(Editor's note: This letter is not dated. The envelope does not contain a
postmark. I've roughly placed this letter to be dated sometime in September or
October of 1968. It is placed here in this sequence and given the artificial date of
September 1, 1968)
Dear Mom & Dad,
Greetings once again from Vietnam. This letter finds me in the "boondocks". I got here yesterday and will
stay for about four or five days. The troop is still on the same mission that they
have been on for quite some time. It's a very interesting mission. I wish I
could tell you more of what we are doing but I can't. I can tell you that in about
five days our mission will be changed and we will move into Saigon. No doubt you have heard talk that the 3rd
Phase of the enemy offensive which started in January is under way. As before, the
11th Cav will once again play an important role in keeping Charlie out of Saigon. We
have fought Charlie here in the outskirts of the city and now it's time to move into the
city and make the final stand there.
Your son is a very important fellow. It's not everyone that has the opportunity
to shake the hand of Col. George S. Patton.
Yesterday, Col. Patton made an inspection of his line troopers and paid a visit to K
Troop. My commanding officer, Capt. Longhouser, introduced him to me. Col.
Patton stayed for chow and was quite impressed with the food. Today he will be back
again for they are having a change-of-command ceremony
here. Our old CO Capt. Longhouser's tour of
duty is up and he is being replaced by another captain who's name I don't seem to know.
So things are really happening around here.
Everybody seems pretty happy about going to Saigon. My own personal feeling is
this. If I have to fight Charlie, I would rather fight him in Saigon than out here
in the middle of nowhere. At least in Saigon, one can get an occasional break from
the routine now and then. So, everyone seems pretty glad to get out of the boonies
and back to civilization.
So far, the war is going good. We haven't had too many people shot up lately.
The last guys that we lost were on Two-Zero Track
(2-0) when it rolled over a mine about a week and a half ago. Three guys were
"dusted off" (medically evacuated by helicopter). The TC (track commander)
will never walk again and the driver, a good buddy of mine, is in Japan recuperating
from his wounds. Only one crewman came out of the whole mess without a scratch.
He was damned lucky. Other than that, for the last week we haven't had too
much enemy contact.
Last night the perimeter opened up on a trip flare and scared the hell out of me.
I thought that my shit was really out of order. You see, whenever a trip
flare goes off, the guys on perimeter guard think that it's Charlie and open up with their
guns. Half of the time a rabbit or dog that trips the flares and the other half of
the time the wind trips them.
Well, resupply is coming in now and I must go feed chow. I will write again soon.
By for now!
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