Dear Mom & Dad,
Greetings once again from Vietnam. I realize that it has been a few days since I
have written but I have been quite busy. This operation is keeping us as busy as
hell. This is the first opportunity that I have had for some time to sit down and
write. The squadron trains is still at Bien Hoa and the troop is still operating
around Phou Loa. Right now I am at Bien Hoa. I have been here for about a week
now after spending week in the field. I don't know when I will be going back.
Things are kind of mixed up. One of our number has been fouling up the works.
He's been enjoying himself here at Bien Hoa too much and has not been paying
attention to his duties. He used to take off in the morning and we wouldn't see him
until the next morning. So we got T's off at him so we had not choice but to report
his conduct. One of us was elected to go out to the field and have a talk with our
You see, this guy has been selling SP packs (Sundry Packs) to the Vietnamese. SP
packs are rationed to the men in the field. They contain ten cartons of cigarettes,
candy, soap, toilette articles, writing paper etc. Each SP pack s worth about $30 on
the black market. So you can see how serious this is. I hate like hell to see
the Vietnamese get the packs when our guys in the field should be getting them. The
Army has a phrase for this sort of thing - "misappropriation of rations".
The "old man" sent word into this guy for him to get his ass on out to the
field so the old man could talk to him. The first Sargent told him he would stay out
in the field until he had learned his lesson. This was quite a blow to him.
Your see, he had no intention of going to the field. He figured he was going to stay
back here and have a good time but he screwed up so bad that he's out in the filed just
like we were.
Our cook, Johnson is out in the field now and he's due back in tomorrow. We have
to send out another cook to take his place. Who that will be, I don't know - perhaps
me, perhaps not. I have already spent 10 days of this operation in the field and I
am not crazy about going back so soon. The VC have stepped up their operations and
the troop is making more and more contact every day. When I was sent out there a
week ago things were kind of quiet but they have picked up. You see, we are acting
as a blocking force around Saigon to keep Charlie from pulling off this 3rd offensive of
Saigon. Apparently, we are doing a pretty good job of it because "Chuck"
hasn't been able to pull it off. Charlie is getting frustrated to the point where he
is concentrating on our blocking force. The night before last one of our ambush
patrols ambushed a "tank killer team" and killed all three of them. We
were lucky. If they hadn't got the "killer team" they undoubtedly would
have gotten a few of our ACAVs with their RPGs.
You can see how things are picking up. There are rumors that we may be
relieved of this operation and go a little further up North. I hope not. I
like it here at Bien Hoa.
I received your package the other day. Thanks. I'm having a hard time
keeping up with my Playboy. It's wandering all over the place here. Two nights
ago I had a chance to see a "round eyes" show
at the club - "round eyes - American". Usually they have mostly
Vietnamese bands at the club. The club is just
like a lounge in the states. They have waitresses and you can sit down to a table
and they serve you drinks while you watch the show. It's real nice.
In your last letter Dad you got the impression that I was "assigned" as a
gunner on an ACAV. You misunderstood me. When I'm in the field the only way
that I can get around is to ride on an ACAV. Consequently, 4-0 (Four Zero) track is
the one that I ride on. It only as one assigned gunner therefore I ride behind the
right M-60 machine gun when we are on the move. I was never told by anyone to do
this, I just did it to help these guys out. I an not required to pull cupola guard
either buy I volunteer to do this also in order to help out. Here, everyone helps
everyone else. These guys help me with rations and putting out the meal so I help
them whenever I can. It works out quite nicely.
Well, I'm going to sign off now. Things are going well here. Take care.
By for now!
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