Dear Mom & Dad,
I just received your letter Dad of May 2nd so you can see that it takes about a week
for me to get your letters. That's pretty good service when you consider that I am
on the other side of the world and out in the "boon docks". Things are
just about the same here, however we are in a different location than yesterday. I
don't know where - some place out in the jungle. It's about 98 degrees today.
It rained quite hard last night but now the sun is shinning bright. It's hard to
stay out in the sun for very long. I drink quite a lot of water. No matter how
bad the water gets I won't give it up.
The area where we are now was once a village but all that remains are a few
foundations, some wells and an intricate system of tunnels, presumably dug by the VC.
Some are as deep as 30 feet and run for as long as 100 yards but now they serve
only as trash and garbage dumps and latrines.
We have a unit of the 25th Infantry Division with us here. Two days ago this was
the scene of a fairly large battle. They were just removing the VC bodies when we
pulled in yesterday afternoon. We have had Charlie on the run everywhere we go.
We've been beating the snot out of him. It's comical as hell.
Four days ago we were in Saigon. We moved into the Phu Tho Race Track in
Saigon (horses) and set up in the infield and used the track as our perimeter. It's
the first time I had ever gone to the bathroom in the middle of a race track. We
moved in to take it away from Charlie but when we got there, Charlie was gone. The
day after we left, Charlie tried to take it back but he was forced to retreat.
Charlie has been all around us but we have been unable to make any contact with a sizable
unit. Just snipers and harassment like a few mortar rounds etc. but nothing close to
The most beautiful time is at night. I stay up sometimes as late as 11:00 to
watch the fire works display - the flares off in the distance. The red tracers from
50 caliber machinegun fire and an occasional incendiary bomb dropped by a jet on old
Charlie. The whole sky is lit up from sunset to sunrise. It's difficult to
sleep nights. The heat doesn't bother us. It's the 155 howitzer artillery guns
which are only a stones throw from me that keep us awake.
I shouldn't complain. Some of these guys here can't even get as much as an hour
sleep at night. I generally get anywhere from seven to nine hours sleep a night.
As soon as we get cleaned up from the supper meal we are free (so to speak) to go
to bed. Breakfast is most often at 6:30 in the morning meaning we get up at 5:00 AM.
About the only thing to do besides work is sleep. I have spent about $1.50 in
the last two weeks and that was on a case of Coke. In the field we have no use for
money. I have been offered as high as $3.00 for a can of Coke and refused it.
A can of Coke is more precious than gold and with over a hundred dollars in my pocket,
what is three more going to buy me that I can't get with a hundred.
We often times get ice to chill our meat and milk but more times than not it winds up
in the tonic cooler. Ice is worshipped here like a god. I believe that these
guys would do anything for ice. Right now as I look out to my left front I can see
two Air Force jets dropping what appears to be 1000 pound bombs on a village about a half
mile from my position. After the jets get through then the helicopter gun-ships will
come in and clean up. Now they are using rockets on the positions. The whole
village is in flames. They must have hit a fuel dump. Those jets are cool as
You know, this war is quite interesting. I always wondered what war was like.
Now I know - it's horrible, yet beautiful, noisy but sometimes quiet, frustrating
but sometimes rewarding. War has many faces, not all good but not all bad.
Words can't express my emotions. You must wait until I return home to get the full
story - the true impact of what's going on here. There is so much to tell you but it
is too difficult to write. I will sign off now for I must help get supper
ready. Today I am on mashed potatoes and lima beans.
By for now!
PS: Happy Birthday, Ma! I'm sorry I couldn't have sent a present but here
there are no presents but I did not forget.
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