Search this Topic:
Mar 28 14 3:01 AM
Mar 28 14 3:02 AM
Mar 28 14 3:03 AM
Mar 28 14 3:05 AM
Mar 28 14 3:12 AM
Mar 28 14 3:15 AM
Mar 28 14 3:17 AM
Mar 28 14 3:20 AM
Mar 28 14 3:23 AM
Mar 29 14 8:35 AM
Mar 29 14 8:36 AM
Mar 29 14 8:51 AM
Mar 29 14 9:28 AM
Hello my dear sister.
Boy. I sure feel close to you. Since your last letter, I almost feel as if you are my sister. It’s good to have someone to tell your troubles to. I can’t tell them to my parents or Darlene because they worry too much, but I tell you truthfully I doubt if I’ll come out of this alive.
In my original squad I’m the only one left unharmed. In my platoon there’s only 13 of us. It seems every day another young guy 18 or 19 years old like myself is killed in action. Please help me, Mad. I don’t know if I should stop writing my parents and Darlene or what.
I’m going on an operation next month where there is nothing but VC and VC sympathizers. The area is also very heavily mined. All of us are scared cause we know a lot of us son’t make it. I would like to hear what you have to say about it, Madeline, before I make any decision.
Oh, and one more favor. I’d like the truth now. Has Darlene been faithful to me? I know she’s been dating guys, but does she still love me best? Thanks for understanding. See ya if it’s God’s will. I have to make it out of Vietnam thought, cause I’m lucky. I hope. Ha ha.
Miss ya, Love, Ray
PFC Raymond C. Griffiths went to Vietnam just after Christmas in 1965 and was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He wrote this letter to Madeline Velasco, a friend from high school in San Francisco, California, in June 1966. He was killed a few weeks later, on the Fourth of July, He was 19 years old.
Mar 29 14 9:29 AM
Dear Mom and Dad, doting father-to-be, Peach and Fuzzy:
As I suppose you can see by my new stationery, this is not my normal letter, While walking down the road one day, in the merry, merry month of September, my squad got into a heluva fray, and lost (momentarily) one member.
I am all right, I am all right, I am all right, etc.
A carbine round hit me where it would do the most good, right in the butt, the left buttock to be exact exiting from the upper thigh. It hit no bones, blood vessels, nerves, or anything else of importance except my pride. It was, however, a little bit closer to my pecker than was comfortable. But that is as good as ever, although it is now going through a year’s hibernation.
I am writing this letter in the hospital less than one hour after I got hit, so please don’t worry – the time you get this letter and can answer it, I will probably be back on my hill.
Please, now I am all right, The only thing that bothers me is the "indignity" of it, as Jose would say and Dad would feel, and disappointment that the wound ain’t serious enough to warrant taking me out on the Repose where it is air-conditioned and there are nurses.
P.S. I am all right!!
2Lt. Marion Lee Kempner, platoon leader, Co. M, 3rd Bn., 7th Reg., 1st Mar. Div., recovered from these wounds. Two months later, he was killed by shrapnel from a mine explosion new Tien Phu.
Mar 29 14 9:32 AM
Hi! How are you? I hope all is well at home. Everything is OK here. It is now about 4:30 p.m. and it is as hot as hell outside. I am sitting in the squad bunker that we just put the finishing touches on this afternoon. It is nice and cool inside.
We arrived at Qui Nhon the morning of the 19th and took a truck convoy up to Duc Pho the following morning. It was a 4 ½ -hour ride. Snipers shot at us all the way up….
Last night was my first in this bunker on the perimeter. There aren’t much VC in the area besides a few snipers which fire at us every night. They never hit anybody – lousy shots. They shot the hell out of a bunker last night with a machine gun. Nobody got hurt, though.
As I look out from my bunker there is about 250 feet of bush and tall grass. It slopes down, as we are on a hill. Then there is a river only about 80 feet wide, and after that rice paddies for a mile. After that you can see the Central Highlands, which is booming all the time. It’s safe in the daytime. We stand out in the open or work on the bunker. We can run up and down the hill with no worries. But at night we got to stay in the bunkers as snipers sneak in. They usually shoot from the other side of the river. Last night, while [it was] my turn on watch, I saw one duck behind a bush on this side of the river. I shot once at him and he disappeared. He must’ve gone back to his tunnel on the other side. The first squad found the tunnel this afternoon. All the VC do around here is try to deep us from getting too much sleep. I sleep soundly when I’m not on watch anyway. I thought this crap would bother, me, but it doesn’t. He could shoot at this bunker all night for all I care.
My whole squad is in this bunker, and they are all a bunch of screwballs. Eddie is running around now with an insect bomb, cursing the bugs. The mosquitoes that come out at night are man-eaters, but the inset repellent keeps them off. I got a head bet too….
Take care and enjoy the holidays, I’ll probably be knocking out some beer on Christmas. A pleasure gravely earned.
P.S. Send some-Kool-Aid. Water here tastes like hell.
Cpl. Dennis W. Lane, from Brooklyn, New York, landed in Vietnam on December 19, 1967 with Company A, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 11th Light Infantry Brigade. His unit, a component of the Americal Division, operated along the coast in I Corps. He was killed by fragments from a mine explosion on May 21, 1968. He was 21 years old. This letter was written to his brother.
