I actually got Rog’s final letter from Nam first, and then this one, because he misplaced this letter for a while.
June 11 1970 “North of Everywhere”
Dear Newlywed, Kowabunga, kid! How’s it going? Bet yer spendin’ a lot time in the saddle. Heh, heh. So much for my dirty mind. On to other things. Hope you’re both happy, & don’t have to struggle too damn hard. I’m glad you’re coming back to good ol’ San Whozits. (San Jose). I’ve got 227 (censored) days left over here. In other words, I’ll see you in January. If I luck out and get a drop, I might make Xmas or New Year’s. The way things are goin’ over here I doubt if I’ll extend. I told Mom & Dad I quit flying as a gunner because they worry so much. So don’t blow my cover!
Okay, if you can’t find Quang Tri on the map forget it because everything else is way south. Look at the D.M.Z. & estimate 5 miles south of that & 3 miles west of Laos. That’s us. Dig it? We’ve flown into Laos twice on Visual Recons. But I’ll tell ya, each time I almost shit my pants! We even low-leveled into the D.M.Z. once. We also got the piss shot out of our ship! Man, they threw everything but the toilet bowl at us. Check this out. We received fire from R.P.G’s (rocket propelled grenades), mortars, AK-47 rifles, .51 cal machine gun, & even a friggin’ 37 mm radar controlled cannon! Christ on a cupcake, what a rouse scene. Listen to this. I fired every fucking round of ammo I had. 1000 rounds of machine gun, 200 rounds of M-16 rifle & 50 of .45 cal pistol. Then I told the pilot, “You better retran for home in this damn crate, because I just ran out of bananas to throw.” So we did. But we had to crash at Firebase Rakkasan, just a mile from home. No sweat, we were only 20 feet off the ground. That ship had so many damn holes in it it looked like a swiss cheese. Guess that was a lick on our ass, eh? But them gooks paid for a lot of those holes. We were droppin’ ’em like flies! You don’t think I wasted all them bullets on tine cans do ya? But that was last week Wonder what they wanna do for an encore this week. Who knows? Wait, I’ve got it! “Today the D.MZ., tomorrow…Red China!!!” Wouldn’t surprise me a bit. These dumb lifers will send us anywhere they feel like, while they sit back here on their fat asses.
This week one of our Huey’s got shot down by an R.P.G. (a gook rocket.) Everyone was wounded. The rocket hit through the roof right behind the right side door gunner, Leo Moore. He got a lot of shrapnel in the back, but he’ll be alright. But he won’t be back here. They sent him back to the world. Lucky him. The other gunner, John Parcher got shot in the leg. He’s going back to the world, too! Lucky dudes. (2 July 70) Well, I finally found this letter. It was in my flak jacket. (Who’d of ever thunk it?” A minor correction to page four: Leo Moore came back & even had the distinguished pleasure to be with me the same day I got it! So he’s in the same place as me. I’ll bet this is gettin’ to be old hat to him. Well, I think I’ll launch this into the mailbox. Ta. The One & Only, Rog
P.S. Joining a reserve unit sounds like a smart move for a married dude. Which one? Keep punchin’. Rog
(next: letter four, War wound)
Quang Tri map, retrieved 9.22.2017 https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=8iiUnCmO&id=C6791F9217F130E6448D355218115F9922867211&thid=OIP.8iiUnCmOgP01_fhsOHROxwFTHg&q=quang+tri+vietnam&simid=608026710680602888&selectedIndex=3&ajaxhist=0