Dear Mom & Dad,
I have a few moments so I thought that I would write this letter. These past two days I
have had quite a lot of leisure time. Cooking here in the field isn't all that
difficult. It's the moving from place to place that involves time and work but once
we move in to an area and set up, we can relax. It would be great if we didn't have
to move. When we move in to an area there is generally nothing there. We have
to build bunkers, make shelters and dig sumps for our trash. There is quite a lot of
work to do in setting up a mess hall in the field but now that everything is done, we can
Things are going well. The time is really flying by. In five more days I
will have been in country one month. If only the next eleven go by as fast that will
be nice. When I stop and think about it, I'm getting "short". I may
even be home sooner if they end this war. I understand that peace talks are suppose
to start tomorrow in Paris. I hope that they can agree on a settlement soon. I
hope it doesn't take two years like Korea. I estimate that a cease fire will come
sometime in September or October of this year - just before the elections. Hanoi
wants to talk peace only with Johnson. I don't think they want to take a chance with
Nixon or Kennedy or anyone but LBJ. It will be interesting to see what happens.
(editor's note: the next two paragraphs were written by me when I was 20 years
old and badly informed about world politics. I certainly do not share today my
opinions of thirty years ago. I thought about not including these paragraphs but
felt that they had a certain historical significance so - here they are.)
These guys over here are far more discusted with the war than people back home.
All they need is the word and they would be glad to lay their guns down and go home.
I haven't found a GI over here who said he was fighting for democracy or freedom or to
contain communism. These guys are fighting for one reason, to stay alive.
Someone in higher up told us to be here. The only way we can stay alive is to
fight. This is not the Vietnamese war it is the American's war.
These people over here don't give a damn about their country or who runs it. All
these people want to do is live in peace. Why is it that peace must be fought for?
It seems to me that this is ridiculous. These people have been fighting for
20 years for peace and will fight 20 more if something doesn't come of these talks.
Myself, I can't see why Hanoi would talk peace at all. For I know for a fact that
our efforts here have not hurt the enemy to the point where he can no longer sustain his
efforts. The North Vietnamese Regulars are just as strong as they have ever been and
are probably even stronger. They are getting more AK-47s (automatic rifles) and RPGs
(rocket propelled grenades) than they have ever had before. Perhaps Hanoi is finally
realizing that the war is at a stalemate and nobody can win. I don't know.
Well, it's time to go to work. I will finish this later.
It is now about 8:00 this same evening. We got word today that we are moving
tomorrow morning. We are going to Duc Hoa. How long we will be there, I don't
know. If only we could stay in one place for a couple of weeks that would be great.
We no sooner get set up and we move. I hope it is a garrison set up and not
in the field. You see, normally we set up in the filed but if there is an Army base
near by we may get to stay there. That is the only chance that we get to do our
laundry, get haircuts and showers. Don't get me wrong - field duty has it's good
points but it's nice to get back to civilization once in a while.
From what I understand, this place that we are going to move to is suppose to be
crawling with VC. We are going to relieve one of our other troops - I Troop. K
Troop got hit pretty bad the last time they were there. They got mortared two nights.
So, I don't know what to expect. So far we have been pretty lucky. We
should be going in (to base camp) soon. The monsoon is just about upon us. It
rains every day now for about an hour or so. This is really some crazy weather that
they have got here. In the high 90s during the day and in the 60s at night and the
bugs are terrible. Bugs I haven't even seen before. Everything here is against
us. It will really seem nice to get back to base camp. We are suppose to pull
30 days post security some time this summer.
Oh well, so much for this place. How about home? Your letters are very
informative. Keep me informed on local happenings. when I come home, things
won't have changed too much. Not much can change in a year. Say hello to
everyone for me. Time doesn't permit me to write everyone, even though I would like
to. Well, I think I will get this in the mail and go to bed.
By for now!
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