Mar 29 14 9:33 AM
Dear Uncle and Aunt,
…Some people wonder why Americans are in Vietnam. The way I see the situation, I would rather fight to stop communism in South Vietnam than in Kincaid, Humbolt Blue Mound or Kansas City, and that is just about what it would end up being. Except for the fact that by that time I would be old and gray and my children would be fighting the war. The price for victory is high when life cannot be replaced, but I think it is far better to fight and die for freedom that to live under oppression and fear.
Living in a country where communism thrives on illiterate people, I look to the may teachers I have for relatives and I know in the long run that the victory will truly be theirs – for communism cannot thrive in a society of people who know the whole truth. This war is not going to be won in a day or even a year. This war and others like it will only be won when the children when the children of the nation are educated and can grow in freedom to rule themselves. Last year alone 4,700 teachers and priests in South Vietnam were killed. This we are trying to stop – this is our objective.
Well, enough soothing my own conscience and quilt….
Your nephew, Jack
Jack S. Swender, a lance corporal form Kansas City, Kansas, was sent to Vietnam in July 1965. He was assigned to H & S Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, operating in I Corps. He was killed in action on December 18, 1965. He was 22 years old.
Mar 29 14 9:36 AM
Today is February 13, 1984. I came to this black wall again to see and touch your name, and as I do I wonder if anyone ever stops to realize that next to your name, on this black wall, is your mother’s heart. A heart broken 15 years ago today, when you lost your life in Vietnam.
And as I look at your name, William R. Stocks, I think of how many, many times I used to wonder how scared and homesick you must have been in that strange country called Vietnam. And if and how it might have changed you, for you were the most happy-go-lucky kid in the world, hardly ever sad or unhappy. And until the day I die, I will see you as you laughed at me, even when I was very mad at you, and the next thing I knew, we were laughing together.
But on this past New Year’s Day, I had my answer, I talked by phone to a friend of yours from Michigan, who spent your last Christmas and the last four months of your life with you. Jim told me how you died, for he was there and saw the helicopter crash. He told me how you had flown your quota and had not been scheduled to fly that day. How the regular pilot was unable to fly, and had been replaced by someone with less experience. How they did not know the exact cause of the crash. How it was either hit by enemy fire, or they hit a pole or something unknown. How the blades went through the chopper and hit you. How you lived about a half-hour, but were unconscious and therefore did not suffer.
He said how your jobs were like sitting ducks. They would send you men out to draw the enemy into the open and then they would send in the big guns and planes to take over. Meantime, death came to so may of you.
He told me how, after a while over there, instead of a yellow streak, the men got a mean streak down their backs. Each day the streak got bigger and the men became meaner. Everyone but you, Bill. He said how you stayed the same, happy-go-lucky guy that you were when you arrived in Vietnam. How your warmth and friendliness drew the guys to you. How your [lieutenant] gave you the nickname of "Spanky," and soon your group, Jim included, were all know as "Spanky’s gang." How when you died it made is so much harder on them for you were their moral support. And he said how you of all people should never have been the one to die.
Oh, God, how it hurts to write this. But I must face it and then put it to rest. I know that after Jim talked to me, he must have relived it all over again and suffered so. Before I hung up the phone I told Jim I loved him. Loved him for just being your close friend, and for sharing the last days of your life with you, and for being there with you when you died. How lucky you were to have him for a friend, and how lucky he was to have had you.
Later that same day I received a phone call from a mother in Billings, Montana. She had lost her daughter, her only child, a year ago. She needed someone to talk to for no one would let her talk about the tragedy. She said she had seen me on [television] on New Year’s Eve, after the Christmas letter I wrote to you and left at this memorial had drawn newspaper and television attention. She said she had been thinking about me all day, and just had to talk to me. She talked to me of her pain, and seemingly needed me to help her with it. I cried with this heartbroken mother, and after I hung up the phone, I laid my head down and cried as hard for her. Here was a mother calling me for help with her pain over the loss of her child, a grown daughter. And as I sobbed I thought, how can I help her with her pain when I have never completely been able to cope with my own?
They tell me the letters I write to you and leave here at this memorial are waking others up to the fact that there is still much pain left, after all these years, from the Vietnam War.
But this I know. I would rather to have had you for 21 years, and all the pain that goes with losing you, than never to have had you at all.
Mar 29 14 9:42 AM
Letter"Remember when we were kids on Easter the girls
would be all dressed up in new hats, pretty dresses... and us boys with new
shoes and shirts and off to church we would go and after come home to look for
our Easter baskets. What good times. I hope God will bring me back home so that
I may marry the girl I love, which will be in March if things go OK. Then I can
watch my kids get all dressed up and head for church and live that day over
again. Holidays are no different than any other day. Every day is Monday in
Vietnam."ResolutionFive days after writing this letter, Robinson
caught his foot on a trip wire, setting off a mine that killed him instantly.
Mar 29 14 9:48 AM
Mar 29 14 9:49 AM
© 2017 Yuku. All rights reserved.