I left Maxie to go to Vietnam on April 25, 1968, 45 years ago. We had been married for 18 days; we are still married today and are still very much in love.
Maxie experienced the war through my letters one day at a time until January,1969. On good days she would get a letter from me, on better days a couple of letters or pictures or some other tidbit from me. On bad days, no letter would arrive due to mail foul-ups, weather, or just luck. Sometimes the letters would get mixed up; I didn't date the letters and it would be difficult to sort out if the letters arrived out of order.
Unfortunately, her letters to me did not survive the war. The letters will not be in any particular order since I didn't date the letters; but that's ok since my tour in Vietnam did not have a story line: just a beginning and an end - the rest was a muddle in the middle.
I arrived in Vietnam on May 19, 1968 (Ho Chi Minh’s birthday) and returned to the world on January 14, 1969. I spent 240 days in Vietnam; it felt like an eternity.
This is not a tale of anything heroic or grand.It is a story of survival, boredom, fear, loneliness, hope, planning for a life with Maxie, love, and personal triumph. This story is not any of those warm and fuzzy stories you see in old World War II movies. It is about being in a strange place, halfway around the world. Being in Viet Nam was just an exercise in making it through the day, one day at a time.It was a time to stay alive instead of dying for a cause we really didn't understand.
Join us as we journey through a difficult time for our nation though the eyes of a Marine and his beautiful new wife. Somehow Maxie and I survived. Unfortunately, too many good people did not; this project is dedicated to the ones that never came home. Semper Fi Gary Canant
Note: Some of the letters contain strong language. No apologies are offered or needed; it was war.