Dear Mom & Dad,
I received both of your letters of April 23rd. It took about 6 days to reach me.
It was so good to here from you. I'm glad to here that you both are well.
Stay that way. Of course I miss you both and think of you every day.
In your letter Dad, you said that you would send me some tapes and I could make some
tapes here and send them to you. I could use some blank tapes anyway. About
three or four. If you should decide to buy a cassette recorder, I would be more than
happy to make a tape or two. Perhaps you could rent a recorder somewhere. You
may not want to buy one. Don't feel that you have to buy one on the account of me.
It would, of course, be nice to hear your voice. I'll tell you what I would
like to hear. I would like to hear some stateside TV or radio programs like the
Smothers brothers and WBZ radio. I could send you some sound effects for any silent
war movies that you might get.
You asked Dad if we had a PX here. Here, yes. In the field, no.
However, we do have SP (Sundry Packages) packages which are packages with about 5 cartons
of cigarettes, candy, gum, soap razor blades etc. Sort of a PX in a box.
Well, today Dick (my cousin) should have started work. I hope he makes out OK
with his job. You also asked if I get the "Stars & Stripes" newspaper
here. Yes, so don't bother sending the "Portsmouth Herald". I get
the latest news.
Well Ma, now to get to your letter. You asked me what I meant when I said this
place is dirty. It's so dry during the dry season that all the dust is stirred up.
I was eating in the mess hall last week and a truck drove by and turned my mashed
potatoes brown. But now we no longer have the dust. We have mud. The
monsoon is upon us. It rains more here in one day than it does in New Hampshire all
About that guy from Kingston, New Hampshire. He he's not a cook and I don't know
where he is now. We split up in Long Binh. I don't think I told you but I met
Wayne Vetter at the 90th Replacement Battalion in Long Binh. I was surprised as hell
to see him. He left the States the day before I did. I got picked as a server
in the mess hall for breakfast that morning and he came through the chow line. I
don't know where he went from there. I sure would like to get his address. If
you could, I would like to get his address. I think his father was a cop. If
you could contact his father and get his address, I sure would appreciate it. I
might not be too far from him.
About that tape you found. I purposely left it home because there is not box for
it. About the drinking. It's not cold and it tastes like pee. Other than
that, it's fine. Actually, as a cook, I have it pretty good. We have ice so I
can get a cool glass of water and it keeps our beer cold. I don't eat "C"
rations because there is plenty to eat and most times there's a roof over my head so I
have it a lot better than the majority of people here.
Thanks for Steve's (my cousin) address. I will write him tonight. The night
before last, we had it pretty bad. About 11:00 PM they got us out of bed to go man a
sandbag bunker. They were expecting a ground attack by Charlie. We stayed in
the bunker from 11:00 to 5:00 in the morning. Charlie didn't attack on the ground
but he dropped a few mortar rounds in. I don't mind telling you I was scared but the
mortar fire ended and we went back to bed. I might have killed my first man that
night. We put our a lot of automatic weapons fire. Because of the darkness no
one knows how many we got. The body count the next morning was only a few but all is
You must keep in mind now that I am not at base camp (Blackhorse). We are still
in the field and are holed up at the 1st Infantry Div. base camp at Phu Loi. We
should be going back to Blackhorse soon. I hope so. Although the day after I
left to come to the field Blackhorse took three rocket rounds. I don't know exactly
where. I hope that they didn't get the mess hall. I would hate to go back
there and have to cook outside. There's a lot of shit going OUT of here tonight.
A lot of 105 and 155 mm artillery rounds. It makes me nervous but not quite
as nervous when they come in. This is a pretty lively place, here. I will be
glad when we get out of here and back to Blackhorse.
I caught me a little cold in that damn bunker. It had rained that day and all the
sandbags turned to mud bags. Well, I think that I will sign off now. I have to
get up at 5:00 tomorrow morning and help with breakfast. The other cooks are real
great guys. We've got a real good Mess Sargent. I am most happy with what I am
By for now!
PS: Say hello to everyone for me. Also, on your letters, it would speed your
letters to me if you would put "cook" on it and HQ Platoon like:
Sp/4 Robert Hersey
K Trp. 3/11 ACR
APO S.F. 96257
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