Cu-Chi, Saturday, May l0, 9:30 pm:

 

How  calm the  night  is when thoughts  of you come drifting among the  soft  evening breezes.  How  refreshing the  coolness  of  the  memories that clean the night air of daily hardships and restore the hope  of  better  times  to one's  mind.  May  the harshness of your life be softened by the knowledge that this someone loves you more  deeply  than the  ends of the Universe and more faithfully than Romeo was to his bride, Juliet.  May your prayers always include  your true  love  far away in a foreign land, against his will and better judgment.

We (the 9th Chemical Detachment and me)  just  finished a  bar-b-que, T-bone steak party in honor of several men who were awarded air medals, etc.  It was nice to eat  a  decent meal  again,  but tomorrow there's another party for the 1st sergeant who's leaving to go to another unit  in  the  field (by request).  I'm  just trying to think of some of the things I meant to write in my last letter.

Oh yes, your picture of your picture was  professional quality,  in fact I at first thought you had it made up from the negative until I  noticed the  corner was  cut  off  a little  but  still  unbelievably fantastic.  Of course, it's no more than I expected from my 1st  class  wife who hides her  talents  because  she's  afraid of  making  a  fool of herself but never does.

They have glassware here at the PX so when I  get  some money,  I'll  send you some and if you don't like it you can break every glass just for fun.

I haven't any money to send you  right  now  because  I spent  it  all  today  on you, but I'll save up and send you some soon.  I'm glad you  paid  some  tithing  for  me.  It seems  our ESP is still working because I wrote you to, just a day or two before I got your letter telling me  you  did. You're wonderful.'

I  got  another  scribbled note from Marlene telling me what happened in the temple.  That Larry must have  been in rare  form that  day.  I  do hope they're happy.  The mail order PX sent me notice that their china would be sent  late this  month  because they were out of stock for the present. So they ought to get it in June  sometime.  I  hope  they're still married by then - knowing Larry.

The  25th Inf. Div. continues to tear up Charlie around here although we won't get  anywhere  near  the 2,000 body count for last month.

I  just  finished  rereading your last four letters to get an idea of what to answer.  I'm glad Nikki  is  better but I know she was in competent hands.

You know, Janet, you are the classic example of beauty in the natural woman.  Your grace, charm, and love mature more and more each  year  and make you more desirable to your husband.  How else can I  say  it baby except  - you’re groovy!

Well  time  to  say goodnight for another day.  I still love you so  don't  give  up hope.  Keep working on  that bikini  figure and tan and send more pics.  I have two rolls in the shop.

 

Cu-Chi, Sunday, May 11, 7:45 pm:

 

It's Sunday again and my afternoon to relax a  little. I  didn't  finish  cutting hair until almost one o'clock and barely made it to Sacrament at  two.  After  church  I  went swimming with  the  fellows next door and when we got back, the 1st Sgts party was  going on  so  I  went  and had a bar-b-qued  steak  and some potatoe salad and washed it down with Ginger ale.  Two nights  in a  row  of  good  chow  is enough to spoil a man and make him think he was home again.

 

Pixley  called  today  about  the early out and just to chat.  So I'm sending you a copy  of  the Army  Regulations covering  the  early  out  that  might help you  in your endeavors.  Reading the Regs cleared  up a  lot  of  things that I had only heard rumors of.

Oh yes,  heavy  rumors day in Cu-chi.  The Division is pulling out this summer starting June 15th and taking  about four  months.  Everyone who has six months in country by a certain date (probably sometime in July) will go to Hawaii, the  others  will  be  absorbed  into other  units and stay here.  I'm waiting to see what happens.

The little statue you sent is cute and tells me  a  lot about the "kid".  Well,  Dear,  I  must  go  to bed now and rest my weary bones.

I hope the enclosed pages  will help you  understand what  I need to get me out.  You might look up Gary Pixley's phone number and let him know what he has  to  do  for  Fix because  I  don't  think Fix really understands.  Gary lives in Canoga Park I think, but used to live in Reseda.

