Letters from Vietnam 1968 to 1969

On the Mekong Delta

January 27, 1969

This is the first of my letters from Vietnam that I want to share with you. I wrote this to my family when I was stationed in Mekong Delta, Dong Tam. I had only been in country for a few months at the time of this letter. The young man I had been who enlisted from a fishing and logging community in Oregon had by this time changed considerably. I was eager to stay connected to my family, missed them, and thought of them every day. I had just turned 19. Without "spellcheck" handy or better writing tools, these are my own words.

Recently, I rediscovered these letters and photos and memorabilia from my years in Vietnam. My mother and grandmother and great aunt saved most of the letters. I kept a scrapbook and still have it.

Up until now, I had tried to block out most of my memories of those days because like many veterans of Vietnam, I suffered from those times too much. I wasn't able to even look at these letters and the scrapbook until a few months ago when I finally decided to apply for the veteran's benefits I am entitled to. Doctors have diagnosed me as having PTSD as a result of my Vietnam days and I have been living with this for 40 plus years now. I have shared a few of these letters and photos with other people and they have encouraged me to put my experiences into a narrative, perhaps a book. I hope that by doing so I will help other veterans, not just from Vietnam, but also from the conflicts of the wars in the middle east who are trying to readjust to civilian life while reliving such intense war experiences.

I am looking forward to all your comments, especially your words of encouragement. I will be posting more of my letters and photos in future hubs. It is very exciting for me to do this - kind of like letters to and from my past!

A typed out version of the letter follows, in case you can't easily read my handwriting and all my charming mistakes! Dont forget to rate my Hub and please leave a comment thank you.

© copywrite April 15, 2010, Richard D. Patterson, Jr. All rights reserved by author.

Letter from Vietnam

Text of Letter

Dear Mom, Dad, Sherry January 27, 1969

page 1

You folks are probably pretty mad at me for not writing in such a long time, but I have been busy. The past 4 days I have been in Tan-Ann, it is about 40 to 50 miles from here towards Saigon. I took supplies up to there in Mary-Ann, that’s the name I had painted on my 314 truck. They needed a new generator for electricity, and poncho linens, and wall lockers. Tan Ann is really small its set right out in the middle of rice paddies, they have no berm but instead they have barbe-wire which surrounds the whole camp you can walk to one side of the base to the other in 5 minutes. There are 20 men from A Company in Tan-Ann and there are more people from other company’s.

On the way to Tan-Ann its beautiful country. First when you leave Dong-Tam the roads are real bad just like logging roads at home, and dusty, the dust gets in your hair, eyes, everywhere. And it stinks, like

page 2

a garabage dump. Once you get to My-Tho its not to bad. Driving through My-Tho is another story, people everywhere. They ride bicycle, horse-trawn carts, and little motor cars that look like paddy-wagons with a thousand of them sticking out of the thing. The people bring there food and sit as close to the road as they dare and sell it. There are homes in My-Tho they are really Kool, there really modern they are different types of homes altogether than are’s. After leaving My-Tho you go on a two lane highway, paved just like back in the states, its called highway 7 which goes to Tan-Ann all the way to Saigon, beautiful country side there is no dust on the highway, its really funny you are driving along this modern highway and all of a sudden you see a big hole in the highway where a mortar has hit it, it would be a beautiful country to see if it weren’t for the war.

There are modern cars in Vietnam too, I saw many station wagons, caravans, fords, etc.

page 3

The only thing bad about driving on the highway is that Charlie could be sitting in a palm tree and take a shot at us and we wouldn’t nowhere it was coming from but believe me we wouldn’t stick around to find out. And another thing you have to go fast so that if Charlie is out there he can’t have a very good shot of you and this makes it harder to keep from getting in a wreck. I had a friend of mine ride shot-gun when I went but we still didn’t feel to save this was the first time either of us had gotten farther than My-Tho. We followed a jeep all the way.

When I get home I should be a reall good driving. If you’ve ever drove through Tan-Ann it’s a Miracle, there are so many people I saw four accidents that day. I will send you folks a lot of pictures when I get paid.

