Got both your letters today. I wish you would rush that gun, I’ll be in the field about ten days from now. It would make me feel a lot better to have it.
Hoi An was mortared last night but I don’t think anyone was killed. We’re expecting an attack here tonight (the CAP School compound at My Khe) but I’m not counting on it. We’ve had two patrols fired at in the last week. I was on Bravo Patrol when Alpha Patrol was fired at about 300m away. Nobody was hurt.
I have a patrol tonight. Bravo patrol again. Four hours less sleep unfortunately. I passed our first language test with a score of 80%, not bad.
Remember Marcia Mandrell, the blonde girl who stayed at the Elk Mtn. Lodge when we were there? She’s been writing to me regularly. Fast work, huh? Really she’s nice; writes long letters.
My best buddy since Staging Bn. is Mike Turner from Hamilton, Montana. He’s invited me to go elk hunting with him when we get out of the Green Machine. He’s always rapping to me about the beauties of Montana so I think I’ll go.
I’m the one who talked him into flying his wife to San Diego our last weekend in the States. I guess he had a good time because he wore a dumb grin all the way back to Camp Pendleton on the bus. That’s the weekend Terry & Paul Gleim told me they were planning to elope. I bought them a poster to decorate their apt.
It gets hotter every day here so I guess it’ll be pretty hellish around summertime.
I went to Mass this morning where the priest wore jungle boots. I’ve been trying to send some jungle boots and a pair of utilities home to wear hunting when I get discharged but it’s nearly impossible to get to a post office, or anything else for that matter.
I wish I could call home but I haven’t seen a phone since I got in-country. John must really be skating.
(John Dietrich was a family friend and Army helicopter pilot who was in Vietnam the same time I was there, mostly in III Corps and IV Corps.)
It turns out that Army Medevac choppers are much preferred to Marine Medevacs. The Marine Corps naturally places more value on an expensive toy like a chopper than on any human life. Consequently a Marine Medevac pilot may not land to pick up a casualty until the landing zone (LZ) is sufficiently secured from enemy fire to preclude any chance of his being struck by anything nasty like a bullet.
Often a Medevac may arrive above the LZ as little as ten minutes after the s–t hits the fan. More often than not, though, he will wait ten minutes to an hour before he lands. Not only do people occasionally die, but choppers have been known to come home with holes in them made by American weapons.
Army pilots are younger (hence less cautious) and not restricted to landing in peaceful spots. They lose more choppers and pilots but they gain some respect and admiration. This information is strictly CONFIDENTIAL. Do not think that the Green Machine will change this situation or even admit that the situation exists. Just because you write to your Congressman. If queried officially I will deny ever having made the above statement for reasons of my own. End message. I just thought I’d give you some local color.
(My mother had a habit of writing or calling her Congressman if I told her about something she considered wrong or unfair. At least once her Congressman forwarded her complaint all the way down the chain of command to 2nd CAG. I was called before the XO for a stern warning to be careful what I wrote in my letters home.)
P.S. Rush that PISTOL
Don’t forget the ammo!