Vietnam Letters

Waiting on an Address

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Waiting on an Address

Frank deployed from Okinawa to Vietnam on January 15, 1971.  I would not receive the last letter he wrote from Okinawa until after he had been deployed for five days. One of the letters I had written to him dated January 11, 1971, was returned to me. Because I wrote him a letter every day,  I  know somewhere out there in “lost letter land” there are still other letters that he never received and which were never returned to me  The problem we faced was that mail took five days or more to arrive in Okinawa from the states. The following letter is the first letter I received from...

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Please, Please Mr. Postman

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Please, Please Mr. Postman

We were both writing each other, but I was the only one receiving letters. Once receiving an address, I mailed a large stack of letters to Frank that had been waiting on my nightstand to be mailed. It would take days for Frank to get them.   Receiving letters from him while he poured out his love for me made my heart ache because I knew how depressed he was and that he had not gotten my letters of love to him. It is a strange feeling to know your letters would comfort the one person who owns your heart and soul but you are not able to get them to him fast enough.   I prayed that soon a...

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I Love You, Frank

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I Love You, Frank

Finally, we were in communication with each other.   Of course, it would be a slow process but it was the best we had. I would not know Frank received my letters until sometime after the 15th of February but we kept writing.  We both had so many questions about what was going on with each other. Frank wrote a letter many days before Valentine’s Day asking his folk’s to buy flowers and candy for me.  Days before Valentines Day, I had mailed his Valentine’s Card and sent a box full of things for him to munch on.  Because we knew how long the mail took to reach each other we...

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Guard Duty and Cookies

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Guard Duty and Cookies

Frank was finally receiving my letters and boxes. Finally, he could begin to realize that there was no need to worry about who would always own my heart and soul. Loneliness through separation from the person you truly love added to being in a war with so much uncertainty of what the next day may bring can cause a person to think of the worst of what could happen instead of the truth that they know inside them. My biggest worry was for Frank’s health and safety.  I was so terrified of something happening to him and him not returning to me alive.  Loving Frank with all of my heart and...

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Ups and Downs and Poetry

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Ups and Downs and Poetry

Frank had decided to quit smoking on March 1, 1971, while he was in Vietnam. There is a movie called “Cold Turkey” from 1969.  It is about a town whose citizens all decided to quit smoking and the emotions that they went through.  If you haven’t watched it, you will want to do that.  It is really funny. Thinking, if you are twenty-one years old, have been married for nearly three years, have been separated from your wife for two months who you are used to being intimate with, are suffering from loneliness with off and on depression, and you are in Vietnam during a war, it...

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Helping Me Get Up

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Helping Me Get Up

Frank wanted me to tell him all of my feelings, upsets, and worries.   It would be hard for us to hold back sharing those things with each other because we only confided in each other. We knew that sharing these things would upset each other because we were not in a position to help each other.  Sometimes we were strong enough to hold back our upsets and emotions when writing to each other but many times we failed. On March 1, 1971, I failed miserably wallering in self-pity while writing a letter to Frank but he loved me so much that he would not let me sink into depression and self-pity. ...

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“Just a Touch of Magic”

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“Just a Touch of Magic”

Frank and I had been separated before, ten weeks while he was in Basic Training,  two weeks after we married, and three months before I arrived in Okinawa but this separation was different. The difference in this separation was fear.  Fear of losing your soulmate, the person who owned your heart and soul.  Frank was in a war zone where anything could happen at any moment.  We were both aware of that possibility every moment of every day. Music was always a big part of our lives.  We played music all of the time and knew the words to most of the songs on the radio.  The music from the 60s and...

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A Haircut & Sp5

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A Haircut & Sp5

Loneliness and depression are emotions that can be controlled for short periods of time then they can hit so deeply that they can send you spiraling into a deep pit.  Knowing how to handle loneliness and depression requires lots of willpower and personal strength. Frank and I were truly in love, truly devoted to each other and really knew each other.  We knew exactly how to help each other out of these emotions.  The only problem was the time it took letters to reach each other but at times our deep connection to each other would have us feel each other’s feelings and a letter would...

