Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Simple Words On Paper ...

So, I talked to the nurse. She said they'll ring me as soon as they get the results back from the CT scan. They've called in some sort of anti-nausea medicine ... which would really help things around here.

In the meantime, I'm just sitting here watching a movie. And, since I can't really concentrate enough to write, I thought I'd share something that's important to me.

It's been a little over a year, and I still think about my Dad every day. I miss him a lot ... in small, insignificant ways and in unexpected moments. Anyway, when he died, Mom gave me all his things.

In the piles of paperwork, awards, and pictures, I found two letters he wrote to her while in Viet Nam. The letter below is the oldest of the two. Now, I don't know what he's talking about in some places ... I wish I could've had a chance to ask him. But in any case, I'm sharing it here exactly as it was written.

My Darling Wife,

Well, darling, I have been in the Philippines for two days now and my maintenance officer this afternoon came to me and told me that the commanding officer said he wanted me transferred to his squadron immediately. My maintenance officer said he didn't want to lose me, but the CO asked for me specifically.

I don't know if I told you or not but we've been assigned the support squadron in case Viet Nam breaks out and we were going to Korea for a large helo operation involving both nations. The squadron I'm going to will be blowing the mines around Haiphong Harbor and all the rivers in North Viet Nam. I have no idea at this time what they want me to do in the squadron. All I know is that they want me. I don't know if we will be directly involved or just supporting them.

Darling, I miss you very much and I love you with all my heart. I have been working many, many hours this week and the future looks even busier. This is tiring but it does make the days pass fast, which is great with me. The backs of my hands and my neck are sunburned pretty bad. It gets up in the high 90's during the day here in the islands. That's a rough temperature change from Springfield.

Darling, how have you been feeling since I left? I have been worrying about you and my Bear. I hope your health is good and your spirits high. Did you and Bear get the cards and money from me?

Please tell everyone I said hi. I don't have time to write to anyone at this time. Also, please write all your sizes and measurements since the sizes in different countries don't mean the same thing. I hope to be able to afford a present for you and the Bear once in awhile.

Well, darling, I'd better close for tonight and write a few lines to our daughter. I love you so very much and I will write soon.

Your Loving Husband
February 16, 1973

Note: I forgot to explain. From the moment I was born, my family called me "Bear." Didn't want you thinking we were circus performers or anything. It's been years since anyone called me that ... so it was especially touching to hear it in his letters. The things you forget about, you know?

I have received no more
than one or two letters in my life
that were worth the postage.

Henry David Thoreau - Walden


  1. I got all teary eyed reading this! I have very few memories of my own dad, he died when I was around 5 or 6. My mom, in her grief, destroyed every picture or anything from him, it was too hard for her to see. Anyway I was at Grandmas one day going through some things and I found a letter he had written to my Grandma on the back of one of my school papers. I treasure this snipet of a letter, that doesn't even mention me except to say "the kids" because it's his handwriting...

  2. Just lovely. Thanks for sharing.