Letters to Home
Letters to Home
Below are letters written by Dave Glading to his wife Kathy ( and a couple to his parents) during his tour of Vietnam. 
They may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of David Glading.
21 Aug 69

Dear Kathy,

            I got out here, Pershing, yesterday. Iím with the 4.2Ē mortar platoon but Iím a forward observer for them and Iím
attached to Company  D. Company D is a straight-leg infantry company. I go out with them on patrols, etc, and call in mortar
fire if they need it. They made me an FO because itís an E-5 Sergeant slot and Iím the ranking E-4 in the platoon. So in 3 or
4 months if Iím doing good Iíll probably make Sergeant!  Iíll stay an FO anywhere from 4 to 6 months then theyíll bring me in
and make a squad leader out of me.

            Being with the infantry company Iíll be walking through the boonies hunting for Charlie. And Iíd better know what Iím
doing when I call in mortar fire. In a way Iím really scared, because I donít want to mess up! Cause if I mess up too bad I
could get somebody killed. But in a few weeks Iíll be okay. Wish me luck, okay?

1 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

             Hi honey! No mail today and we went out in the boonies for 7 hours today running around in the rice paddies. My feet
look like dried up prunes! But so far the days are going fairly fast!

            We went out on a Riff ( search and destroy) this morning at 8 am and walked, we got back at 3pm. Nothing
happened which is good!! I donít know if weíll be going out tomorrow or not. I know weíre going back out the 3rd, all day, to
search and question a village. We should be going on ďstand-downĒ (thatís when the company goes in to CuChi for 48 hrs of
rest, free beer, good bunks, etc) sometime soon, in the next few days. Then weíll be moving out to a smaller fire support
base, either ďDeeísĒ or ďLaurenceĒ. I hope Laurence cause Deeís has been getting hit by VC lately. But, thatís what Iím over
here for!!

2 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            As for my job, itís okay, I like it I guess! Donít do too much, just go out with the infantry. We went out this morning at
4am (still dark) and tromped through the brush to the village we were at yesterday. When it got light we moved through the
village gathering up all the people and checking out their houses. They got all the people together and interrogated them. We
had a couple of rounds of AK fired at us but nothing great. We figure it was one gook but he got away. We got back at 2 this
afternoon! Whew!

4 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            This morning we moved out of Pershing and now we are at Larence. Itís about 2 miles south of Pershing. And is it
ever small! Barbed wire with dirt walls and bunkers. Just big enough for one company. Some time in the next few days Iíll be
firing Delta Tangos (pre-plotted targets around Larence). I guess Iím kinda nervous. It isnít really that hard though.

            Mail will be in by chopper in a couple of hours. Hope I get a letter from you today! Iíll finish this later after mail gets
here cause maybe I got a letter from you.

            We had a Brigadier General stop in t pay us a visit. It started to rain so he got back in his chopper and left. He never
did get around to our side of the camp!
            Harry and I fixed up our ďsleeping quartersĒ and now weíre just sitting around sharpening our knives. They are gook
knives we stole from their hootches. Really cool knives! They go on an ďEagle flightĒ tomorrow. An Eagle flight is when they
travel by chopper (9 choppers) to their destination. We wonít be going because the objective is out of range for our mortars. I
havenít been in a chopper yet either.


6 Sep 69

Mom and Dad,

            Last night I fired my first fire mission with 4.2! We were fired on by an enemy recoilless rifle, about 3 rounds landed
outside the perimeter, no one was hurt! So good old Dave grabs the radio and starts calling in mortar fire where the CO
thought the gun was located. The 4.2ís arenít out here theyíre in Pershing. Well, I was nervous as hell, shaking, cause I was
afraid Iíd mess up. I didnít!! I put in the rounds, adjusted, and brought in more rounds. They landed where I wanted them too
(but it was dark and hard to see). Anyway, this morning I find out we were firing in the wrong place! Not my fault, the CO gave
me a map grid and an azimuth and thatís where I fired. The Arty FO was firing too. Itís the first time since Iíve been here that I
felt like I did something. The incoming rounds didnít scare me, I was just afraid Iíd mess up FOíing! Now I feel a little more
confident.


17 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            We just got in from a search mission. We had seven men wounded by booby traps but we destroyed a VC hospital
and captured 3 VC. Also dug up two fresh graves and found two NVA soldiers only 24-48 hrs old. Sounds gory huh? The other
day we captured about 40 hundred pound bags of rice.

Well in 2 more days Iíll be in CuChi getting a hot shower, drinking some beer, sleeping, and laying around the pool! The only
thing missing is you.

            After stand down we go back to Pershing and are on standby for 6 days, then the 27th weíre back on road security
again. Weíll be back out here at Larence around the 8th of October.


20 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well, we got in to Cu Chi yesterday afternoon. Sure feels good to relax, and be dry! Sure miss you and have been
thinking about you.

