Letters tell of Vietnam War experience 50 years ago

Friday, July 27, 2018
by Richard Strobel

May 11, 1968

Dear Mom and Dad,

I was beginning to wonder what was happening to my mail because I got a letter about a week ago, but none since. I have found out that since we moved from Bearcat our mail takes a week to get to us, as before only four days. Two days ago I got a letter from you, Bruce, postmarked May 3, and then last night I received a letter from you, Mom, postmarked May 1. Also since we are away from Bearcat, we still use the old APO number, but mail only comes out every two days.

Did my $190 ever get home? I really made a mistake because I had $50 I was going to send home when I got paid, but we were paid in the field and my other money is at Bearcat, so I never did get to send it home. From what I have heard, the position I hold is a Private First Class slot, so it will be hard for me to make rank very fast if I keep my same job. I would like to make E-4 or E-5, but I will have to get into something else which is pretty well sewed up. Maybe I should just try to do as little as I can and get out as fast as I can.

As I told you in another letter, we set up south of Saigon, but now we are supposed to move closer to Saigon. I believe this will be out permanent base camp. It is so strange because no one knows anything until it happens.

Do you remember the watch I was wearing with the cracked crystal? I broke the crystal and I donít know where to have it fixed, so when I get to a post office once I will mail it home because I want to see how much trouble I have to go through to get a package home. I found a machete which I would like to send home. I better sign off now because we will soon have to move out.

Love Richard