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

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Da Nang
March 19, 1971
10:30 pm

Dear Folks,

You may not believe this but this afternoon I got stuck in a traffic jam 2 miles long. We were going to Red Beach to take some pictures. By the time we got there it was too dark to take any pictures. Took a lot of pictures while we were sitting there breathing the exhaust fumes though. It was really funny to see. We were right in the middle of this village. There were dump trucks, taxi cabs, vans, tractor trailers, fire trucks, MP jeeps, motorbikes and hundreds of people walking. It was funny but it was also very strange. To see people sitting in their dilapidated houses and shops. The old people just stared and seemed to mumble to themselves. The kids, some would run up and talk, others would stand back smiling, waving, making peace signs, others would make faces. The general atmosphere was very happy, that is among the people in the vehicles. There were all kinds of people, Vietnamese civilians, young and old returning from school and work, GI's from the US, Korea, Vietnam and who knows where else, there were nuns and Red Cross girls. Nobody was really mad at anyone else. No horns blowing or yelling. You just smiled and shrugged your shoulders, and inched ahead when you got the chance. Like I said it's strange, it doesn't seem to fit into the whole picture of this war, but it's part of everyday life for the people along that road.

Well, we made it to Red Beach,  turned around and headed back. The traffic wasn't half as bad coming back.

There was a band at the RPI tonight. I've seen them so many times I could almost tell you what they'll sing next.

No mail today. I put that magazine in the mail this afternoon.

You asked about my glasses. I keep my extra pair in my locker. The PX up here has a place where you can have glasses made to our prescription. It costs about $15 a pair. If I'm still here around payday I may have a pair of prescription sunglasses made.

Well, guess that's it for now. Time to go to midnight chow.


(read the next letter home)