            After getting our weapons put away yesterday, we got clean clothes and new boot, and a shower. Then we had free
sodas and had a big meal at the mess hall. Then we went to the Cu Chi Hilton, right next to the pool. The Hilton is brand new,
weíre the first to use it. We got there and they have bunks with mattresses, sheets and pillows!!  Fans, a water fountain, and
even a TV in each barracks. Wow! Then the free beer stared with a big steak dinner (charcoal broiled). I had 2 steaks plus a
chicken dinner that Tom bought me. Now the beer drinking began, then we all moved out to the EM Club to see a floor show
(band and two go-go girls). We stuffed out pockets with free beer and stayed at the club until 11:30!! I was pretty high but not
drunk. But the whole company got blown out, including our LTs. I slept today until 10, then got up had a shower, got a
sandwich and came back down to the company area to get my paper and envelopes. Iím sitting in the service club now.

            Well itís raining again, but at least Iím dry! I just got back from being in the swimming pool!

            Say hi to everyone for me. We leave for Pershing tomorrow afternoon. Iíve got to go eat now, weíre having barbecued
pork chops!



22 Sep 69
8:45 pm

Hi lover,

            Well here I am writing again! But I was sitting outside smoking a cigarette, and thinking. Itís a beautiful night, moonís
out, stars, and no clouds, ya donít even need a flashlight. I had just finished reading the paper and found a poem, so Iím
sending it along.
            You know, you hear and read about all the things that go on over here, but donít really understand or believe them
until you see it. Iíve seen old men beat, woman, girls, little boy, and young men. Iíve seen dead and wounded, and Iíve seen
little children cry when their fathers are taken away. Sometimes itís necessary to save lives, but other times, mostly, itís not
necessary but sickening. With one hand you beat a man and with the other hand you offer him water and a cigarette. Is it
right? In the manner in which I was brought up I must say it is wrong. But after youíve been here, only as short a time as I
have, your ideas change. Not really change but are pushed out of your conscious mind, you must say it is right or you may
never return. I sit and see all these cut little kids, I love kids, but theyíre old for their years, theyíve seen a lot, more than most
Americans will ever see, or ever want to see. I hope I never see half of it. I wanted to come here, yes. And Iím glad I have
come because Iíll never forget, nor ever want to forget what I see. No matter how bad thins get for me when I get home I never
want to feel sorry for myself because Iím lucky, lucky to have been born in America. I think of little Qwin and how Iíd like to be
able to bring her to the states with me so she could grow up and be something besides a soda girl or prostitute! The same
with the little orphan girl I use to visit in Germany. I wish these kids could have the chance to grow up the way I did, to have a
chance to be somebody, anybody. Not to have to be afraid to go to sleep at night for fear of the VC or of artillery shells to go
to school, to have clothes, to have toys, good food, everything. I do my job and do what Iím told. I would never kill unless I had
to but if I had to I wouldnít hesitate, Iíve been trained for that. But I still have a conscience, and have values of right and wrong.
And to beat up someone, a human, just like me, who is caught up in the middle. Most of them donít really care either way,
they just want to be left alone. I feel sorry for these people and sometimes wondered we should be here at all, but I also know
if it isnít here itíll be somewhere else. So I guess it doesnít really matter. People in America are safe at home, no worries,
why should they worry about the people of Vietnam, or the communists. We are a lazy county, self-centered, money-
oriented, and literally donít give a shit about anything that doesnít present and immediate or direct danger to us. There will
never be a Utopia, nor will there ever be Peace. Not as long as people are ignorant to the facts, the simple facts.

     I sometimes think I should have been a medic, that way I feel as if I can help a little. My letters to you are my only way to
get these things off my mind. Iíll last over here without any trouble, Iím not worried although Iíll admit to anyone that Iím
scared. I sometimes wonder what God thins about the whole situation? Someday Iíll find out. But now I sound a little ďant-warĒ
and ďlonghairĒ, which Iím not. I believe in God, love my country, and love my family and my girl. But sometimes I wish that
maybe there had been a world war fought on our own shores, and in our own towns. We have no idea what war is like, itís an
experience you never forget. Maybe someday the world will change, but I doubt if Iíll ever see it. I disagree with a lot of things,
especially politics and politicians, and ďhippiesĒ and ďBlack powerĒ.


6 Sep 69

Mom and Dad,

            Last night I fired my first fire mission with 4.2! We were fired on by an enemy recoilless rifle, about 3 rounds landed
outside the perimeter, no one was hurt! So good old Dave grabs the radio and starts calling in mortar fire where the CO
thought the gun was located. The 4.2ís arenít out here theyíre in Pershing. Well, I was nervous as hell, shaking, cause I was
afraid Iíd mess up. I didnít!! I put in the rounds, adjusted, and brought in more rounds. They landed where I wanted them too
(but it was dark and hard to see). Anyway, this morning I find out we were firing in the wrong place! Not my fault, the CO gave
me a map grid and an azimuth and thatís where I fired. The Arty FO was firing too. Itís the first time since Iíve been here that I
felt like I did something. The incoming rounds didnít scare me, I was just afraid Iíd mess up FOíing! Now I feel a little more
confident.

As for my R&R, well Iím not ever certain yet. If I go itíll be around January and Tom already was wondering if I wanted to go
along with him on the ďbuddyĒ plan. Said weíd be pretty sure of going since heíd have 11 months in then. Iíd really like t go to
Hawaii too, to see you and dad and Kathy. But that would be pretty expensive for you all. Iíd really like to go to Australia
because Iím sure Iíll never get another chance.


