Sorry communication is so rare but I haven’t had much time.
I just took my boots off for the first time in three days. My jungle boots are really comfortable otherwise I’d go crazy. I’ve been riding shotgun on convoys during the day and standing guard at night.
(This sounds exaggerated. It seems pretty unlikely that I would have had to wear my boots for three days, especially working as an extra body at 2nd CAG HQ in Hoi An. Maybe I was just too scared to take them off, expecting Charlie to hit our wire at any second?)
The night I wrote my first letter to you, somebody sneaked up to our wire and threw a grenade at my hootch. It landed about 30 feet from where I was sleeping (trying anyway) and scared the holy hell out of me. Somebody yelled V.C. and I dove off of my cot and started hunting my boots. It took me more than five minutes to find everything, get it on, and get outside. By that time the excitement had died down and we all went back to sleep. Nobody was hurt.
(I remember there was an explosion, but I doubt this was a VC attack. More likely somebody on guard duty was bored and had an extra frag. You’ll note I had my boots off when THIS happened.)
Riding shotgun is really fun. The countryside is beautiful and many of the people are friendly. All of the trucks go at full speed to avoid ambushes and command detonated mines. It’s fun bouncing along, waving at the boy-sans and girl-sans, and mama-sans. There’s not many men around and those that are, are very old or in uniform.
I haven’t been shot at yet and I’m beginning to think this war isn’t as hairy as it’s chalked up to be. I see all kinds of Army choppers and I keep wondering if John is on one. How’s he doing.
I just got off of guard duty. Time is 10:30 P.M. I stood tower watch with a guy from Nebraska. When I started laying out ammo and grenades for ready use he hastily informed me that the chances of attack were close to non-existant. He was puffing some pot while I sucked on a Hershey bar and we talked for four hours. Hard liquor cannot be obtained by Marines under the rank of E-6 (S/Sgt). Many guys use this as an excuse to smoke pot which is as available as ordinary tobacco.
I had a hell of a day today so I think I’ll quit.
P.S. I had a chance to get a camera + tape recorder but I’ve recently learned that all CAG personnel must live on what they can carry in a pack. Clothing takes most of the room and is very heavy. Anyway they would quickly be smashed or soaked.r