Dear Mom,

6 Jan, Mon.

I’ve now been at B Battery since Wed & I love it. I’ve been busy as hell since I got here. The Medic before me was a real Dud. He didn’t have any of the books in order, Some of the health hazards around here had never been reported and since he knew nothing the Battalion Dr. had taken most of his Drugs away. I’ve been getting everything ship-shape and had to order about 30 items today – It’s great – I order & pick up my own stuff –

I have my own little office – The Battery Aid Station – It has an icebox desk, a couple of tables, treatment table medicines etc.

I also am in charge of inspecting the Mess Hall and my one job I don’t like – I’m in charge of the V.N. who burns all human waste. We have to burn it here – can’t bury it – Health Hazard – so just call me “NCO in charge of Shit burning” – smells like the K.C. Stock yards.

When I drove here from HQ (where I was stationed) I got to see alot of the countryside. Ofcourse had my helmut & flack jacket on and my M-16 loaded & ready – We passed through small villages, a Rubber Plantation, rice Paddies – a real cross section of V.N. – Went over a big pontoon bridge at some river. V.C. “Sappers” (Demolition Commandos) had blown the big bridge a week before.

Saw small Special Forces Camps (all underground – very small – surrounded by rows & rows of wire)

Today watched F-105’s making bombing runs only about a 1/2 mile off our perimeter. The whole place surrounded by Rubber trees & Jungle. Safe inside however. So much wire, mines & patrols. Last year at Tet they said the V.C. hit this place with 2 or 3 regiments & never got within 100 yds of the wire – Choppers & Arty cut’em to pieces.

-However – we are in the heart of V.C. Land – all the roads & country – side belong to Charlie at night. We’ve been rocketed but this place is so big they don’t come close to us. They try & hit a big Chopper Airfield on the other side of the camp.

Bad thing happened the day I left HQ – They brought a V.N. girl in slashed all over with a knife. They (V.C.) caught her, her brother, & her mother out on a road. Her father was a village chief. The V.C. killed the mother & brother, but just cut her up so she could come in & tell the story. You can’t believe these things when they happen – but you get used to it.

Had a great Xmas & New Years. Had Champagne & got loaded both nights. Glad you had the Family dinner – Sorry Verta overcome by emotions – I’m so damned safe compared to many I just can’t see anyone worrying

Glad O’Dell won’t get worse. I’m sure he’ll adapt.

Haven’t written the Bill Barnes Family yet. I feel terrible about Jeff & about not writing – Please tell Bill I will write & think of he & his family often.

Only 7 months and 7 days left – I’ll be home before you know it.

All my love


PS Ofcourse this letter is to Val also. Tell her I love her & miss her and can’t wait to get home to a good Cherry Pie.

HAPPY NEW YEAR & I’m sure it will be.

PPS I’m getting my newspaper – Thanks

PPPS K.U. got screwed!

I was wrong about my location Here’s a rough map – Maybe you can find it on the big map.

{hand drawn map of lower South Vietnam with Cu Chi relative to Bien Hoa, Long Binh and Saigon}