I really miss you dear and hope  I'm missed too.  All my prayers ask that we might be together again soon.

 

Cu-Chi, Monday, May 12, 9:45 pm:

 

Lots  of  action  around old Cu-chi  this week.  Last night I was rudely awakened at 2:00am by  the  unforgettable sound of  a  rocket  coming  toward me,  and sure enough I wasn't dreaming.  It hit about 50 feet from me near a  ditch and  showered my hootch with  rocks.  It was only a 107mm rocket so it didn't do much damage except  to things  quite near  (like  the next hootch which looks like Swiss cheese). I immediately dee dee maued to the bunker in case he had a big brother behind him somewhere.  It was sure louder than my alarm clock.  There were a few others that came  floating down  onto Cu-chi  during  the course of the next two hours and then I  went  back  to  my  dreaming of you.  I'm not telling you this to scare you but only because I don't keep any secrets from you.  So don't worry,  I'm  scared  enough for both of us.

I  heard  a  nasty  rumor  tonight that Mrs. Dixon (the prophetess that predicted Kennedy's  death)  has  said that the  13th  of May will be the biggest, bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War here at Cu-chi and that Cu-chi will  change hands  several  times  during  the course of the battle.  So with that to ponder I await the dawn of  the  13th  just  to see  if  she's  right.  We here  at Cu-chi think it will be closer to Uncle  Ho's  (Ho Chi Minh)  birthday  on Monday next.  Time will  tell.  Last years Tet was supposed to end it all too, but the 25th is still here and even meaner  than last year.  So keep  saying your prayers but don't worry about me, I'm coming home in 128 days.

Otherwise, it really was hot here today and I was  busy all  day  and still tired from last night so the day dragged on slow.

Oh yes, my precious, that letter from Glendale  College is  perfect  but  if you  can  get one from Pierce, all the better.  Just so the date to register  isn't  earlier  than Sept.  16th because you  can register for me as far as I'm concerned but the Army doesn't see  it  that way.  So  I'll turn  in this letter from Glendale so I get my early out and then I can change to Pierce later if I can.

Your poem was beautiful, Dearest, I thought you had copied  it  out  of  a book until I read your letter.  You amaze me all the time!

 

 

I have to get a little sleep before the 2:00 am rocket barrage  so  I'll  close  this  off  for  now and write more tomorrow night because I keep forgetting the  things  I  was going to tell you.  This  evening  they had a live combo and singer over at the MPs club so I wandered over for a while.  It was  nice just  to  see  a woman dressed like one instead of in sloppy black PJs.

I guess I'm going to have to take more  time  to write letters because I owe so many.

 

Cu-Chi, Tuesday, May 13, 10:30 pm:

 

I'm  still here believe it or not.  I didn't sleep too good last night and would you  believe  nothing happened. But  it  all  came  out best because I felt good all day.  I guess maybe I was getting too much sleep.

Tonight is supposed to be  doomsday  at  Cu-chi  says Jeane  Dixon  but I (Hal just killed another cockroach.  The 7th tonight) don't worry too much  about  it.  In  fact,  I plan to sleep very good tonight for a change.

Hal  Just  got  two more, that's nine!  It rained this afternoon so I guess they're all coming up where  it's  dry. I hate them, they fly around and land on me and uugghh!

I  was  going  to make a tape tonight but it's too late so I'll do it tomorrow night.  I  just  got  back  from the movie  "The Graduate" and it's even funnier the second time around.

The bugs are taking over  tonight.  They  are  massing for  an attack  on  my body.  I'll have to defend myself in the dark I guess.

I guess $500 just doesn't buy  much  anymore when you get  right down to it.  And to think you didn't even buy any groceries with any of  it.  Well  anyway,  I  just  couldn't resist  squashing  another  cockroach  and right after I did still another one attacked me but  I  got him too.  That's 11.

Anyway,  as  I  was  about  to say, you'll get one more check for $330 plus whatever  I  can  scrape together here this  month and starting the check on the 1st of July you'll get $500 instead of $130.60 or  $330  plus whatever  I  can scrape up.

