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.
Dear Maxie Love Letters from Vietnam
Printed Book Version
Experience Vietnam One Day at a Time Reading Instructions Included (below)
1.Read one letter per day. Since there are 140 letters, your tour of duty is only four and one half months long. My tour was almost twice that long and the standard Vietnam tour was 13 months.
2.You may read previous mail, but do not peek at future letters unless you have a valid future prophecy license from your state.
3.Read one letter each and every day. The Vietnam War did not stop for weekends, holidays, birthdays, Christmas or the Jewish High Holy days. The war kept on going 7 days a week, every week, every damn day.
4.Donít worry if you spill coffee or anything else on the letters. The original letters are stained with Vietnamese dirt, ink running from rain drops, tears, sweat and other unknown things.
5.Donít quit reading just because you are tired, become bored, lose interest or get a better offer. We had to finish our Vietnam tours even if we wanted to go home; the only way to leave early was on a stretcher or in a body bag. Quitting was not an option
With only 140 days left from the first day as an FNG, you are already a ďshort timerĒ compared with everyone else in country.
Sometimes we did not know the day of the week, the day of the month, the actual month or the season of the year, but we always, always knew how many days we had left.
Note: Some of the letters contain strong language. No apologies are offered or needed; it was war.
Day 0140 Days LeftLetter from Okinawa. Last letter before Vietnam Day 1139 Days LeftFirst Letter from Vietnam Day 2138 Days LeftTaking shower and cooling off at night. Day 3137 Days LeftWhat am I doing here? Day 4136 Days LeftGlad that we are married Day 5135 Days LeftJets bombing near DMZ, The Club Day 6134 Days LeftGetting used to the heat Day 7133 Days LeftHave been apart for a month. Just another boring day Day 8132 Days LeftNew guys and incoming, FNG Day 9131 Days LeftWhat if they gave a war and nobody came? Day 10130 Days LeftRoad sweep Day 11129 Days LeftNVAís not Jewish, incoming on the Sabbath Day 12128 Days LeftVietnamese. K Company hit, Cookout Day 13127 Days LeftPatio and Spa. Numb. Day 14126 Days LeftDrinking. Another Jewish Marine. Into the trench naked Day 15125 Days LeftTelling Maxie Iím safe Day 16124 Days LeftCanned steaks. Maxie looking for apartment for us. The office Day 17123 Days LeftMosquito net Day 18122 Days LeftMilitary Payment Certificates. MPC Day 19121 Days LeftAfternoon in the trenches Day 20120 Days LeftLima Company is hit hard, Joyner killed Day 21119 Days LeftAt the Wall in D.C. Day 22118 Days LeftTyping Condolence letters Day 23117 Days LeftCondolence letters Day 24116 Days LeftGuy Missing, Larry, Good Conduct Day 25115 Days LeftWe get new people to replace the ones we lost Day 26114 Days LeftFound missing guy Day 27113 Days LeftDepressed, more wounded Day 28112 Days LeftTwo more people from L Company killed, my anger explodes Day 29111 Days LeftHow lucky I am. Sorry about angry letter Day 30110 Days LeftMaxie's upset by the angry letter, my response. Moustache Day 31109 Days LeftFirst food package. Condolence letter. Day 32108 Days LeftA short Letter Day 33107 Days LeftJune stats, mess hall, skinny Day 34106 Days LeftForm letter from all of us to all of our wives and girlfriends Day 35105 Days LeftStill typing condolence letters, lost my pen Day 36104 Days LeftShort Poem: M16 and AK47 Day 37103 Days LeftAir show, living quarters, mosquito net Day 38102 Days LeftHot, watch, racial strife Day 39101 Days LeftMaxie's pictures keep me going. Bugs and more bugs Day 40100 Days LeftBusy day, 11 new people. Hungry. Day 4199 Days LeftWe all chipped in $15 for typewriter for condolence letters Day 4298 Days Left110 pounds of steak! Day 4397 Days LeftI love you and I will forever Day 4496 Days LeftI sent Maxie a roll of film. Day 4595 Days LeftNo mail today. Maxie fears the worst. Day 4694 Days LeftMaxie finally gets a letter that explains the pictures of the dump. Day 4793 Days LeftThe Dump is finally mentioned in the U.S. newspapers Day 4892 Days LeftLarry's convoy ambush, terrible chow, the moon Day 4991 Days Left172 days left. Monthly budget. Shaving Day 5090 Days LeftMaxie and Teddy. I go nuts. Day 5189 Days LeftHigh Finance, Picture of Maxie Day 5288 Days LeftUSO Show! Day 5387 Days LeftIncoming again. Maxie encounters prejudice Day 5486 Days LeftThis is for you Day 5585 Days LeftHungry. English Major. The Corps Day 5684 Days Left25 cent women Day 5783 Days LeftConvoy to Ca Lu, Fathers Day card? Day 5882 Days LeftNew Ho Chi Minh's Day 5981 Days LeftA Conversation. What am I, a walking calendar? Day 6080 Days