I am listening to the radio there playing Soul Street it’s a neat song. Sherry have you

page 4

Heard “I Started a Joke” by the B.Gee’s that is sure a cool song. I’ll tell you my favorite top ten songs = “Crimson & Clover”, “Stand By Your Man”, (by Tammy Wynet), “I
Started a Joke”, “Hooked on a Feelin”, “Harper Valley P.T.A.”, “Love Child” by the Supremes, “California Soul”, “Hangem High”, “Baby Lets Wate”, “Soul Strut” I listen to the music while working and then at night I turn on my tape deck and listen to you folks and Charlie Pride, Jim Reeves, Sandy Posey, and Tammy Wynet.

My hair is getting so blonde that its almost white and I am getting more sun tanned each day, I’ll really look funny when I get home I haven’t been drinking very much I can’t stand to drink beer but its cold and anything is better than drinking this water over here. We have a big barbecue about two times a month and this is when I usually drink a little. I got a better mattress for my bunk and I can sleep a lot better now, when I get home you folks will have to put up with me for awhile because if I hear any loud noise’s at night I’ll jump out

page 5

of bed and run for a bunker. HaHa It sure will be neat to be back in the world, time is going by fast I work constantly and this keeps me from thinking about home.

Dad you should see my ¾ truck its really neat when I first got it, it was in pretty bad condition but I clened it all up painted it and it didn’t have a name, all the trucks have names, so I called it Mary-Ann, I’ll take pictures and send you folks. I am sure glad I got a license now I drive everywhere. If you folks didn’t get my last two letters which I sent about a week an half ago. Write and tell me so I can write again, especially about the Tape-Deck, and Amplifier because I do need the money. I haven’t got a letter from anyone for almost a week an half, I hope nothing is wrong at home.

How is Judy & the new baby feelin I am sure glad she had a girl it must be beautiful can’t wait to see her. Are Judy & Larry staying at home now? Has Larry got a Job now? I will have to send them something

page 6

for the baby when I got some money saved up. Dad did you fix the Falcon all up for Sherry? I hope so she probably needs a car pretty bad.

Well I am sitting on my bunk and see two flares in the sky its such a common sight I don’t even pay attention anymore. When I first got here I was sure that Charlie was coming when I saw a flare. Its hard to sy if we are making any progress in the war are not, this is what I think of the war since I’ve been here, The V.C. are weakening and fast we are finding many cache’s which drain there supplies we are also killing a lot of them. The V.C. want to talk peace because they no that they won’t win this war and if they get these talks going they can get something out of the North whereas they wouldn’t if they got whipped, the North no’s this and they don’t want to give the V.C. anything so there making harder at the peace talks. And the U.S. which is supposed to be the mightest, and strongest country in the

page 7

World is stuck in the middle and the World seats back and laughs at us. All I can say is that the U.S. better do something and soon were losing a lot of guys over here and for what, a police action, its not even called a War. I think we should either make progress at the peace talks are start bombing again, the V.C. are taking a great advantage of the bombing halt. I just pray for the best.

Well I’d better close now, I hope to hear from you folks soon, I will write more after. I miss you folks, can’t wait until we can all be together again. Mom write again soon I sure like letter from you Sherry & Judy. Dad keep care and don’t work to hard. Mom you should be pretty proud you have a truck in Vietnam named Mary-Ann, HaHa keep good care you no I miss you a lot, and think of you all the time.

Love your son

Dick Jr.

More by this Author


Comments 74 comments

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

Hi! Yes! I am so happy you are making these hubs! and I am so proud of you for doing so! I can't even express the emotions - how much reading this letter and everything it conjures up makes me recall with such a mixture of emotions those tumultous times! Well done Dick! I look forward to the next installment. I am your #1 fan and welcome to the hubbers' paradise!


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Thank you so much, not only are you a dear but also an inspiration, thanks so much for all your help, look forward to my next Hub. When Crimson and Clover started playing I kinda broke down and shed a few tears, your best friend Dick.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I'm glad you made it "back in the world", NamVetRich!

Reminds of the lingo- "30 days and a wake up". This reminds me of a lot. God bless you Sir!


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Micky Dee - Thanks for being the first to read and comment on my first hub! Like I said before, I will be reading more of your great hubs.