24 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            We went to a village today, we left here at 4:30am and got back at 12:30 this afternoon. This was a real good village,
and the people were real nice. The kids were cute too, especially 3 little girls. I took a whole roll of film today. I sat all day
with this mother and her 10 day old baby, rocking it in a hammock and one of the little girls was the babyís sister. She was
cooking rice and sheís only 9 yrs old. I really felt good today. I finally decided why Iím over here. For all the kids, to help them
so they can enjoy a better life. Some of them are so cute. Iíve seen 4 already Iíd like to take home with me.


26 Sep 69

Dear Kathy,

            Up where Delta Company went on their Eagle flight, about 3-4 miles away, Alpha and Bravo Company are in big
contact. Theyíve had about 3 wounded and one killed already. Hope they donít call on Delta to go over there too. Sure glad we
didnít have to go with them today. But thatís how it goes, if I had to go I wouldnít complain.

            Tomorrow we start road security. Thatís good, itís a pretty easy and safe job. Although nothing over here is ďsafeĒ. I
think we stay on the road for about 10 days. Also rumor has it that weíll be going to Dees next.


10 Oct 69

Dear Kathy,
           Today we went on a cordon and search of a village. Same as any other dayís work. Well I also think I told you we
have a new CO (Captain) who isnít liked and is too ďgung-hoĒ. Itís hard to explain to you about him, but heís wrong in
everything he does. Weíve told him time and again that the CO and the CP group arenít suppose to be searching around and
beating the bush. Well, today, him and the two company RTOís Pete and Tom. Anyway, we had gotten the people together in
the center of the village and the two platoons were beginning to go back and search hootches. The CO and the CP group
were in the center of the village interrogating people and pulling Med cap, where we are suppose to be! So the CO, who likes
to wander, took the two RTOís who are

suppose to go with him everywhere, and started t go over to another platoon. About 200 meters away they didnít find the
platoon so he decided to go ahead and search the hedgerow! Tom was walking first and stepped on a mine. The second man
was Pete. Well, Tom will lose his one leg and Pete, well, heíll never see the states or his wife again. The CO got a broken
finger and a little shrapnel! Tom will go to Japan for awhile and then back to the states. Iíve never felt so rotten in all my life,
not have I ever felt like shooting someone. I wish the CO had been killed! It was all his fault, he shouldnít have been out there
in the first place. I knew Tom real well, and Pete and I were good friends too. They say that the hardest thing to take over here
is when one of your buddies gets it. I hate booby traps, Iíd rather have someone shooting at me. We worked over a few of the
men in the village and burnt half of it down. As if that brings Pete back! I felt sick and felt like crying, in fact t I did a little. I
took a few swings at one of the papa sans myself and burnt some hootches. But I with I could have hit the CO, just once.
Tom always lived life to the fullest, now, well I hope he still does the things heís always wanted. All of us, including Pete and
Tom, have been waiting for something like this to happen. And weíve all told him (the CO). I hope we donít get him back, he
got ďdusted offĒ, later, to Cu Chi.

            Harry is going to Alpha Company to be an FO so Iíll be getting a new RTO soon. Harry deserves it, heís humped the
radio for 3 months. Weíll be tearing down Lorence tomorrow and going in the next day.

12 Oct 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well, didnít get to write you yesterday, I was busy tearing down Lorence all day, today too. We got back at 5pm and
do I have a sunburn!

            Kathy and Riff are really cute. Theyíre getting bigger too! We took them to Lorence with us and I brought them back
today. When Harry and I got our showers tonight we shampooed the dogs too so theyíre really clean. Kathy is still skinny but
sheís twice as rough as the others!

            Last night one of the platoons blew another ambush (different platoon this time). They got 4 body count and none of
the guys were injured. Thatís really great. Theyíre getting a 2 day stand down (extra) too.

            As for those guys, well Tomís coming along real well, heís being shipped to Japan in a few days.



15 Oct 69
01:30am

Dear Kathy,
            Tonight we had 3 incoming 82mm rounds. I saw the first one hit right by a jeep that 3 of our guys were unloading. My
bunker was about 40 feet away. Harry was standing out there too and got some shrapnel in the back. They dusted all four off
to Cu

Chi. One is in critical condition. He was about 10 feet from the blast. Harry had just finished packing up his gear to get ready
to go to Bravo Company as their FO. I was the first to get to Dave, the one who got it the worst, and Iíve never felt so helpless
in all my life. He just kept saying ďwhy meĒ. All I could do was hold his hand and talk to him. He had 26 days left in country,
one other had less than a month too. And I found myself asking ďwhyĒ.

