Dear Mom & Dad,
Greeting once again from Vietnam. I am writing this letter hoping it finds you
well and in good health. Mail-call was good to me today. Three letters from
you and one from aunt Ede. You can't possible know what it means to me to get mail
from you. Your letters are now coming regularly. They were postmarked the
25th, 29th and 30th (April 1968). I know that my mail to you takes less time than
your mail to me.
I am still in the field and I don't know when we will return to base camp. We are
somewhere near Cu Chi. You might see that on the map. The mess hall is set up
in the squadron "trains" area. We are away from the fighting. As of
yet we have never been hit while in the trains. I am truly thankful that I am not in
a line platoon.
Dad, you said that you have never heard anything of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
on television. Well, believe me, these guys are doing their share. What you
hear on the news and what's really going on are two different things. Although we in
the trains have yet to see action, it's going on all around us but I am not too worried
about it, though.
Boy, the sun over here is terrific. I have already got quite a tan. When I
get home I will put Cliffy to shame. When I get back to Florida I will look like a
lifetime resident. You asked Dad in your letter if I was cooking or baking.
Yes, a little of both - mostly cooking but today I have to make biscuits. I
don't mid it at all. It's a lot of fun. You also asked if I get a chance to
play my tape recorder. Yes, very often. I would be lost without it. You
also said that you have located the 11 ACR on your map - Xuan Loc (pronounced: swan lock)
is only about 2 miles from Blackhorse. So I guess you know just where we are located
but right now we are quite a way from there.
As I say, we move around quite a lot. Sometimes as often as once a day. We
have moved everyday for the last three days. that is why I haven't been able to
write. So if you don't get a letter for a few days don't worry. We are just
moving around and time does not permit me to write. We put in a full day here and
sometimes a full night, too. If I' not working I'm sleeping and vice-versa.
Now, in regards to you writing me. It doesn't make any difference if you put S.F.
or San Francisco, California on your letters. The post office knows that all APOs
beginning with 96 are for Vietnam. Now, about your return address. As I said
before, leave it off. However, for packages you can put your return address on them.
There are no regulations here governing this however, they do advise us to have our
family refrain from putting the return address on them. The reason is if your
letters should be lost either by the mail officer here or by me and it falls in the
enemy's hands, they could use it to write you letters and cause you much discomfort.
there have been cases where letters have fallen into the enemy's hands and the VC
have written the family or friends of GIs here telling them that their son or husband has
been captured or killed by them. this is just one of many psychological weapons that
Charlie uses in this war.
Ma, you asked about my clothing. I had three sets of underwear (green) issued to
me and two pair of jungle boots which are rubber and canvas. They are quite cool and
comfortable. You also said that you sent candy bars along with your package.
That was a mistake. If they won't melt at 150 degrees then they are all right
because that's just how hot they will get if they are left in the sun somewhere.
Please do not send anything edible over here including Kool Aid. You must
remember that I am not in a line platoon. We have cold cokes and soda here in the
mess truck. Food is something that I can do without. It's too hot to eat
anything sweat like candy bars.
The mess hall supplies all these men here with a beverage base just like Cool Aid for
their drinking water. The water here is so bad something must be added to it to kill
the bad taste. Sometimes we run out of water for several hours. We only have
one water trailer and when that runs out they have to go for some more. We have a
portable shower which is no more than a canvas bag which holds about 5 gallons of water.
It works out quite nice.
In the field we have to do our own laundry. This is truly a "hardship
tour". Living conditions are just about bearable. Things could be a lot
better but then again they could be worse. The work is hard and often times goes
un-rewarded. We are truly the unsung heroes of this war. In my mind, anyone
and everyone who is here is a hero regardless of what his job is. This is a hell of
a place to fight a war. Many times things get so frustrating I would just like to
sit down and have a good cry but I am not feeling sorry for myself. I wouldn't have
things any other way.
Well, give my regards to the "world".
By for now!
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