Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971

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Long Thanh
March 1, 1971
9 pm

Dear Folks,

Spent another day 'working' in Avionics. There are six of us there now. Only two have an Avionics MOS and they do the little bit of work that there actually is to do. When they go out to 'fix' something they take one of us along to watch. There isn't much to it really. If they get a report that some piece of equipment isn't working they just take it out and put in a new one. Just a matter of loosening a few screws and taking off some wires. They don't worry about why it doesn't work. If it's not working it's no good. That's a heck of a way to operate but that's how it's done.

Went to the dispensary this morning to take that door gunners physical. Wasn't actually a physical. All they did was look at my medical records and sign a certificate saying I was qualified as a door gunner. Took the certificate to operations to get the paperwork started on my flight orders. They said check on it Wednesday.

Had another alert this afternoon about 3:30 pm. Didn't realize what a distance it was from Avionics to the hooch till I ran all the way. Got stuck in a foxhole when I first got out there. Just my luck to pick one full of ants. After about 20 minutes they changed the alert status to yellow. They were going to leave the big bunkers manned and send everyone else back. I was one of the 'lucky' ones who had to stay and man one of the bunkers.

They gave me an M-60 machine gun and an M-79 grenade launcher and told me I'd be relieved at 6 pm when the regular guards came on duty. Lucked out though. They changed the alert status back to white after a couple of minutes and I got to go back with everyone else. The reason we were on alert was that Bearcat got hit again. I think we would go on alert if somebody let a loud fart.

Got three letters today. One from Dad on the 23rd and two from the 24th. I'll try to answer a few questions. That animal in the picture is a dog. There aren't any water buffalo roaming around inside the compound. I eat at the mess hall most of the time especially down here. I just manage to squeeze in quite a few snacks. At Da Nang I'd sleep through breakfast most of the time so I'd get something to eat at the Rice Paddy Inn.  The heat doesn't affect my appetite except maybe to make me hungry. I really don't notice it that much. No we don't always fly with the same pilot. There are about 20 pilots and copilots and they work in rotation the same as the radio operators.

That's it for now.


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