            I sometimes wish they would pull all the troops out. Although itís not the way we should make our exit, not after
losing so many guys over her. But the way we are fighting the war now we canít win. We donít own any land now except what
we occupy at any given time. Even then you arenít safe. With all the conventional power the US military has, they arenít using
5% of it. There is no reason why so many men should die. But I canít go along with the peace marches either. Thatís
because even if we arenít completely right in being here, you still have to back your men who are fighting and dying! Thereís
nobody in the US today who really cares except relatives, parents and close friends of the men who are over here. Before I
came over here I wondered if I would ever be able to kill, when you see your buddies get it, itís real easy. I know that sounds
awful but thatís how it is here. People at home have no idea what itís like!
            We had a news team here from NBC about 4 days ago, so start watching NBC news. You may not see me but youíll
see my company and some of the guys.


17 Oct 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well last night we had to pull bunker guard cause our company was the only one here and we were short on men.
We had three on my bunker, 2hr 40mins apiece, and then at 11 oíclock this morning I had to go up in the tower for 3 Ĺ hrs
cause there was no one else available. And Steve and I arenít suppose to do either of those things.

            Well you know the 4 guys that got hit with the mortar fire two nights ago? Harry and another guy left today for the
States. One had a broken hand and wrist and Harry had a broken arm plus the shrapnel. And one of the others if fine and in
the hospital. Dave, the one I got to, is in the hospital, in critical condition, he has dome shrapnel lodged in his spine. Itís
really wild about Harry going home!

            We are still on the road for a couple of more days. Donít really know what weíll be doing after that, possible a three
day operation. I just finished explaining the radio setup and radio watch to Steve.


22 Oct 69

Dear Kathy,
            We went out this morning at 3am, and ended up sleeping on the rice paddy dikes. We got in position at 6am, nothing
happened and we didnít find any VC at all. We got back in at 11am and had the rest of the day off. Tomorrow we go out at
3pm on an

ambush. We break up into 3 platoon ambushes. Weíll come in that next morning or early afternoon. Then stand down on the
25th!  Beds, pillows, sheets, beer, and most important of all, mailing you this stuff.

            I got a leech on my leg last night (about 2-3 inches long). Iíll probably have that little scar there forever. It was my first
leech since Iíve been here.



1 Nov 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well, we made it to Dees. WE had a search mission of an old deserted village this afternoon. There was a lot of real
thick brush and the area was known to be booby trapped. The CO had us tramping through it as usual. We had one man
killed and two men wounded when they tripped a booby trap. Everyone wanted to just shoot the CO. ever since he took over,
our company has had bad luck. It was easier this time, I didnít know the guy, he was new in country. Someday the CO will
get his too!

5 Nov 69


Dear Kathy,


            The dogs are okay I guess. Riff was sick last night and this morning so I sent him back to Pershing by chopper.
Kathy was very sick this afternoon, we thought she was dying, she went into convulsions. Doc and me got together and shot
some stuff (something like Pepto Bismol) down her throat with an old hypo syringe. Sheís better now sheís sleeping on my
bunk just like a baby. Iím going to send her back in tomorrow.

            We didnít go out today. It felt good to have a free day. We go out tomorrow at 8:30am on an Eagle flight. Iíll really be
tired tomorrow evening cause this mission is along the river, probably knee and waist deep water, itís a good ways too.

            We all listened to Nixonís little speech. It really didnít impress any of us. He did a lot of talking but said nothing! In
the meantime, we ought to go ahead and kick ass over here. Politics and politicians can all go to hell!! Cause I really know
what itís like over here, no second hand info!!



14 Nov 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well, we got 3 more rounds of mortar fire tonight. One landed inside the berm. We had 7 men wounded although
nothing real serious. Guess where old Dave was? Taking a shower, and naked as a jaybird. Also a little scared.
            We had two other guys hurt this afternoon. We trapped two gooks in a hole. They were holding the trap door shut and
wouldnít give up. One of the guys shot his .45 cal pistol down through the door about 10 times and then proceeded to lift the
door. The gook blew a grenade right inside the door killing both gooks and wounding two of our men. We also had one man
wounded at Pershing from a mortar attack. That was ten men wounded in Delta Company in one day! Thatís too many.
Things are definitely beginning to liven up a little.

            Iím on radio watch now, itís 12:35am and we just had a radar sighting and fired 81mm and arty. Movement has
ceased. Which means we either got them or they are laying low. Either way it keeps them on their toes. We picked them up
about Ĺ mile away.

            I called back today and they said the dogs are fine.



18 Nov 69

Kathy,

            I was reading the paper and feel kinda down because of the demonstration in Washington, DC. I guess Iím proud to
be an American and proud of my country. Itís still number one to me, right or wrong. Although I canít agree completely with
the way the war is going, I donít agree on just up and leaving because then the whole purpose, the very reason that all these
men have died for is lost. People in the states need to have an enemy invade them, have them have to see their homes
burned, their fathers killed or taken away, living in a bunker with bugs and insects just to be able to live through mortar or
artillery fire, having GIís come during the day and the VC come at night. No one can understand unless they have been here.
The demonstrations help the enemy more than anything else. The protests are a slap in the face to most of the guys over
here. They are sent here to fight and possibly die protecting America and the other free nations. Their own people through the
protesting are prolonging this war loner, thus, more GIís get killed. The VC want to see the US get on its knees. I  donít.

