33-Love Letters from Vietnam: General Westmoreland, OCS, and Kate's Tears

And While We Wrote...

20 October, 1969

20 October, 1969

Dear Kate,

Hello my love. Well, it's the start of another week that we will be separated, but it also is one day less until we're together again. Hmmm, kind of a confusing way to start a letter. The sorrow of our separation does not compare to the joy and comfort I take in the knowledge that we will soon be together again. That's the only thing that makes our separation bearable. I've always loved the Christmas time of the year, but particularly so, this year. O, how I"ll love to see the snow settling on your hair, and your pretty little nose, red with cold again.

But as for the present, everything's the same; formations, duty rosters,1st sargents,details, and heartburn. In school we're studying a pretty complicated radio which makes the tie go faster. It's the ARCIAN-102. It's not a large radio (only 50 lb.), but it can reach around the world. Hey, listen on your short wave band sometime and you may hear me broadcasting to the world the depth of my love for you. My OCS (Officer Candidate School) application is just about complete, but not without cost. I got into a little dispute with a "Command Sargent Major". Ask your father who he is. I'll call and tell you about it. Next the all important interviews with all the brass. Other than the heretofore mentioned, everything is the same as usual. (Oops,"heretofore mentioned"? O'Brien is getting to me).

I

Officers' Candidate School
Officers' Candidate School | Source

I hope things are going well for you Kate with school and all. Hey, how did the meal turn out that you cooked for your Aunt Marion's birthday? Well, I suppose a peanut fish tuna butter salad cookie casserole might have been appropriate. All kidding aside, Kate, I received the peanut butter cookies you sent and they were good, as usual.* Thank you.

Well, it's getting late. I'd better get some sleep. Perhaps I'll dream of you! I need you, Kate, more than any other thing in my life. Give my love to the family.

Love,

Tim

*On re-reading, I thought that sounded a might nebulous. What I meant was/is that they were good! Do you still love me?

18 October, 1969

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18 October, 1969

Dearest Kate,

Hello my love and my life. I hope this letter finds you happy and with dry eyes. (Editor's note: Tim is telling "Kate," in essence, not to cry over lesson plans and her frustration with her work in the classroom with her group of deaf/emotionally disturbed students). I'm sorry, Kate, for not writing as much as I'd like to, but they've been keeping us quite busy in lieu of the inspection. I've had very little free time for the last week and a half, but I think things will improve soon.

Guess what? General Westmoreland himself is expected to visit the Signal School. You become aware that something is up when you see the majors on base picking up trash - Refreshing sight, actually. I'm sure you understand, Kate. You always do.

It was good to hear that things are going well for you in your school work. I knew they would. Kate, you have so much to give those children. You have a great responsibility, Kate, but of which you're capable. Never doubt that; it would be an injustice to yourself and to the children. There is really no need for me to say this. You know you're good.

I enjoyed so much talking to you during the week, Kate. It made the week seem shorter and made me a brighter, happier person for it. Thank you for that.

Despite the fact that I missed nearly a whole week of school, I got a 95 on the test Thursday. Just goes to show what a farce this school is. As a matter of fact, O'Brien and I saw the superintendent of the school Friday and told him in so many words that the school was inefficiently run. We even dared to suggest improvements. Well, that blew the old sarge's poor mind. He didn't quite know how to react to the critic of two lowly #-2's. When we left his office, he was still mumbling to himself. Our intent was to offer constructive criticism and make it known that a problem did exist. I'm afraid that the logic of our argument could not penetrate the close-mindedness of military tradition and conformity. Well, now you know what we do for fun.

Yes, Kate, in many ways this place is like Camp Wil-O-Brook! (the camp for mentally challenged kids where Katy worked during summer break.)

My Love, I've missed you more than I can say. My love for you never seem to stop growing or exhibiting itself in new ways. Take care of yourself, Kate, until I'm able to.

Love,

Tim

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