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20-Love Letters from Vietnam: "The Important Factor in All My Plans" - That's All She Heard

Updated on December 26, 2009

13 August, 1969

For an Index to all of the Tim and Kate Letters, click here.


Dear Kate,

Hey, you blew it! I had no idea you were going to send me a gift until I read your letter today. Even though it's not here yet, from the way you described it, it sounds pretty impressive. I'm using "it" to describe it in order to create an illusion of surprise. Can I help it if I like surprises? Thanks a lot, Kate, "it's" exactly what I need. I hope it gets here in one piece.

No, Kate, no more PT in the mornings. Instead we have "police calls," GI parties," and "shake downs." A police call is the act of picking up litter in the battalion area which we have to do every morning at 5:30. A GI party is like spring cleaning where the barracks has to be cleaned from top to bottom. We have these twice a week. And the shakedowns I wrote to you about before. We have these (so I hear) once a month when the new pin-ups come out!

Remember before I left I said it would be Ohm's Law and power supplies all over again in class. Well, we're studying power supplies now. Today in class the instructor was going over the electronics involved in rectification (converting AC to DC). There was an oscilloscope in the room, so I suggested we hook up the scope and show what was happening. The instructor just looked at me and said, "Good idea. OK, you do it." So I did. After class the instructor pulled me aside and asked me how I did it. So now you know what I'm up against. They may be good radio mechanics, but when it comes to theory, they're lost.

Hey, where did the time go? It's getting late. I'd better get to bed; 4:00 am comes around awfuly early.

Bye, Kate, take care. Don't let anything happen to you. You're the important factor in all my plans.




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    • KatyWhoWaited profile image

      KatyWhoWaited 8 years ago

      Dear Mike,

      Thank you for your comment! John Denver's lyrics in "Let Us Begin" are some of my favorite: "Have we forgotten, all the lives that were given, all vows that were taken, saying, "Never again?" Now for the first time, it could be the last time, if peace is our vision, then let us begin."

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 8 years ago from carthage ill

      I am so sorry its was bad war bad times to many drugs not enough peace Sorry for all you suffered through wree many good soldiers God Bless mike