            I went down on the road yesterday afternoon to get a few things and my two little girl friends were there. They were
about 100 ft away from me and just ran all the way to me. Big smiles on their face and just saying ďDabidĒ and a bunch of
Vietnamese I couldnít understand. I gave them a few cans of C rations. They picked me some berries and gave them to me to
eat plus picked a bunch of flowers and put them in my hat. They like to look at the pictures in my wallet.


23 Nov 69

Dear Kathy,

            I made Sergeant today, effective 7 Nov 69. I can really use the extra money. Really, over here, rank doesnít mean
that much except for pay.

            We leave for Hampton tomorrow and will stay about a week. Then come back here and work out of here for awhile,
then go on stand down around the 15th of Dec.

            You know the last two days we were on a ďbush masterĒ.  Thatís when the whole company goes out, splits up at
night into 3 platoons and sep up ambushes. We set up the first night and 3rd platoon blew their bush and got 5 gooks. That
next day we had off and just laid around all day, slept and ate c-rations. The next night I went with the 3rd platoon and was it
a wild night. We set up at 8pm, at nine 3 gooks walked right up to our position. We were so surprised that we all froze for
about 30 seconds, they were only about 20-30 ft away from us. The gooks froze too, when we went for our weapons the
gooks ran, we fired but didnít get them. We were scared all night and nobody went to sleep. This morning we were really mad
cause if we had been alert they should have been 3 dead gooks. Anyway, no one was hurt and we got a good laugh about it!
That was the first time for me to see real, live, armed gooks that close, and it wasnít too cool. Iíll admit, I froze up too cause I
couldnít believe that the VC had gotten that close without some one seeing them! Luckily the VC were just a scared as we
were!


5 Dec 69

Dear Kathy,

            We finally got back today after 3 days of ambush patrols. We left here the 2nd, got up at the hard site, rested up a
little and left for our three platoon ambushes. The first night Steve and I went with the 2nd platoon. We had just gotten set up
when along comes some gooks. We blew our claymores when they got in our kill zone, them threw all our grenades. Then we
sat back (scared as hell) and waited for the gunships and the flare ships. While the flare ship dropped flares, the gun ships
fired mini-gun and rockets into the area. After the choppers worked out we got up and moved into the kill zone, to check out
the bodies. We got 12 NVA and 8 AK47 rifles, plus a few other things. After that we moved out t a different location and set
up for the rest of the night. The next day we went back and rechecked the area. We figured there were about another 30 NVA
out there that night (about a whole company). We didnít get anything the next two nights.

            We were setting up ďmechanical ambushesĒ (same as booby traps). They had left one out overnight. The CO was
picking them up. Well, one blew up on him, killed him, it seems as if the VC had found it and had booby trapped it
themselves. Although we hate to see anyone die, we werenít terribly sad about his loss. Because of him we had lost two
guys since he got to the company. Itís funny, after youíve been here awhile, death doesnít seem to bother you as much.
Maybe thatís bad, I donít know.

14 Dec 69

Dear Kathy,

            Well, I had about 3 hours sleep last night and some of the guys havenít had any.

            Last night at about 7:30 we got hit by recoilless fire, then radar started picking up gooks all around us, some in as
close as 300 meters. So we were all pretty busy firing illumination. After that was over we had to plot APís and H&Iís for the
guns. I got in bed about 12:30. at 1:30 everyone was awakened. One of the squad hootches had caught on fire. There was no
way we could get it out. We tried to keep it from spreading to other hootches. But the biggest worry was the 4.2 ammo that
was in ammo pits around the two gun positions (one on each side of the hootch). We succeeded. If the ammo had gone off
half of Pershing would have been blown off the map. So by the time we move the two guns and redistributed the ammo it was
4am. I went back to bed and got up a 6am for radio watch. That was my excitement for a Saturday night!

            I like working in the FDC. Just have to put up with the PSGís shit sometimes. But they donít mess with me as much
cause of me making SGT. That keeps me off of the details except for when we get ammo delivered, but then everyone helps.

23 Dec 69

Mom and Dad,

            They had the Bob Hope show in Cu Chi today. Didnít get to see it but listened to it on the radio. About the only ones
that got to go were stationed in Cu Chi, a few from the different companies out here got to go in, and Alpha company was in
on stand down, they really lucked out! We are suppose to be having a cease fire starting tomorrow night sometime, lasting for
24 hrs. then we have another 24 hr cease fire at New Years. Big deal!


5 Feb 70       
0800am

Dear Kathy,

            Iíve had only 6 hrs sleep in the past 48 hrs! Last night we fired our regular H&Iís (thatís harassment fire which is fired
all night long at different times at picked locations), we fire them 10 times per hour and each gun fires for 2 hrs. Also last
night we were firing special H&Iís, all four guns fire 1 round, and they were fired once each hour. Also, we had one gun firing
illumination at 1 round every 45 mins for an ambush patrol. Then we had a special ďmad minuteĒ at 0245am and we fired
perimeter illumination.

            Oh, Happy Vietnamese New Year! Last night was the beginning of TET. It lasts for 7 days so none of us are
expecting to get much sleep.

7 Feb 70
0400am

Dear Kathy,

            Well, like I said, weíve been pretty busy. Firing all night and not getting much sleep since our PSG likes to get us up
in the morning. Did I tell you that Steve is no longer an FO for D company? Heís our newest member of FDC, and seems to
be catching on real well!