Your Little Sis Sherry 6 years ago

When I saw the photo of you on the boat with the rifle and began to sob. I cannot tell you how proud I have always been of you then and now. I treasured every letter you sent home and missed you so very much when you were gone dear brother. I would read the paper everyday back then everyword about the war. They posted daily the names of soldiers killed and I was always so thankfull you were not among them. It must have been awful for you , you have such a kind loving heart to be suddenly in the middle of a war zone. You made us all so proud. So glad you are doing this yes you should write a book for sure. You know how proud Dad and Mom were of you too. I love you , Sherry


Sherry  6 years ago

You did an awsome job with your posting can't wait for the next installment. You have a gift for telling stories so I know you can write a great book. I am really sorry to say that I do not have the letters you sent me too many moves they got lost along the way. You should contact Judy, Kathie and Barb maybe they have some. Mom should have some more photos too.Again I am so happy you are doing this. Love Sherry


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Rich - Great Hub and I'm looking forward to more!! It will be a great service if you can pull it together, Welcome Home my brother!! Welcome Home...


Beverli Pyle 6 years ago

Wow, what a gift you just gave to all of us! Thank you for being the man you are and thank you for your fight.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Hmr: Thank you for your support. I want to tell you that if it wasn't for my dear friend Meg pushing me in the right direction - as I'm not too computer literate - I could not have done this. And also for my Mom's support - in her 80's and with all her marbles still intact she is like an encyclopedia of knowledge - remembers everything. Thanks again bro.

Beverli: What a nice compliment. After all these years, finally hearing what we should have heard years ago! You're a sweet person and give me moral support to pursue this.


Mary 6 years ago

I really enjoyed reading a real letter to home from Vietnam (nothing glamorized by TV or taken out of context). I graduated from high school in 1967, to give you an idea of my age during that time. I hold a great honor to you and all who served in such a controversial war. It must have been/still is so very hard for veterans of any war.


Alice 6 years ago

Dick, I'm Bob's sister. I have known you for so many years. And you are and have always been the kindest man I have ever known, so it is hard to read this letter and see a totally different side of you. I seen you at your mom's birthday party, and you made it back fine because you are still the kindest man alive. Yes you should write a book because I can't wait for the next letter. I can't even imagine how hard it must be on you to bring all this back up again. I really think this will help a lot of family members of the men who never made it home understand what their loved one went through. Keep up the great work Dick we are proud of you.


Ron 6 years ago

Dick I am so impressed with this, you have been my best friend for 25 years and you never fail to amaze me with your ability to share your life with others in such a moving way. I hope you do write a book, there is a lot of experiences you have had that will help others. Good luck to you and God bless.

Your friend

Ron


Diana Rees 6 years ago

Uncle Dick, I love this. Good for you, for doing this. I know this will be a journey we can all share as we read along. I love you & "Thank You" for doing what you do:)


Judy 6 years ago

Wow! I listened to the song while reading your letters, it was almost like a movie. I actually could invision you as a young man in Viet Nam writing those letters to your loveones at home. It also makes me think about those times and the many lives which were lost or forever changed. Way to go Richard.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Sherry

Thank you so much for the great comment and support, and of course being such a wonderful sister to have. I will post my next letter on April 25. The Hub Pages are awesome there sure are a lot of talented people out there with such diverse subjects to write about, will look forward to reading many of them. Be sure to check out Mega1, Micky Dee he was in Nam same time I was, and Hmrj.


JudyJeremiah 6 years ago

You were so young. And brave then and braver now. I am amazed that you could still find beauty in the country of Viet Nam, during the "armed conflict". I cannot think of a scenario more opposite than Astoria Oregon to the Mekong Delta. None of the films capture what you soldiers went through during that time but I think they must all have a small piece of what happened there. I think the memories are there; in an area of your mind...at times a smell or a word may take you there. Though you kept the memories away, now is the time for you to remember. Please read the book "Matterhorn" that Karl Marlantes wrote. He was a Senior when I was a Freshman at Seaside High School. His father was our Principal. I would like your opinion. Take care my brave little brother. You have always had my love, and a piece of my heart belongs to you. Judy


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

My sister Judy

Above all I have been waiting for your comment you have always been my mentor and inspiration and I hold you dear to my heart. Last year at this same time I spent my last night with you and Larry and in the morning drove back to

California, that evening you encouraged me to get help from the VA it really has changed my life I call it the year of living dangerous, I will never be able to thank you enough. Yes I have ordered the "Matterhorn" by Karl Marlantes will look forward to reading it, have read reviews and all are good. You should really consider writing and maybe joining the Hubs you have a way of putting words together so eloquently. Well I look forward to this new journey. Lots of Love and Hugs, Dick Jr.


David 6 years ago

Richard,

I am so pround of you to find a way to reveal your Nam experiences. I know you have ghosts and goblins from this formative period. Thank you for including me in this window to your life. Looking forward to reading more and seeing you soon. We still owe you a lunch for your last birthday.

