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

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Da Nang
March 22, 1971
6:30 pm

Dear Folks,

I'm starting early today. Maybe I'll get past the one page mark this time. Didn't get to China Beach today. It would have been a nice day for it but we had to put some radios in a plane that came up today. We had two planes coming up today. Both of them had mail on them. Got a total of 14 letters all together. Finally got an answer from Tom Ward. He was moving at the time he got my letter so he didn't write. He is at Khe San now. According to his letter he is an RTO. I assume that means radio telephone operator. For all I know I may have been talking to him on the radios. He is with the 1st Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division who have their headquarters at Quan Tri.

I also got a couple of cards from Mr. and Mrs. Karwacki. They used 6 cent stamps so the St. Pattys day card was a little late. Got word that we will be flying one short mission every day to check out the planes and radios. We should be able to take two radio operators on each flight. So that will be a good way to rack up some missions without all the extra flight time. It's 50 hours and 50 missions for the Air Medal. Every time you take off and land is one mission. Even if it's only for 15 minutes. I heard one of the captains say that this mission may last for another two months. That remains to be seen.

I'm glad to hear you got your vacation time straightened out. I wish I could be there for that trip to Shad, but there are lots of good years ahead. I think when I get out of here I'm going to take a couple months and walk the Appalachian Trail. That's something I've always wanted to do.

I can't picture myself going back to work in the Shipyard. I don't ever remember enjoying going to work. I've got a long life ahead of me and I don't want to spend it in the same old dead end job. I've got enough brains to make it in school if I really want to. Can't say I'll ever regret the decision not to go right to college out of high school. I've learned more in the last three years than I did in all the 12 years of school. I've still got a lot of time to think about it. You can get a lot of financial support under the GI bill, so that would help. Well, so much on that subject for now. What do you think of it?

George, I got those patches down at Nick's in Long Thanh. When I get back there I'll send you some, but don't count on a portable TV.

Mom, everybody liked that banner you sent. They don't really say too much about it. I hung it up when nobody else was around. One of the first comments I heard even before anybody even knew where it came from was "Holt, did your mother make that?" I don't think everybody wants to get in on the letter writing action. Most of them get their share of mail. Duff gave me his address though:
Sp/4 Gary W Duff
Box 52
2nd Signal Group Aviation Detachment
APO, SF 96530

He says "Tell them to send a picture."
Well that's it for now I guess.

It's a hardship tour, that's true beyond a doubt.
The frig is defrosting and the TV tube burned out.
It's the same old band at the club tonight.
China Beach was closed. It just ain't right
I can't take it when the mamma-san don't iron my socks.
And I had to drink beer cause we ran out of Cokes.
And you'd think there was nothing that could make it much worse,
But I didn't get any mail. What a curse!


(read the next letter home)