            We are definitely moving on are abut the 12th of this month. Itís very possible we may have 2 tubes at a place called
Pine Ridge, itís about 1000 ft high in altitude. Thereís a Mech unit there. Itís about 10 miles from FSB Kien, where our
battalion will be. Our PSG was up there yesterday and says itís a fairly nice place. As nice as Pershing anyway (as nice as
that can be!).

            Iím going on R&R to Sidney from the 29th to March to the 5th of April.


10 Feb 70
0600am

Dear Kathy,

            I came back from Cu Chi, a one-day stand down, and had to go right out as FDC for one of the guns. We went down
to an RFPF (Regional Forces/Popular Forces) camp to support two of our companies with illumination. We didnít get much
sleep cause we fired quite a bit. We got back here yesterday afternoon. Our CO went out and out PSG is up at Kien, so me
and this other E5 are running the show. Weíre suppose to leave tomorrow. Anyway, itís hard to even remember what day it is
anymore.


11 Feb 70
1230am

Dear Kathy,

            Instead of sending two guns up to Kien, I have to send one gun to Kien and one gun to Tennessee to support a night
mission Delta Company will be on. So weíll be split between Kien, Tennessee, and Pershing. Two men from FDC and one
gun at Kien, with one gun and one FDC at Kien, and two guns and three FDC at Pershing. Be glad when we are moved
completely.

            Iíll be leaving here on the 13th by convoyu with the FDC equipment for FSB Kien.

Iíve got to get up at 4am for 2 hrs of radio watch. Yeah, not much sleep huh!


13 Feb 70

Dear Kathy,

            Well, last night was our last night at Pershing and we fired up 360 rounds of HE, and thatís a lot for two guns in one 6
hour period. We left Pershing this morning at about 10am and arrived in Dau Tieng around 1 or 2pm. We arrived here at Kien
about 3pm. This place is nothing like Pershing, itís really kinda bad. But canít really complain I guess. We all hated having to
come back to PSG Krier. And Iím still averaging about 4hrs of sleep a night.

            Tomorrow afternoon myself and one of the other guys from FDC, plus one gun and crew go back to Dau Tieng to set
up a gun for perimeter illumination, weíll rotate over 10 days. It wonít be so bad, the only thing weíll fire is illumination.

            My ankle is still a little sore and slightly swollen, but doesnít give me any problems, havenít played any basketball
since it happened!


20 Feb 70
0500am

Dear Kathy,

            The Arty people sent over an E6 to work with us. Weíre learning a lot of new things, plus a lot of old things we should
have known. Krier doesnít really care about these new methods. Iíve had my ass chewed by Majors, Captains and LTs. So
Iím getting fed up. But we finally have caught up with our work so it should be a little easier.
25 Mar 70

Dear Kathy,
            Last night we handpicked 10 men for a special duty squad. Myself and nine other men go out to check out radar
sightings after weíve fired on them, either that same night or the next morning. So tonight at about 7:15pm we fired on a radar
sighting. The Colonel called and our squad, a squad of infantry, a tracker dog team and the Colonel went out and walked
around in the dark for 2 hors. We didnít find anything but the dog was definitely on the right track, they said that there had
been VC out there tonight and we could have followed them. It really felt good to go out again for a change. Yet isnít not the
safest thing!

21 Apr 70
0430am

Dear Kathy,

            We went out yesterday afternoon, 8 of us and the LT. We walked about 6 klicks ( a little less than 4 miles). Every one
of us that went (except for one) had been out in the field before as either FO or RTO. So it was really a good bunch. We found
a few bunkers that we blew, a 105mm howitzer round that we blew. Also we thought we had some movement in a hedgerow
which we  Reconíd by fire with 79mm and 16 fire. So, for guys who are strictly mortarmen, we arenít bad infantrymen either.
Iím nuts, huh?!

28 Apr 70
0330am

Dear Kathy,

            That attack on Pine Ridge last night wasnít too good. They estimated 10-15 sappers entered the perimeter. We had 4
men killed and only one VC body was found! But they did find a lot of satchel charges (explosives in a carrying bag). What
happened is very typical. They mortar you, while youíre all inside your bunkers, these sappers crawl through the wire up to the
berm, and throw a satchel charge into the bunker, or as they did there, walked on into the center of the perimeter and blew up
the Arty FDC-CP and an 81mm mortar pit.

            Another thing Iíve thought about over here is how I used to worry about things when I was home that I thought were so
important. And after being here, seem too trivial now. I donít worry about too much over here except staying alive!

12 May 70
0500am

Dear Kathy,

            About Cambodia, we all think that going in there was just great. Theyíve captured so much arms and ammo that they
are having trouble getting rid of it. And the kill ratio is really good cause weíve killed thousand of them. Thatís thousands of
them that will never get over here to bother us. They were suppose to have caught 500 NVA in an open field having physical
training with their trucks parked nearby. Just like we did when we went through basic training, killed them all too! Our chances
of going have supposedly slimmed down.