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Come on Nancy

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Come on Nancy

I have been posting letters from Frank, letting you read what he had written to me. These letters contain his emotions and things he was doing in Vietnam but I have not said much about my everyday life during this time in our lives or my emotions. After a little thought, I decided that it needs to be included, so everyone knows how it was for faithful spouses holding down the home front while their husbands were in Vietnam. Our little white house in Van Vleck, Texas was my fortress and safety barrier from others.  After leaving our home to go to work on the weekdays, once work was over I...

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I Believe in You

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I Believe in You

Frank had panicked when the mail did not arrive on time but once he finally received my letters and realized that I was never going to stop loving him, it would relieve his worries. I would write back to Frank about the letters he had sent to me while he was so upset but it will take a while for him to get my response.  In the meantime, he kept writing to me apologizing and telling me how much he loved me. April 7, 1971 Dear Nancy. Am I forgiven yet?  I feel like the most foolish man in the world.  I won’t go into that again.  I did last night and I’m getting tired of being a...

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A Quote from Me

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A Quote from Me

Although they had taken days longer than expected, letters were beginning to arrive,  Frank and I had both been very worried about each other but getting a letter helped calm our fears. Frank sounded so happy in his last few letters and that made me happy.  It always made me feel better when I knew he was light-hearted and not so depressed.  For some reason, I felt that he was safer from danger.  Frank felt the same way about me.  When I wrote a letter that was upbeat, he knew that I had a good day and was not depressed which meant I was probably eating right.  Frank was so afraid that I...

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Two Week R&R

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Two Week R&R

During 1971, Vietnam soldiers deployed for a year in a combat theater could take a two week R&R to the states.  Frank and I had discussed this before he left but had decided to meet in California after he got out of the Army. In a moment of weakness, I wrote to Frank asking him to come home on a two week R&R. Frank wrote me back explaining his decision and why. April 23, 1971 Dear Nancy, How’s my lover today?  I hope you’re fine. Hey, I’m off today!  How about that?  I only had to work 30 days this time.  Last night was my night to write to you but I waited till...

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Third Anniversary Blues

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Third Anniversary Blues

Frank has written “Happiness is Love” many times in his letters. This saying came off of a big card I sent him while he was in Vietnam. The card had Snoopy dancing on the front of it with “Happiness is Love” above Snoopy’s head. Frank kept it taped to the wall next to the side of his bed.  On that same wall, he kept taped pictures that his four-year-old little sister, Cindy, had colored for him.  Another really special thing that Frank and Cindy did, was to send each other freckles through letters. Frank was pretty down in the dumps in his next letter to me. ...

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Doll, Jewlery, Dear John

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Doll, Jewlery, Dear John

Frank and I made it through our third Wedding Anniversary without being physically together but the distance between us could not separate our hearts and souls that day. On our third Wedding Anniversary, I was kept busy by the family around me to keep my mind off of the fact that Frank was not there.  Frank had good friends around him that kept him busy too. In Frank’s next letter he tells me a little about what he did in Phu Bai, Vietnam on our third Wedding Anniversary. May 10, 1971 Dear Nancy, How’s my wife today?  I hope fine and very much in love with me.  I’m sorry I...

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A Tape & Another Gift

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A Tape & Another Gift

As you know from the last chapter, Frank has been asking me lots of questions that I have not answered. I made Frank a cassette tape then sent it to him with some of the answers to his questions and some other things that had been going on in my life.  I do not have this cassette tape but really wishing I had the cassette that was in the plastic cover of the one that Frank mailed to me which I found with the letters. One of the most upsetting things that had been going on had to do with my job.  The man who owned the business had a nephew who needed a job, so it was decided that he would be...

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