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17-Love Letters from the Vietnam War - Love is Going to the Library on a Friday Night

Updated on August 15, 2016

The link above is to an excellent article on couple compatibility. Throughout their courtship, Kate and perhaps Tim as well, wondered about their compatibility. After all, they had known each other a short time, and Vietnam was looming. If only this article had been available, their worries about any possible incompatibility would have been assuaged.

8 August 1969

Previous Letter

Dear Kate,

It's Friday night and nothing to do except to think about how much I miss you. I'm always thinking about you, but it's during the quiet times that the pain of our separation is most felt. However, strangely enough, it's also during these times that my thoughts of you give me the most pleasure. I enjoy thinking about how loving and compassionate you are. I enjoy thinking about how good, kind, and gentle you are. It amuses me to think that despite all this, you only manage to see your shortcomings. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I love you.

Well, I've finished week one of course 35L20 and it's been Olin's Law all over again. Sometimes it depresses me to think that I'm just wasting time. But it's not a total loss because after duty hours, I manage to get to the library and do a more comprehensive review of the fundamentals. The library on post is quite a good one. That's where I think I'll go tonight. I just thought of something! What would your mother say if you told her that I (being a serviceman) went to the library on "Friday nights? I'd dure like to be there and find out. Just so she won't be totally disallusioned, I'll probably stop off at the service club for a few beers. Hmm, I'd better go to the library first.

All in all things have been pretty good with me. Except for a rommate who sleeps with his eyes open. Strangest thing I've ever seen second only to your shaum tarts. We'll I better get going.



PS. Don't I spell atrosiously?

PSS. or P.P.S. Please don't correct the errors and send the letters back. Ha!

P.P.P.S. so I can't spell, but I'm in love with you.

Next Letter

Note for New Readers of the "Tim and Kate" Letters from Vietnam

Previous Letter
To read the all the letters in the "Tim and Kate" series starting with May of '69, click here. Link to Complete Index of Letters"

And now for a brief update..." So, where are we in the Tim and Kate story? Below is a timeline up to this point of the story.

November, 1968: Tim and Kate meet a a mutual friend's party.

February, 1969: Tim, in his strange, but loveable Spock-like approach to love and life, tells Kate that if they continue seeing each other, he wants to do so with the intent of looking at each other as marriage partners. Kate is ecstatic at what she knows is a romantic proposal from Tim. They are deeply in love which is probably intensified by the conflict with Catholic mandate to be celibate before marriage and while being in the midst of the 60's free-thinking revolution.

Kate has finally had time after graduating from a gruelling major in college, to study the war in Vietnam more closely, and supports the protestors and is planning to engage in more political activity if she can ever find time outside of doing lesson plans for school and spending time getting to know Tim. She can envision Tim and herself protesting the war together.

March, 1969: The relationship has intensified. Tim spends all of his time in the evenings (not studying) with Kate. He has often has supper with the family and helps Kate with her lesson plans. Each night they wait until her parents go to bed on the pretense of watching Johnny Carson. Their passion for each other is unparalleled by any of their previous relationships. And then one Wednesday night, Tim asks Kate what she would say if he enlisted. She's shocked and guilty because Tim explains that his grades in engineering classes have been slipping. He's talked to the Dean (she didn't know) and he is not allowed to take his mid-semester exams over again. That means he'll get C's and D's. The likelyhood of him loosing his deferment is high and Tim decided his chances are better for not going to Vietnam if he enlists. At the same time, he states that he has been feeling guilty seeing the men his age who have been dying in that war while he is safely in school.

May, 1969: Tim goes off to Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Both Tim and Kate are uncertain if their relationship of only six months can survive the separation.

June, 1969: Tim's letters to Kate and Kate's letters to Tim, their calls on weekends, their loneliness, only creates a deeper need for each other.

July, 1969: Tim comes home on leave and he and Kate are more in love than ever. They start talking about two-story houses and the number of children they'd like to have.

August: Tim is now in AIT (Advanced Infrantry Training) at Fort Gordon, GA. His MOS, (military operating skill?) has placed him in the electronic field and is attending classes on base for that area. At this point, it is unknown whether or not he will be sent to Vietnam. Tim and Kate assume the best. Meanwhile, Kate is more intent on following the protests and demonstrations and in learning about the nature of the war in Vietnam.


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