17 May 70
0045

Dear Kathy,

            We leave the 19th for a hard-spot about a mile from the Cambodian border. Up by the ďfishhookĒ area if youíve been
listening to the news. The 2í14th Inf is coming back from there to Kien and Dau Tieng and weíre going. Weíre suppose to stay
no later than June 30th, thatís the date Nixon set for the pull back from Cambodia. Our mortar plt wont be in Cambodia,
although our line companies will.  Weíve had it good here at Kien anyway, we need to get out and rough it a while, good
training for the newer guys too.

21 May 70

Dear Kathy,

            Two days ago we were flown in to Katum, then went by truck to a little FSB about 2-3 miles from the border. Itís a real
hole! We set up the big tent, it rained that night and flooded us out. Everything got wet. We had about 2-3 foot of water inside
the tent. I was soaked and so was everyone else. That morning I started getting pains in my stomach and was dizzy and sick.
So they dusted me off by chopper that afternoon. So here I am in Tay Ninh in a hospital. I feel great and had lunch today. Iíll
probably be out of here this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Guess it was a virus or flu.

            They were suppose to move out today into Cambodia to a FSB. So Iíll be heading up there as soon as I leave. I wish I
didnít have to leave the guys. I was looking forward to the trip to Cambodia.


23 May 70

Dear Kathy,

            Well, guess where I am? In Cu Chi! I seem to be getting further away from the platoon. I got here yesterday from Tay
Ninh and am in the hospital here. They are going to give me test, etc. Really great, three hot meals a day, air conditioning,
soft beds, TV, the works. Think they are testing me for kidney stones? But I feel great. I feel bad about being away from the
guys. If Iím not really sick I should be up there with them.


25 May 70

Dear Kathy,

            Well Iím still here. Should be out Weds. Iíll have to get a plane back to Tay Ninh, convoy to Katum and then chopper
out to the FSB in Cambodia. I feel like Iíve been shamming. And I just finished a small pizza!
           We really got a kick out of that march in favor of Nixonís Cambodia policy. All those workers really kicked some ass of
those ďpeaceĒ demonstrators! We really got mad when we saw them burn the American flag and carrying a NVA flag!


29 May 70
0300

Dear Kathy,

            I got back here to Katum the afternoon of the 27th. They said the tests were all negative, the  2/12th is here at Katum!


7 Jun 70
0500

Dear Kathy,

            Tomorrow (this morning) there are suppose to be a bunch of governors and VIPís form the states coming to Katum.
So about 15 of us and parts of Headquarters Company have to go on a RIF this morning, then this afternoon we have to sit out
by the wood line to check for snipers, while these civilians are here. It all has to do with security for them, big deal!

            Went to a dentist today. Thereís one out here for about 3-4 weeks. I had a bad wisdom tooth pulled. I was suppose to
go back today t have my teeth cleaned but ..weíve got to go out. My jaw is slightly sore, thatís the first tooth Iíve ever had
pulled.


10 Jun 70
0900

Dear Kathy,

            Weíre still here. Weíre suppose to move soon, who knows where. They found a cache the other day that made us all
mad. They found 200 lbs of medical supplies and most of it was donated by the Society of Friends (Quakers) of the USA.
They found little cards on them. Donít understand how anyone could want to help anyone who is killing our own men. And I
used to go to the Quaker church and liked it!!

            We got a couple of rounds of incoming yesterday afternoon. We were ready to fire counter mortar fire but couldnít get
clearance to fire.


17 Jun 70
0630

Dear Kathy,

            We left Katum two days ago by Chinook and here we are in the middle of a field of grass with woods around us.
Weíre living in a tent right now. Thereís no berm yet and they donít even have all the barbed wire up yet. And it hasnít rained
here yet either. Thereís nothing here and it doesnít have a name yet.  The battalion is suppose to be here until October or
November.

            No showers here yet but we were all glad to leave Katum. Weíve got a lot of building to do here so the time should go
by fast.


18 Jun 70

Dear Kathy,

            We were busy today and it felt good to work. We (FDC) filled 400 sandbags which we put around the tent. It (the wall,
ha!) serves two purposes. One, to keep out water, and two, to keep out any shrapnel in case we get incoming, so we worked
pretty hard on it. We still need about 400 more bags to finish the other wall and part of the front. Itís hard to get material up
here, but somehow the guys seem to be able t ďfindĒ the stuff. We ďfoundĒ the sandbags today on the back of one of Artilleryís
trucks.

            The dozer pushed up a berm today so things are getting a little better. Iím getting a good tan.

24 Jun 70
0700

Dear Kathy,

            We worked pretty hard yesterday and got the braces up on our hootch (FDC) and put down tarpaper on the roof and
one layer of sandbags. Now we just have to wait for boxes and we canít get them until the gun squads finish their pits. Also,
the battalion TOC want half of all our boxes! This is something that Terry and I have wanted to do since leaving Pershing. A
general came here yesterday and put out a rule that we canít wear anymore cutoff shorts or shower shoes. We have to wear
our long pants and boots. And we canít take showers yet cause there is just enough water for drinking and cooking.



7 Jul 70
2300

Dear Kathy,

            Things are quiet here. Thatís good cause I sometimes think itís too quiet. That move into Cambodia really slowed
them down, they are still around but with a lot fewer supplies.