David


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

David

Thank you so much for your comment. I am very lucky to have you and Char as such good friends, looking forward to seeing you both soon. Lots of hugs and love to you both.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Mary, Alice, Diana and Ron

I'am new to hubbers so missed a few thank yous, your comments mean so much to me, thanks again.


Karl 6 years ago

What a wonderful idea. Even though we have known each other for a long time I am blessed to be able to experience this part of your life that I knew nothing about. Even though you have not shown us this before it undoubtedly played a major part in shaping who you are, a wonderful,thoughtful and caring man. Those of us who have not served our Country in war can only be so utterly thankful for you and the others. You have a great gift for writing and I only hope you continue. I wish you great success and look forward to future postings.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Karl

I have always looked up to you and admired your brilliance in all your endeavors and of course your great sense of humor, I am honored and thankful for your comment.

Aloha

Richard


NamvetRich 6 years ago

Richard,

You never stop surprising me. I know you have carried Nam, with you a long time and at last you are letting us know how alone and lonely it must have been for you during that period of your life.

I can't imagine what it was like, I never experienced anything that has put my life in jeopardy or in fear of being shot and killed by a bullet from a sniper in a tree.

I do know that putting something in writing frees the soul.

You have a lot of friends whom have always loved you and by what you are doing in opening your heart and letting us in, and giving us the opportunity to love you even more.

Keep posting, I'll keep reading


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Surprising Me

You forgot to leave your name but I may have and idea and just want you to know that your comment means a lot to me, and gives me the inspiration to go on with this endeaver, I have always wanted to write and the Hub Pages are awesome, I will have more Hubs and not just about Vietnam, wait till I post my Pot Roast receipe. Hugs and thank you.


PrettyPanther profile image

PrettyPanther 6 years ago from Oregon

Welcome to Hubpages, and what a great undertaking you have begun! Your letter is fascinating and I look forward to reading more. I have an interest in the era, as I am engaged to a Vietnam veteran and have begun to write his story as best I can. I will send him a link to your letters; I know he will relate. Take care,

Sandra


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Sandra

Thanks for reading my Hub Page, just put out my second one, learning more how to use the site, its fascinating. I am mostly glad to here from vets of any war we somehow can relate and connect with the experience's that we had during are tours in the service, will check out your Hub, thank you


Rick 6 years ago

Wow, what an experience. Thanks for sharing this with me. Always wishing you the best. Rick


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Thanks Rick for your comment, they mean a lot to me, will keep posting.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Very real, very moving, very inspiring. Do continue to share as it can also be a great way to keep on healing. Hugs and blessings to you sire!

Congratulations to your Hubnugget Nomination. Are you in for a nice surprise? Do visit the Hubnuggets of the Caribbean and vote...yes invite your family and friends (even if they are non hubbers) to vote for your hub...it's allowed. :) And this link will take you there: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/HubNuggets-Pi...


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

ripplemaker

Your comment really hit home, sorry but I get alittle emotional, words can not thank you enough. I was not sure if I could do this especially bringing back the memories that I had tried to forget all these years. So far it seems almost like therapy maybe a cleansing. What an honor to be included in the Hubnugget Nomination, thank you so much hope you dont mind me saying you are a sweetie.


George 6 years ago

Great writing, will read more, thanks for sharing


U Neek profile image

U Neek 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

It is hard to express how much I feel for all of our troops who served so faithfully in this political nightmare called the Viet Nam War, or more PC, Police Action. I remember losing a young man who was a member of our church, a wondeful husband and dad to two young children. I was very young at the time but the tragic impressions will be with me always as to the senseless wastefulness of this time.

I have a cousin and a best friend who served there and both returned with PTSD, though it wasn't called that then and wasn't treated as it should have been. That on top of the shameful way many of our returning troops were treated still makes me sad and mad and just plain sick to my stomach for those who just did their jobs, did them well and you all are my heroes.

Thank you, NamVetRich, for sharing your letters and your story. This is a legacy to be preserved so future generations will not have to rely solely on the often lopsided view in history books to get this story straight.

I'll be reading you!


