Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971
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(This was not a letter home but a letter that my mom wrote in response to my "30 day warning that the kid is coming home." We all got quite a kick out of it at the time.)
December 1, 1971 (best guess for the date)
As we enter this month let us ponder upon your re-arrival in the World. Believe it or not it's the same world you opened your eyes to 21 years ago. Some things change but you will still find blue skies behind the smog, green grass beneath the mounds of throw-away bottles, flip-top cans and cigarette butts. And bicycle paths 30 miles north of town providing you can get across 8 lanes of Interstate #95.
During the past year the greatest invention of all times has been patented--a barber shop with bolted doors. Be sure to give generously to the bearded man sitting out front holding a tin cup. He use to be a prosperous business man.
Be careful who you whistle at, she could be your old First Sergeant.. Those tell-tale curves are concealed beneath flare-legged jeans and blue denim work shirts, and army surplus overcoats size 46 long. The only advice I can give you is to look closely at the facial lines. I haven't seen a young lady with a beard since the Barnum and Bailey performance at the Civic Center.
Don't be overly concerned about a new wardrobe. Anything goes. But the highest style is trousers that sweep the sidewalk and give a grass skirt appearance to dirty bare feet. Your girlfriend will probably barter for your old army boots, but don't worry that they are the wrong size. They are only used to hold the windows open when necessary. Who would ever think of wearing shoes.
Don't be frightened at the bells you hear. They signal the approach of happy friends who are most willing to celebrate your return to the world, providing the household refrigerator is abounding with Seagram's 7, National Bo and Cold Duck. They aren't really interested in leftovers. The Cold Duck must be bubbly fresh and served in stem glassware. They aren't really much different than those green clothed males that have guided your past educational adventure.
Don't be surprised at the toothless 6 year old sister who is now a suave 2nd grader. She is currently in "Health and Education" and along with the kid down the block who is in "Utilaries" they are building a model city of your old shoe boxes, pipe cleaners and drinking straws. (How could they ever make telephone poles without straws.)
Your little brother is suddenly 5 ft 9 and has cleared your wardrobe of anything that resembles clothes. He really didn't eat them. He was just trying to help you out!! Everybody loves a new wardrobe.
Don't be surprised when the neighbors great you with a, "Hi, Lee Ann." Your sister hasn't been seen in a skirt in the last 12 months so it will take a while for the neighbors to get use to the fact that there are two 6 ft. creatures in our house who live in dungarees.
Be careful of your language, son, "Number 10" might get you on the bus to Highlandtown when you really want the #4 bus to Gray Manor.
Be assured one thing hasn't changed, and that's Santa Clause. At our house both varieties are well padded, loving and giving and are waiting anxiously for the sight of your happy face for this Christmas Day.
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