            Know how long itís been since I had a shower!?  I canít wait to get home and get a hot shower. Itíll feel so great to feel
clean again.

9 Jul 70

Dear Kathy,

             We fired a lot of fire missions tonight. Just about all were intelligence targets. We had one this morning from a
helicopter that spotted some movement and some really recent trail activity.          


12 Jul 70
0400

Dear Kath,

            A Chinook got shot down by a RPG down near Kien. It was carrying 17 men (one our platoon sgt). It was coming into
FSB Tennessee at treetop level when an RPG was fired at it and hit the gas tank. It exploded and crashed. Most of the men
are in Cu Chi suffering from burns. Our platoon sgt was going in to re-enlist and most of the other guys were short, or going in
to leave for home. It was a real shame but one of those things that happen every once in a while.

13 Jul 70
2300

Dear Kathy,

            Iím suppose to go into Dau Tieng the 28th of this month, stay for one day and head for Cu Chi. They are expecting 4
day drops for everyone and usually they send you in 5-7 days early anyway.

            Donít know where Iím going yet, Landry (Steve) is suppose to be stationed at Ft Hood, Texas, he leaves in Sep.
Monty leaves in Sep also and heís going to Fr Riley, Kansas.


15 Jul 70

Dear Kathy,

            In my last letter I said I may be going in the 28th, well, the 4 day drops havenít come through so I wonít be going in
now until the 1st of August.

            The whole battalion may be moving up north, west of Katum. Theyíve spotted a lot of movement up there. Weíre
suppose to move somewhere around the 20th to the 25th. Hopefully Terry and I and the other guys that are leaving in Aug
wonít have to go. Ever since we left Pershing all weíve done is move. And weíve just started to build here, the guns have
started building squad hootches.

16 Jul 70

Dear Kathy,
            Things change everyday. We have a 3 day operation starting tomorrow. Weíre sending 2 tubes and half the FDC. Iím
going with the two of the guys. Weíll probably move from there to that place west of Katum and join up with the rest of the
platoon for a 7-10 day operation. ďWar is Hell!Ē Only 22 more days!


18 Jul 70

Dear Kath,

             We left Warrior yesterday afternoon and arrived here, and old empty FSB. There are 3 arty tubes, our two tubes and
the Recon Platoon. About 40 men. No rain yet! And no gooks. We went swimming in a big bomb crater this afternoon.

            Our battalion has become known as the ďbastard battalionĒ. We first belonged to the 4th Inf Div when we first came to
Nam. They gave us to the 25th Inf Div when they came here. We move around so much we get the feeling they really donít
know what to do with their ďblack sheepĒ.

20 Jul 70
midnight

Dear Kath,

            Itís the beginning of the 20th, a new day and one day closer to you. Itís really a pretty night, full moon, stars and
hardly a cloud in the sky.

            Tomorrow we go back to Warrior, rest up and then probably head up towards Katum for that 10 day operation. My
last. This 3 days has been nice, no one harasses us and we can rest all day, no shaves or haircuts! We were down swimming
again today for about an hour.


20 Jul 70

Dear Kathy,

            We got back to Warrior today and spent the day resting and cleaning up. They are having a change of command
ceremony the 22nd do itíll be up to the new Brigade Commander to decide whether we move up to Katum.

            They have what they call a ASR, a cut back on ammo! We are suppose to be held back to 4 rds per gun per day!!
Arty can fire contact missions only. All ammo is rationed, including small arms. Here we are fighting a war and some one is
afraid weíre spending a little too much money on ammunition, so solutionÖ..ration it!! How do yo fight a war on 16 rds a day.
This is a crazy war run by crazy people!

25 Jul 70

Dear Kath,

            I found out today that if we move which might be in a couple of days, it wonít be permanent and the operation will only
last 3-5 days. There is suppose to be a company from another unit, plus our Recon Plt to stay here. LT said I wonít have to go
along, Iím just waiting to go in.

            We had a fire mission this afternoon. A chopper spotted two gooks and we fired on them. They said we were right on
target. Thereís a company going out there tomorrow so maybe weíve got two more body count to add to our list of one. In the
past week they have been finding recent activity in our area. But itís definitely increasing compared to when we first arrived
here.

1 Aug 70

Dear Kathy,

            Today C Company ran into contact about a mile from the hard site (where our 2 tubes are on that 3 day operation).
Our first contact in this area. They were about 8 miles from us, out of our range. They hit some booby traps and then ran into
some bunkers and VC. They ended up with 4 wounded and 2 dead. And no gook body count. They called in gunships and
airstrikes. Theyíre staying one more night at the hard site. I hate it when we lose guys. They should just let our military clean
out north and South Vietnam! I guess Iím leaving at a good time. The battalion may start seeing some action again. Iíve really
been lucky this last 12 months. HE must have really been looking over me!

            I can never understand how 5-6 men can walk over a spot and the seventh man step on a boobytrap. Why do I make
it home safe without a scratch, and other men donít? Life and death are things which are almost impossible to understand
completely, especially in a war. 7 more days!!!!