't let anybody tell you different.

This is a hard war to fight and these guys are doing the best that they can.  The enemy is everywhere and he wears many faces.  It's not easy to tell the enemy from a friend.  I don't see how this war can be fought any better than it is.  Many times you don't even see the enemy.  You know he's there and you fire into the woods or bushes and hope you get him.  How you can fight an enemy you can't even see is beyond me.  I haven't seen him yet but I know he's there. 

Tonight, the evening is quiet and peaceful.  One wouldn't even know there was a war going on.  The stillness is almost deafening.  It's quite different than what I expected.  An occasional gun firing in the distant night is the only sound of war I have heard.  Perhaps a helicopter or two flying overhead in search of the enemy now and then.

The coolness of the night is the final reward after the intense heat of the noon sun.   You burn up in the sun in the day and freeze at night.  Actually, it's not cold but after 100 degree temperatures in the day the 70 degree temperature at night is cold.  One can not spend too much time in the sun.  The heat takes more toll that Charlie's bullets.  One must know how to take care of one's self in this type of climate or he suffers the consequences.  So far, I have been lucky.  No heat disorders or not rashes.  they say when you first get over here you break out in all kinds of rashes.  One thing you don't do over here is wear underwear.  So my laundry bill is cut in half.  These jungle cloths are really cool and comfortable.

Well, how is everything on the home front - keeping the faith?  I haven't gotten a letter from you yet.  The mail is pretty slow here.  Being in the field slows the mail down too.  Be sure and give my regards to everyone for me.  I can't write to everyone so say hello for me.  Well, I think that I will sign off now.

By for now.


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