Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971
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February 18, 1971
The sun finally came out this afternoon but not soon enough for us to go to China Beach. Gets boring just sitting around. Guess I shouldn't complain though, it's all good time. Doesn't seem like it but I've been over here for almost a month. My DEROS (Date of estimated return from overseas) is January 24, 1972. That should also be my last day in the army. Most of the time if you have less than 5 months left you ETS right from here. It's nice to think about anyway.
Got a letter from Aunt Vick today. That was the only mail for today.
I've had a lot of time to think about just what I'm doing over here. I don't know enough about this war to make any profound statements on the how's and why's of it. I can only speak on what I've seen and heard. There is no great mystery about it. We are here to help these people defend themselves against an aggressor who is not only destroying their homes, but also wants to deprive them of their right to decide for themselves just how they want to live. The south Vietnamese have developed a strong army, and they have taken up most of the fighting. If that weren't true then I wouldn't be spending my days at China Beach. I'd be working because there would be 16,000 US troops in Laos instead of 16,000 Vietnamese who are there now. Perhaps the day will come when they will take up all the fighting. Including the air power to defend those troops. Then maybe the US will be able to leave. But as long as they need our help we'll be here. I'm sure of that. They've got my support 100%.
(read the next letter home)