Your package arrived safely and intact. The cookies were enjoyed by all, even the Vietnamese. The other item was an even bigger hit. I was offered everything but discharge papers in trade.
It will probably be impossible to get the pistol out of Viet Nam. I’ll try, but I doubt if I can do it. I don’t mind subjecting you to the loss of your pistol since I think that is preferable to subjecting you to the loss of me.
(My grandfather kept a tiny .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol in his nightstand for years. When he died in 1967 or so, his pistol wound up with my mother and, since I had an interest in guns, I fired it several times before joining the Marines in July 1969. This is the pistol she mailed me, hidden in a box of cookies.)
I had my first big contact with the NVA and V.C. last night. We caught 60 NVA in the open last night and called in artillery on them. We didn’t get any return fire.
Later we saw 15 V.C. nearby and clobbered them with M-79 grenades and machine gun fire. Still no return fire.
Later yet we were fired on by a machine gun which missed everybody. We returned fire with a 60mm mortar.
(This sounds weird. I don’t remember CAP 2 ever having a mortar, though it may have been firing from the “ARVN compound” at the Thanh Quit Bridge. It also sounds weird that we ran into two large groups of enemy soldiers that didn’t fight back. I’m not sure what was going on here.)
We didn’t find any bodies this morning but we saw a villager hauling five coffins down a road that leads to a V.C. infested area so we think we scored.
I have information from a reliable source that the CAP program will be turned over to the Army by May. If that happens I’ll probably be stationed on Okinawa or Korea. My source (indirectly and unofficially), is a U.S. Senator.
(The leader of CAP 2 at this time was a Sgt. Burd or Byrd, who claimed some kind of distant relationship with U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Sgt. Burd was a major bullshit artist and probably the source of this misinformation.)
I’ve been slightly sick the last couple of days but I feel a lot better now. I alternated my activities last night between being our machine gunner’s assistant and puking on the ground.
I got myself all washed up from a well this morning. It’s really nice to feel clean.
I’m going to get some sleep now.
Don’t worry about me.