Letters tell of Vietnam War experience 50 years ago

Friday, August 24, 2018

June 7, 1968

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well Iím finally getting around to sending that money of mine home. One officer went back to Bearcat with the intentions of buying us money orders, but he didnít have the time, so I thought I would have to carry it with me until next payday. However, a truck came out today selling money orders and checks so I was able to buy a $70 order.

As I told you in my last letter, yesterday, we were just sitting on dikes waiting for the choppers so at 5:30 p.m. we were finally lifted out and landed about 15 miles further south in a wet rice paddy. We walked several hundred meters and set up for the night. The mosquitoes were so bad that the spray didnít even help. That night, they brought us hamburgers, beans, cucumbers, cake, apples, white and chocolate milk, ice cream, pop and beer, and there was plenty left over that had to be thrown away. A hot meal like that is really worth a lot to me. This morning, we picked up again and landed at an old base camp. It is now 2 p.m. and we should be here the rest of the day and tonight so we really havenít done a thing today. There is a small stream nearby, so this morning I washed my cloths and cleaned up a little.

A pack of American cigarettes cost $.70 over here, and we get all these things in supply at night, so I trade them for pop, pineapples, and they even sell cucumbers. Now if they just had radishes or lettuce, I would feel more at home with that food. Most of these kinds like the American soldiers and are willing to stand up for them.

Battalion headquarters just sent out 20 cases of beer and five cases of pop as a little treat to us, so we really donít have it too bad except when we have to tread through the muddy rice paddy with all our gear. Our regulations have been loosened much as we donít have to carry entrenching tools, gas masks, and a lot of the equipment they made us carry in basic and ALT.

Well thatís about all the news I know for now, hope this letter gets to you OK. Goodbye for now.

With all my love, Richard