LeftGetting Drunk Day 6179 Days LeftMaxie Bikini. At the club, got unable Day 6278 Days LeftLonely rain Day 6377 Days LeftJody. Still trying to steal our women Day 6476 Days LeftTyphoon. Bunkers cave in Day 6575 Days LeftWill it ever end? Day 6674 Days LeftA little incoming. Short letter better than no letter. Day 6773 Days LeftOne day we will be too old to have sex . . . Day 6872 Days LeftJuly 4th, rockets red flare. Underwear, or lack thereof. Tabasco Day 6971 Days LeftSchool cut mess. Going to Quang Tri. Hardback. Day 7070 Days LeftSeven days a week. Friends Day 7169 Days LeftMaxie, you are prettier than the Playboy bunnies. Day 7268 Days LeftLast birthday in the Corps Day 7367 Days LeftAnother so-so day Day 7466 Days LeftDrinking to escape Day 7565 Days LeftPiss on it. Shocking Old Ladies Day 7664 Days LeftMoving to Quang Tri. Sometime around Rosh Hashanah. Day 7763 Days LeftGoing to Danang for Yom Kippur. I feel empty. Day 7862 Days LeftWed? More condolence letters. Day 7961 Days LeftYom Kippur in China Beach. DaNang - ice cream and slums Day 8060 Days LeftIím sick of the whole machine that sends people out to get gloriously shot at Day 8159 Days LeftMissed Rosh Hashanah. Moved to Quang Tri. C's. Day 8258 Days LeftMaxie's last picture - going out of my mind Day 8357 Days LeftMissing the world Day 8456 Days LeftQuang Tri midnight attack on the other side of the base Day 8555 Days LeftLonely rain Day 8654 Days LeftBack to Dong Ha to steal telephone poles. My medal Day 8753 Days Left50 Pound Package! Air conditioner went out. Day 8852 Days LeftTodoen amor es triste . . . Day 8951 Days LeftDrunk First Sgt. Day 9050 Days LeftPlanning for life after The Corps. Day 9149 Days LeftMaxie worried about drinking. Day 9248 Days LeftLarry's R&R in Australia. He wouldn't shut up. Day 9347 Days LeftI married the right sister. Day 9446 Days LeftLonely weather. Day 9545 Days LeftNew work schedule makes time go faster. Day 9644 Days LeftWhat does it really take to live? Day 9743 Days LeftNothing has happened today Ė just another boring, long, hot day. Day 9842 Days LeftTrip past the Rockpile Day 9941 Days LeftMap of my Vietnam Day 10040 Days LeftWhat do you do with an afternoon off in Vietnam? Day 10139 Days LeftBeing in Vietnam is the worst part of being in Vietnam. Day 10238 Days LeftDeck of cards. One card per day. Day 10337 Days LeftMaxie finds apt. I can't get medal.Going on R&R. Day 10436 Days LeftHow did I get to the airport when I left? Day 10535 Days LeftMuddy first days at Quang Tri Day 10634 Days LeftBodacious package Day 10733 Days LeftWhat is worse than a boot lieutenant? Day 10832 Days LeftA dark letter. Day 10931 Days LeftThinking about R&R as other people go. Day 11030 Days LeftMoney Day 11129 Days LeftDear "Abby" Maxie. 50 pound package. Day 11228 Days LeftJust passing time in the Corps Day 11327 Days LeftFound a good book. Seeing guys that went thru boot camp with me. Day 11426 Days LeftFree beer, even Ski got drunk. Guy wanted to shoot someone. Day 11525 Days LeftCraving a big salad, fresh vegetables, iced tea and a banana split. Day 11624 Days LeftBlack and White Day 11723 Days LeftI realize that I won't have any clothes when I get home. Day 118 22 Days LeftNew job with H&S company. I'm lucky. Day 119 21 Days LeftI've had enough rain. Wanting to dance with Maxie. Day 12020 Days LeftIíd almost forgotten what sex is like Day 12119 Days LeftI get an R&R date and plan on going to Hong Kong Day 12218 Days LeftR&R! Iím angry when I meet an admiral who gets combat pay. Day 12317 Days LeftBack in Quang Tri and this place seems like such a hole now. Day 12416 Days LeftGetting excited about being short. Short timer calendar. Day 12515 Days LeftDamn, Damn, Damn, I'm here and you're there Day 12614 Days LeftMaxie, stop worrying. We'll be ok. Day 12713 Days LeftShort timer attitude. My mezuzah broke. Met an old shipmate from the Shangri-La Day 12812 Days LeftI'm pissed. With only 20 days to go, they are sending me up to Vandegrift! Day 12911 Days LeftWell, Iím at Vandegrift now. Gave away the chairs I stole. Day 13010 Days LeftThe guys at Vandegrift drink. Hate the dust from choppers. Day 1319 Days LeftIím tired.Iím tired of working 7 days a week, etc. Day 1328 Days Left1969! Our year. Day 1337 Days LeftI've been lucky. Day 1346 Days Left10 Days to go Day 1355 Days LeftInspections in Vietnam? Day 1364 Days LeftI tell Maxie that I'm so short that it is time to stop writing me. Day 1373 Days LeftIím this short and donít know yet exactly how many days I have left.Ē Day 1382 Days LeftBack in Quang Tri. First step in the journey home. Day 1391 Days LeftLast letter from Vietnam. Gooks in the line. Day 1400 Days LeftGoing Home!!! EpilogueI return in 2007 and find my Dong Ha