Nov 10, 1969
Dear Cheri,

How are you? Hope everything is fine. I haven’t written for a few days, thought I better write you. We’re now at FSB Deb. It’s about 10 miles north of Marge. The road beyond here (North) hasn’t been used much for about two years. So, we’re waiting for the line troops to get it secure before we move any farther north. Not much new, otherwise. It’s the same as at Marge, except we start all over again filling sandbags. Once we get everything sandbagged, we’ll move on.

I jumped off my track the other day and sprained my ankle. I didn’t worry about it at the time. About a day later I took a shower and when I went to put my boots back on, I couldn’t get the left one on. I went to the Doc and he wrapped it and told me to stay in bed for a day. So, I got today off. It’s ok now.

Today some CIDG’s (Civilian Irregular Defense Groups) made contact. They called F100 fighters in with napalm. I sat here and watched them. It was pretty cool. I’d give anything to be a fighter pilot.

Hope all is well at home. Be good. I am fine.  Will write when I’m more ambitious.



Nov. 11, 2019
Dear Dave,

I’ve been reading the letters you’re posting from 50 years ago. I find it to be the perfect description of life in a war zone. One minute a guy is being cut in half by a helicopter, the next you’re having camera problems. Such an insane time. I have no idea how you did it.

Today is Veterans Day, a day for people to get in front of me at the sub shop because they have the day off; a day for picnics and relaxation. This is the first Veterans Day in a long time that I actually thought about veterans.

I was running today, thinking about you. Thinking about how you would go from guarding the coke machine in camp to driving into what must have been terrifying countryside. Such an emotional roller coaster, never knowing what the next day would bring, if you would live or die. It’s so easy for someone like me, who has never experienced anything scarier than my wife waking up and finding we’re out of coffee, to forget.

I know the war will never be over for you. You will always be fighting health issues and nightmares and the memories of an uncertain time in our history.

I just wanted, on Veterans Day 2019, to say thanks for your sacrifice 50 years ago. Heroes are where you find them. Sometimes amid a pile of sandbags in a hostile country. Sometimes on a farm with a view of Mount Rainier.

Hope all is well at home.



About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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