A NEW PROFESSION

 

 

 

Well  I do believe your prayers have been answered.  So keep it up!

Yesterday when  I   arrived  here   I   was   really disappointed and felt bad that I couldn't be with Pix but I was going to ask for a transfer as soon as  I  got  assigned and  my  story  about  my  "half  brother" was down pat.  I hadn't been here an hour yet when they called me  over the PA and said to report to personnel at -Div. Headquarters.  I thought I was really going to get in trouble  or  something because  it  caught me  unprepared.  When I got there I was taken to some  Sgt,  a Major,  and  then a  Sgt-Major  and interviewed.

I  guess  I  passed because after I get through with in country training (5 days) I report to Div. HQ  and work  as an operations  NCO  with all the big wheels.  That consists of answering the phone and taking casualty reports from the men in the  field.  The  office is air-conditioned and the atmosphere casual.  So don't worry about your #1 because he probably won't  see much  action (even though he wants to) for his stay here.  Too bad!

Later... I guess I'll finish  this  now  so you won't worry  about me.  I'm  safe, sound and cooling it.  Oh yes, my new job is 12 hours on and 12 hours off,  like  the  fire business  only half as long.  I think I can swing two R and R's now  that  I'm with  the wheels,  so keep your  eyes crossed.

I  love  you  so much I even worry that you're worried about me.  But my little pet have no  fears  about  the big Jake,  he's OK.  Why, just to show you - at this very minute I'm sitting here in the shade listening to the  25th Div. Band play while  the  little  Red Cross  girls serve iced Kool-aid.  No Lie!

War IS hell!  But being Mormon I  went  somewhere  else because  this  sure  don't  seem like war, even though the machine guns, grenades and flares were going all  night.  It almost woke me up once.

 

Cu-Chi Base Camp, Thursday (March 13) 3:00pm

 

Wait  one!  This  here fast moving Army has changed its mind. (If it has one)  I will now go to the  1st Battalion, 5th Mechanized  Infantry.  They  called me in today to tell me the bad news.  It seems that some  Sgt  E-5  out  in the field has  been wounded three or so times, so they're going to give the job to him instead, since it was such a plush job.

Too bad for the big Jake!  But don't worry  about me. I  can still  take  care of myself.  It just disappoints me that I told you in the last letter that I  had a  permanent address  here.  I  guess they'll forward the mail to me, but this moving around slows up your letters to me.

It's hot here.  If you  can picture  summer all year around without  an air conditioner, that's it - only worse. It seems the only thing I buy here  is  iced  Kool-aid and even then I only buy the ice it seems.

I'm  forcing myself to sit here and write otherwise I'd be asleep or just laying here on my cot thinking  about you and  staring  at  the  ceiling.  Any  other activity causes great streams of sweat to pour from my body.

 

 

I'm temporarily staying here in a hootch" which  is  a tin   roofed   shack with  screened  in  sides.  It's  held together with a few nails and  2X4s.  Each  guy has  closed off  a  little section to himself,  like horse stalls.  It's not much but it's better than nothing.  Each hootch has  a "Hootch  girl"  that is the housekeeper.  She comes in every morning and makes the bed,  does  the  laundry,  shines  the boots and jokes with the guys in broken English.

.....I  was  just having  a  talk with three mama-sans (hootch girls)  but  they  are  so  funny with  their half English  that  it's  hard  to  get anything across.  Most of them understand slang and cuss words  better  than anything else.  Anything  "Numba One" is OK, but anything "Numba ten" is really bad.  I just had a homesickness  spell!  They're really bad news.

Everyday here  is  like hell to me and I haven't done anything except be here yet.  Keep praying  so  I  can  come home in one piece.

Now  I  can put  in a transfer request to go with Pix after all.  As soon as I get where I'm supposed to  go  that

is.  This place is worse than Fort Irwin!

Oh yes,  there's $340 on the way home for March.  They paid me early.  May is the last month of my  $115  deduction and then your  check  ought to jump from $330 (that's what you'll get in April) to $450 around June or July.  Can you live on that?"

 

Cu-Chi, Friday, March 14th, l0:30pm

 

Well   sweetheart   I  imagine  that  by  now you  are thoroughly confused about where I am.  As a matter  of  fact so am I.  I've  been playing musical Sgts for the past few days.  Yesterday I was in Operations G-3 at  Div.  HQ,  then this  morning I was moved to A Company, 1st Batt. , - 5th Mech. Inf., but having mentioned that I was a barber I was  yanked back here  to be the Division HQ barber.  I don't know if I can hack being a barber for nine months or even one day  but I'll  find out  tomorrow - my first day.  The Generals and all the big shots are the only customers  so you're  either good  or  out.  I  hope  I  make it.  The previous barber is leaving in 13 days and he was a professional so  I  have  to fake  it real hard.  But remember that I'm trying my best to stay away from where the bullets are, for all of our sakes.

Today I had a trial run and cut the  clerks hair.  It seemed  strange  at  first but came back pretty good.  Then after dinner I helped the old barber count his  money  (the barber may  get  tips) then I took a shower and went to the show.  A Walt Disney show  "The Original  Family  Band"  or some  such  nonsense.  Then I went over to the MARS station (Military Assistance Radio Station) to try and call you but they  didn't have  radio contact yet.  So I settled for the next best thing - writing you a letter.

You may send me mail here at this address from here  on until I tell you otherwise.

 

Sgt. Jon Jacobsmeyer

NG 28294504

H.H.C.      25th Inf. Div.

APO San Francisco 96225

 

            I'm waiting  for my  first  letter which I hope comes soon.

In a way the good Lord is still taking care of his  #1 son.  This  job pays  more money and has shorter hours than the last but I had  to  give  up the  air  conditioner  for a while.

 

I  just broke  out the fruitcake and passed it around the hootch.  The  guys were having  a  can  of  beer  and listening to a Johnny Rivers tape.

While  I  was  at  the movie the perimeter got hit over here by our company.  There were a lot  of  flares  and air strikes  but  nobody here even gave it a second thought but me.  I thought it was groovy.  I still don't have  a  rifle so  if  the VC walked in right now I'd just have to watch. It doesn't seem too likely, but  two weeks  ago  the  gooks slipped  up on two bunkers where the guys had gone to sleep on guard and slit their throats.  Then they  blew  up nine big  Chinook  copters in each of which there was supposed to be an awake guard, but wasn't.  The gooks were  inside  the camp  walking  around   from  12:30  am until  they were discovered about 4:00 am.  Fourteen guys were killed,  which included  six  in the  bunkers and the rest in the copters. There were 31 VC killed during the raid - of which  I  have seen pictures.  Uugh!  Sure  glad I'm a barber and sleep in my private hootch.  We haven't even been mortared  since got here so I haven't seen anything of this war yet.

They  sure scared me, though, when they sent me to that Mech. Inf. unit.  That's the same as  at  Fort  Lewis,  hot, dusty  and miserable.  This  is definitely where it's at as far as the action goes.

However, good rumors from Div. HQ.  This Div. might be going back  to Hawaii this summer for good and everyone in it goes too!  So keep your eyes  crossed.  That  rumor  came from the top down so it ought to be pretty good.

Tomorrow? Maybe a Fireman!?"

 

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