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

U Neek

What touching and inspiring words, you have a gift for conveying your emotions. Your comments are deeply appreciated and help me to continue on. Thank you so much


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Rich, This is a very special article that you would share you letters with your feelings from that terrible time. My husband served in Vietnam also. I'm glad you are on Hubpages and hope to read some more of your articles.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Pam, I really appreciate your comment and will keep posting, I wish I could have had this response in 1969 when I finished my tour in Vietnam, God Bless and thank you.


Steve Tupper 6 years ago

Dear NamVetRich,

It was a pleasure to read your letter: I cam across it by accident, after I persuaded my father (at long last) to show me my grandfather's letters from WW2 (D-Day and after) and his own letters home from Korea. Please keep posting them: maybe you should ask other Vietnam vets to set up a common website to post such mail: there is much more to military history than the memoirs of the generals.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Steve - Thanks for your comment. Thanks for the good idea, I would like to do that and ask others to post their letters on a website. I'll have to learn how to do that!


Beverli Pyle 6 years ago

What can be said about these and you that hasn't already been said... Your one great person and not only did you help make this world a safer place now you've made it a nicer one! Keep doing what your doing.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Bev - Thank you so much for following my hubs and I really appreciate your comments.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Great idea as a means of recording a period of time that was difficult for our men of services. Thanks for being a part of those that were watching over and fighting for our country during that time. Congrats on being selected to this week's HubNuggets Wannabe nominees. Good luck to ya!


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Money, thank you so much for your comment. I am new to the Hubs and hope that I am using the right protocal, I was surprised myself for being chosen, amongst so many good writers, looking forward to writing many more Hubs on many different topics. This has been trying but just the comments alone have lifted my sprits. Will check out your hubs, take care


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

I can't thank you enough for sharing, my heart has always gone out to the Vitenam Vets. They have a very special place in my heart.

Your writing is a gift that you bring to the world and forum at HubPages.

Sharing your letters reminded me of one of my favorite books. "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien which was truly a testament of courage, human heart and soul by our Vietnam Veterans.

Having the courage to finally look at these letters is a testament to your growth. I do hope you continue to get the help for your PTSD.

Congratulations on you HubNuggets nomination. You deserve this and so much more.

Hugs to your healing,

Sage


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Sage, thank you for your awesome comment, I never really anticapated this kind of reaction, wish this had happened when my tour of duty was over. And Hugs to you!!!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

An honest first hand record of your life in the war was a joy to read. Thank you for this top class piece. I will read more.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

earnestshub, thank you sir for your comment. I will check out your Hub.


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Congratulations to you Namvetrich, well deserved for such first class writing, Jamie.


Loves To Read profile image

Loves To Read 6 years ago

May God richly bless you NamVetRich. This is such a hard road to walk. Although I'm from Aus I was just a teen at the time. We lost some great young men that i knew as i was in school with members of their families. None of you great brave young men were treated with the respect you so markedly deserve. Many haven't made it this far, but i know some who have, that are still haunted by ghosts from that time.

If this sort of thing had of been available to the returned soldiers years ago, maybe more of them would still be with us. Just knowing they could keep in touch with comrades would have made such a difference. Again God bless you for sharing. P.S. Very neat writing by hand.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Jamie, thank you for your comment, great words of encouragment.


catalyst20 profile image

catalyst20 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Thanks for the hub and the letters during the Vietnam war. I am from the Philippines and I know how terrible that war was based on news that we constantly received from international news and the Voice of America. Many of the repairs of the war materials were being done in the Philippines and stories were just being circulated about how much blood and tears that Vietnam war brought to the combatants and civilians alike. I am glad you are well and sound even after experiencing the most traumatic memories of your youth spent in remote areas of Vietnam. I am proud of you for standing for somebody's freedom. God bless you.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Catalst20

Thank you for reading my Hub, I think the war in Vietnam affected the whole world in some way, perhaps most were very negative towards it.


AuBryJo profile image

AuBryJo 6 years ago

I am truly thankful for men like yourself. My Uncle is also a Nam Vet. He was a Green Beret and did four tours in Nam, voluntarily.

He was shot during his first tour, sent home, then once recovered insisted he was going back. He said nothing would deter him from returning to his duty. He enlisted as a 17 year old and he spent most of his life serving the United States Army in one form or another.

He sent us gifts from Thailand once and I still cherish them. The stories he told us, on one of his visits home between tours kept us wide-eyed for hours at a time. I know that he never told us the horrors he faced as we were only children at the time. As we grew older we found out how difficult things were for those who served during a war.