The people  don't have the house leased till November as far as I know, but if they do,  we'll  get  an apartment for  a  couple of months if they won't move.  Either that or buy your two story that you want.

If I don't get home in time to register, in case  I  do get  out  in Sept., I'm going to try and get all my classes on two days a week or early mornings whichever I can swing.

 

Cu-Chi, Thursday, May 15, 10:00 pm:

 

Half  a month gone, getting short.  The clerks started to work on my early out today so it won't be long before

know for sure how short I am.

A  newsy  day  today.  I don't know if I told you about the Captain that came in yesterday and  got  mad because  I was  cutting the hair of someone not in the company, causing him to wait a while.  So he  grabbed his  hat  and  stomped down to the orderly room and complained to the 1st Sgt who immediately called me and chewed me out  for  cutting these guys'  hair  (they were  from 1st Cav).  So I told him they were friends of mine and expected that  to  be  the  end of it.     But  this morning the CO called me in and chewed me out for doing it and when he finished the 1st sgt tried to  chew me  out but I didn't really care about him so all he did was get  mad.  (He  didn't  like  my  attitude he  said,  so  I answered "fine" which really blew his mind.)

 

 

Anyway,  I  came  back  to the barbershop and guess who was  waiting  for  a haircut,  the  tattletale  Captainl  I wanted  to mess  up his  hair but I knew I'd really be in trouble so I cut his hair.  When he was done he went to tip me  and  I  (wanting  to  get even) said "keep your money, I don't want it!", with as much smugness  as  I  could muster without  showing  any  disrespect.  At  that he  bolted and being a big Negro said "What's the matter with my  money?" I  again repeated that I didn't want it (and if he'd left it I would have thrown it in the mud outside)  and he  really got mad and stomped out of the barbershop.

Well  I  taught him a  lesson, nobody messes with the barber.  However,  the  CO  came  by  this  evening  and we chatted  and  straightened things  out.  But  the  crybaby Captain was hurt so I got my revenge.  Jake wins againl

Now back to more pleasant news.  We got rocketed again early  last  night but they all landed on the other side of Cu-chi.  But being the screwed up place it is,  we went  on "Red"  alert which  means we get dressed in battle gear and sit in the trenches around the company area in case  Charlie breaks  through the wire.  Well, we didn't get attacked so I came back and went to bed or rather slept  on  top with my clothes and boots on.  I slept good anyway.

More   fireworks  tonight probably  since  Uncle  Ho's birthday is getting closer.  So I'm going to sleep  now  and hope to get a couple of hours rest before the big attack.

Enclosed  are  a  couple of clippings out of the Tropic Lightning news.  The l07mm rockets are what keep  sneaking in  on  us  at  night  and General Williamson is one of my customers here.

 

Cu-Chi, Friday, May 16, evening:

 

The end of Cu-chi was postponed three days due  to  bad weather  so it's to take place tonight.  The briefing to the wheels say that there are 200-300 rocket sights  surrounding this place with  everything  from  107mm to 240mm rockets. Now, that 240 is bad news so I'm not going  to hesitate  in dee  dee  mauing to the bunker tonight.   I procured 15 more ammo magazines today, so I have 20 now which ought  to  last me  a  few minutes if I ever need them.  I hope I never will but I'm still ready for anything.

Back to happier  things.  I  weighed myself  after  my shower  tonight,  208#,  so  it's going away very slowly and maybe it'll stay away this time.

Mike Hyre is a fantastic  singer,  in  fact he  toured Europe with  the  Mitchell Boys Choir back a few years ago. That's why I had him in my quartet when we were  performing around Sunland/Tujunga.  Joe  McKeon,   Mike Hyre,  Gary Gudmundson, and myself were very big as  "The Listeners  4" in the  Stake Quartet Contest and Elks-a-poppin at the High School Aud.  It was really a lot of fun but we had to  give it up because of lack of engagements.

