Dear Mom & Dad,
I haven't written for several days now so I thought I must take time out to write.
We have been busy as hell these past few days. Instead of cooking two meals a
day we are cooking three. We have been in this same location now for almost two
weeks and we are not due to leave until Saturday the 25th. After that, I don't know
where we will be - perhaps back to Blackhorse. I sure hope so. Cooking three
meals a day in the field is hell. You no sooner get cleaned up from one meal and you
start right in on another. It makes for a long day and by the time we get through
supper I'm so pooped that I go right to bed. I hope this is only temporary and we
get back to two meals a day. When we get back to Blackhorse we will feed three meals
but we will work shift. One day on, one day off. In the field everybody works
As far as the war is going things around us have quieted down considerably. Since
we have been here at this location I don't think the troop has made contact. The
night before last though, I got pretty worried. Down below up a platoon of 101st
Airborne made contact with about 50 VC and a couple of dud illumination flares landed
about 10 feet from me. These flares are shot up by mortars and come down on
parachutes and light the sky. The duds don't light and come right back down.
They sound just like a mortar round when they come in and when I heard the thud only 10
feet away, I thought it was all over. At first I thought it was a delayed mortar or
perhaps a dud that could go off at any moment. I thing that that was the most scared
I have been yet.
All in all we took about seven dud flares in our perimeter that night. I heard
our CO call the 101st Airborne's platoon on the radio to tell them to shift their
direction of aim that we were taking hits with their dud flares. If one hit a person
they probably wouldn't kill you but would make you quite sore. They weigh about 3
pounds. Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around here.
I understand that the peace talks aren't going so well. I didn't think they
would. I don't possible see how peace can come to this country. Even if Hanoi
does agree to peace, there are a lot of VC in the South that operate independently from
Hanoi and will probably disregard Hanoi's peace decision. These are the people that
will keep this war going. As long as their remains one man out there who has the
"ass" at Americans and as long as he has a gun and ammunition and can us it,
this war will continue. Look how long some Japs fought the war after the Armistice.
It will be worse here. This has always been a warring nation and always will
I think the only way to stop the killing is to bomb Hanoi and Haiphong and then invade
the North with ground forces. That's the only way to settle this war but that will
never happen. I do not wish to predict what the future of this country will be.
(editor's note: the next paragraph is redacted)
I got Dick's letter the day before yesterday but he didn't put his address in Derry on
it. He sounds as if he is pretty happy. I wrote Steve the other day after
getting his letter so I'm pretty well caught up on my letter writing. I heard from
my buddy Saathoff in Germany the other day. Things are still the same there. I
will have to drop him another letter. Things here are going well, though. It
could be better but could be a lot worse. So, until I write again, say hello to
everyone for me.
By for now!
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