Even today, as a civillian, having retired in 1995, he finds himself training troops for deployment. The Army is in his blood. It always will be.

Thank you for sharing these letters, Thank you more for doing all that you had to do in the line of duty!!

God Bless you, and God Bless the USA!!!


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

AuBryJo, hats off to your Uncle you must be very proud of him. He sounds like someone I would like to know. Thank you for your comment, and God Bless.


SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

I just started to read your stories. it was a terrible war and not sure if we learned anything from it? thank you for giving me some insight into that world. will continue reading now.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

SomewayOuttaHere, great Hub name, reminds of a Hendrix song. Thanks for checking out my first Hub, I really appreciate your comment. Like you said It would be nice if we could have learned something from the Vietnam coflict, but like some people say its hard to teach old dogs new tricks, the war machine just keeps rolling along.


GREG LABAJETTA 6 years ago

Brought back many memories. I too served in Dong Tam Vietnam. 1967 - 1968. Lonely place....many mortar attacks...scary perimeter guard....Ash & trash...and filling sandbags! Never wanted to see Vietnam again. But went back in 2006 and loved the people and the place! Great therapy!


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Thank you for finding my hubs and commenting or I would not have found yours. I appreciate so much you sharing your memories and letters!So much history. That skinny little fellow with the rifle shared his heart with his family in this long letter and it is so evident that you loved your family. I know they read your letters over and over!I hope it helps you,too. You have a new fan.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Thank you bayoulady for your wonderful comment, I have been putting together a book with the letters my Mom had saved, Hub Pages really encouraged me to go ahead and do this. I have enjoyed reading your Hub's you my lady have a gift for writing, Aloha


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Greg, it was great getting a comment from somone else who was there the same time I was. You were right on about ash and trash, lots of dust and when the monsoon hit it was a big muddy mess. Glad you made it home, thanks for comment.


mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Ah NamVetRich, you do bring back so many memories from that time. I did 2 tours there with the first one being in Quang Tri. You pointed out that it would have been a beautiful country had it not been for the war. I remember everyone trying to buy a tape deck to try to send back home.

I have also been diagnosed with PTSD and being treated for sleep disorder. I sleep between 4 and 5 hours a day.

I apologize to you because I thought sure I was following you, anyway I am now. Thank you for sharing, I will be back soon to read more.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

mquee, you lifted my spirits today, just knowing that there are still guys out there who went through hell and came back. It really is hard to try and tell people just what it was like, thanks to my Mom, Grandma, and a few more people a lot of my letters were saved that I had written at that time. Of course I omitted a lot of stuff that I felt I could not repeat to anyone, this year and half I have had to dig up these memories and relate them to the VA, this has been a very trying process. Thanks again sir, and I look forward to reading your hubs, proud to be a fan of yours.


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

First i would like to say welcome home BRO,

I look forward to reading more of your hubs, as i too have begun to tell my story. I have just finished writing a book myself. Been there and done that and it is very hard to tell the stories sometimes. Good luck my friend


barb 6 years ago

I already commented about your letters, I think under the pot roast comments! Just like me to mix things up. Again dear cousin, I am so very proud of you. And again thank you and all the war Vets, for serving our country. I appreciate your sacrifice. Love you cuz


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NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

vietnamvet(drill sergeant) just read one of your hubs it was great also brought back memories. Thanks for the comment and for reading my hubs, I hope you dont mind me being a fan of yours.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Wow... My "war" is/was different. Everyone's war is different. My hands still sweat if I "talk too much" about what I did... I never fired a gun. You can kill many different ways and no one would know... Glad you "came out..."

My "demons" are dead... I like it that way. You got yourself a fan. I will follow your progress.

Tears welled up reading your story... It is what it is...


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NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Dallas, your right on about everyone's war being different, my MOS was stock control, but I found myself in many difficult situations and was glad that I took combat training. I have kept these memories and nightmares hidden for so long, its like a cleansing of the soul bringing them forward. Thank you Sir.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 6 years ago

Nam Vet Rich; Welcome home! If you will accept this from someone you don't know , I would be happy. I have been lucky to have told my brother how proud of him I am. He was a Marine in 68 , In danang and around there.

He's my all time hero and I'm glad I finally blurted it out to him .You guys were amazing in you're devotion to country and cause.