I  guess  our ESP has broken down again.  I wanted you to send me a pair of little scissors that I used to  cut  my toenails  with  instead of  regular  clippers for toenails. And the combs were fine except that the teeth are still  too fine  and  close  together on the small end.  The one I have that I like so much is a Mister Barber  "Sociate"  #689.  If you  can  get  one  or two fine, if not I won't need anymore combs for a while.

The cockroaches are attacking again so I have  to  stop every  few  seconds  to fight them off.  They've been joined by the mosquitoes so it's a tougher battle all around.

Whatever happened  to  Svetlana's   cards? Whatever happened  to that  next  tape? Whatever happened  to that popcorn and crunchy peanut  butter,  but  no  Ritz  crackers (they have  them at  the PX now)?  Whatever happened to me that I had to leave you for so long?

Cu-Chi, Sunday, May 18, 5:30 pm:

 

A star has fallen from heaven, or  so  it  seems.  I've really had a rough week here at the barbershop and it looks to get even rougher before it's through.

Sorry that you didn't get a letter yesterday  but  just as  I  was getting ready to write one the "weasel" (1st Sgt) called and sent me to the bunker line  because  they  needed another NCO.  It happened to be pouring rain at the time so I wasn't very enthusiastic about  the whole  thing,  but  I went.  It  stopped raining for me just before I got there so I didn't get wet like the others but  the whole place was flooded  and muddy.  The  frogs  were  so noisy that it was impossible to hear the millions of mosquitoes trying to  land on  me  and take a bite.  In one word it was miserable!!!  I drew the first watch till midnight but  the  mosquitoes kept me  from sleeping the  rest  of  the  night anyway.  I was really beat this morning, my eyes burned and my head  ached, but  I got the morning off to catch up on my sleep.  By 9:00 am it was so hot I couldn't sleep anymore so I'm still  dead tired.

Then to top  it  off,  the  Chief  of  Staff wanted a haircut today.  So I opened up after lunch to cut his  hair and he  threatened me with  field duty  because I wasn't working enough and that I supposedly sneered at someone who didn't  tip  me.  Well  the Chief of Staff doesn't make idle threats so I'm worried today  besides  being  tired,  which adds  up  to  great  depression.  I went and talked to my CO and I'll stay open an extra hour a day but I don't think  it will  solve anything anyway.  It's just been a miserable day altogether.

If I wasn't 121 days short I don't think I  would care about  anything.  But  coming home to you in Sept. keeps me going from day to day.  I'm so tired right now I can hardly see but every time I try to sleep my body won't relax.

I'll write  more  tomorrow,  Dear,  when  I'm  feeling better.  Don't worry,  everything will  turn  out OK.  The Lord hasn't failed us yet.

 

Later, 10:00 pm:

 

I  just  got  back from talking with Captain Ray Bills, the LDS group leader and I feel  much  better  now,  not  so depressed.

I'm  still  scared but not depressed anyway.  The whole base camp is on alert and we have to sleep with  our  clothes on  tonight.  Tomorrow  is  Uncle  Ho's  birthday  and a big attack is expected to celebrate it.

So I'll quit now and get some  much  needed  sleep  and write you tomorrow my precious.

(Editors  note:  The  barber was usually exempt from bunker guard duty because the men pulling  guard  duty were  given the  next  morning off to rest.  Since the barbershop wasn't supposed to close except Sunday afternoons, the  barber was left  alone.  When  called  for guard duty, I knew that the Chief of Staff was due for a haircut and made sure that  the 1st  Sgt promised  me  the  next morning off.  After I came back from the bunker line, I knew they would look for  me  at my  shop so I went next door to the 9th Chem. Det. and tried to get some sleep.  I heard my phone ringing off  the hook and one  of the guys came in and told me the 1st Sgt was in a panic looking for me.  I stayed  in  bed until  noon and then went  to  lunch.  The  1st Sgt started screaming at me for not being in my hootch when he tried to find me,  so  I reminded him of giving me the morning off.   The final act was that  the  Chief  of  Staff had been  calling  for  an appointment  all  morning  and then climbed all over the 1st Sgt for letting me pull guard duty.  I never did guard  duty again during my tour in Vietnam.)

 

 

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