Ranger375 6 years ago

Uncle I am so glad you are able to find piece of mind with these letters and postings. I have done jungle training. Jungle School is by far the most humbling training I have ever done. I have more respect for Nam Vets then you could ever imagine. Your my HERO! I am so proud of everything you have done!


Gil 6 years ago

Hey Richard, I was 4 years old when you were over there and my brother served in the 4th ID. Although there are many who never 'got' what happened, I was at an age where I saw the world in a very basic view. I saw the pain my mother carried every day that my brother was gone and only knew that he had to be in a bad place to do what was asked of him. At the end of what he endured he was told to be ashamed of himself by those who only sit in judgment rather than comprehend from experience. All I know is that I have met many Viet Vets over the years and I have never once met one that wanted to be there; they went and they fought and they bled because it was in the interest of their country. They didn't run to Canada or feign disability, they simply said "Although I do not want to, I will." I think it is a shame that it took so long for the thank you's and understanding to come. To this day, I make sure to shake the hand of every Viet Vet and thank them. No matter what I am doing or where I am going, if I'm busy or running late, I stop and acknowledge the sacrifice made- it is the very least I can do.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and please accept, from one vet to another, my virtual handshake and sincere and heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you made. Although some may have viewed your service with contempt, to many, many more your efforts were not taken for granted.

Peace be with you,

Gil

(I'm a friend of your nephew Edward here in Iraq; he forwarded this link to us all)


ImJustGil 6 years ago

Hey Richard, I was 4 years old when you were over there and my brother served in the 4th ID. Although there are many who never 'got' what happened, I was at an age where I saw the world in a very basic view. I saw the pain my mother carried every day that my brother was gone and only knew that he had to be in a bad place to do what was asked of him. At the end of what he endured he was told to be ashamed of himself by those who only sit in judgment rather than comprehend from experience. All I know is that I have met many Viet Vets over the years and I have never once met one that wanted to be there; they went and they fought and they bled because it was in the interest of their country. They didn't run to Canada or feign disability, they simply said "Although I do not want to, I will." I think it is a shame that it took so long for the thank you's and understanding to come. To this day, I make sure to shake the hand of every Viet Vet and thank them. No matter what I am doing or where I am going, if I'm busy or running late, I stop and acknowledge the sacrifice made- it is the very least I can do.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and please accept, from one vet to another, my virtual handshake and sincere and heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you made. Although some may have viewed your service with contempt, to many, many more your efforts were not taken for granted.

Peace be with you,

Gil

(I'm a friend of your nephew Edward here in Iraq; he forwarded this link to us all)


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NamVetRich 5 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

First let me start by apologizing for not answering the last three comments. My life turned up side down last year in the month of September, I lost someone very dear to me. Since than I have moved from Sonoma County, CA to Eugene OR.


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 4 years ago from California

Rich, I feel privileged to have found your series at this point in my life. As I begin reading these, I have to thank you for your service, and send you prayers and best wishes through your losses and struggles.


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NamVetRich 4 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Mr. Smith

Thank you for your comment, I have been strugling with a few issues since moving to Oregon, but looks like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and glad to be back on the Hub Pages. I can now but my energy back into writing my book. Look forward to reading your Hub's.


KatyWhoWaited profile image

KatyWhoWaited 3 years ago

Rich, I can't really express my feelings about these letters. Anything I say would be totally inadequate. As "Katy" who waited for her husband back home, I can tell you that your letters indicate your remarkable character. You describe the environment, you evaluate your position in it, you send those feelings back home. I can tell by your letters you were much loved by your family and have great love for them. The letters I received from "Tim" express frustration at being in Vietnam, missing me, and not much more. Years later, that husband left our little family. I understand that every Vietnam experience was different and every person expresses themselves differently, but I can tell you that reading your letters today, actually released me from a feeling of immense failure in my marriage. I am sure you could never have envisioned that kind of unintended consequence of your letters. It's all very difficult to explain, but your letters are more important to the readers than you or I or anyone might be able to imagine. They will impact each individual in relationship to their own age and experience. They have the quality of universality.


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NamVetRich 2 years ago from Springfield Oregon Author

Dear Katy,

I put everything away for almost 3 years and now it is time for me to come back and finish what I started, thanks to Hub Pages and a very dear friend who pushed me in the right direction. I will post one more letter and than I will try to put all of my letters and feelings into a book. It really hit me when I came back to Hub Pages and started reading all the wonderful comments and all the support of so many people. After reading what you wrote above I broke down and cried, I can not thank you enough.

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