Letters 15 & 16 from Basic 1968

Posted by in Love Letters | 12 comments

Letters 15 & 16 from Basic 1968

A Unique and Special Letter

The next letter is unique and special, Frank decided to write to me on something he thought would be different, but I will let him tell you about it. 

 

 

 

April 20, 1968 

Dear Lou, 

Isn’t this a novelty? 

I bet you never expected to get a letter that was written on a bedsheet.  Well, I’m not out of paper, I’m not nuts, and I don’t mean anything by it.  I just thought that it would be unusual.  

It is Friday of my 6th week and my nerves are shot. We don’t get our orders until Wednesday and rumor is the RA’s don’t get a leave after basic.  So, I’m about to go nuts.    I got back from bivouac Thursday at 10:00.  We ate chow and then we went and saw Bob Hope.  It was great. He was really good. 

Sweety, I’m tired tonight and I don’t really feel like going into it but I’ll tell you this much, it was hell.  Excuse my language but it was exactly that and I know of no other way to define it.  I’m not mad because you all decided on the 8th because anything you decide now is alright because you have about 2 weeks and the boss takes over.

Ha, Ha! Baby, your letters are putting me up in the sky, I love you and I need you so much, girl.  When I get home, we’re going to the beach and lay around all day.  I should be polishing my muddy boots and getting things straightened up because we have inspection but I said, man what comes first Lou or the _ _ _ _ Army. 

All I can think of is songs like “Beautiful People”, Johnny Rivers singing “Baby I Need Your Loving”, and they just keep running through my weary mind.  Today we went to the live grenade range to throw grenades and I enjoyed it.  I’m so tired because we didn’t get but from 2 to 4 hours sleep for a couple of nights.  So, if I don’t make much sense and cut this letter short, don’t worry because I’m so darn tired. 

Well, I just found out I have fire watch from 4 to 5 so there goes one more hour of sleep.  Baby, I’m gonna have to close, but I’ve got so much to tell you, so if I talk your ears off when I get home don’t think anything about it.   

All My Love,                                                                      

Frank                                                                         

I Love You, Lou    Only 1 week and 6 days to go 

 

Frank was really tired and counting the days until basic training was over.  I can read in his words how tired he is.  He is rambling from one thing to the next as if his thoughts are circling in his mind.  I knew Frank would make it but I was still worried about him because he was beginning to be nonchalant about what the Army wanted him to do but I knew that he was just very tired and would do his best when asked of him.  Frank was not a slacker but a person who always gave at least 200% of himself in everything he did, he just needed some sleep. 

 

April 22, 1968 

Dear Lou,                                                                    

How’s everything going now Honey? 

You’ll never guess what time it is, 2:15 in the morning.  I have CQ watch from 2-3.  Well, yesterday was Saturday and instead of the usual Saturday morning inspection, we had bayonet training and a practice proficiency test.  We finally got post privileges, not at noon but at 7:00 Saturday night. Well, baby guess what? You’ll be living in Fort Devens, Massachusetts and be married to a Radio Code man.  We (ASA) received our assignments Sat. 

I still don’t know if I’ll be getting a leave or not.  The course will last for 13 weeks and it teaches the sending and receiving of, morse code.  Following the 1st 13 weeks, I’ll be reassigned to a more specialized radio code school which will vary from 9 to 15 weeks in length.  Jim is going to Virginia for his AIT and we both signed up for the same thing, but neither one of us got our 5 choices.  He’s signed up for power generator repair and air conditioning maintenance.  Steve is assigned to the same thing I am and is going to Devens also. I’m still sweating out my orders to see if I get a leave.  We should get them this coming week. 

Baby when I’m in our room I’m alright because all the guys are laughing, joking, or talking but when I get by myself, I have a hard time.  All I can think of is you and how much I miss you and need you.  I may sound silly but I hate the night because my mind is filled with memories of us and this makes me sad because I’m not there to hold you and be with you. 

I think Mom is about as excited about the wedding as I am and you are.  She writes and fills me in on everything and even tries to draw me a picture of the bride’s bouquet.  I can’t wait to get married and set up house and for you and I to live like a man and wife.  The two of us taking on the world and you know I believe we will win, in fact I know we will because I’m not giving up, are you?  I bet you didn’t even know I had left, did you. 

I went to wake up Herman because he has the 3 to 4 CQ but I returned faithfully just like I will later (1 week and 5 days).  We take our first Pt test Wed and from 6 to 11:30 Friday night we have night infiltration where we crawl under barbed wire and stuff under real machine fire.  The machine gun will be fired over our backs as we crawl.  So, I plan on keeping my butt down as low as possible or else I’ll lose it.   

Did I tell you Friday we had to throw a grenade?  I enjoyed it.  I was kind of nervous because if you let up on the handle 1/15 of an inch it will go off in 4 to 6 seconds.  A sergeant just walked in drunker than a skunk.   

Today we learned a little hand to hand combat (judo) and we will get more Monday and Tuesday. 

How’s school going?  Getting all ready for graduation?  Tell my brother that if he doesn’t write pretty soon, I’m going to kick his — when I get home. 

Hey, Lou tell your parents to write Jim because he, just like me, likes to hear from home too.  A guy up here can get all kinds of thoughts about home if people don’t keep in touch.  Hey in my room two guys went to the hospital with measles.  Tell Mom, she is pretty smart making me get those measles shots.  I’ll be back in a minute, I think my buddy went back to sleep because it’s 7 after 3 now so I better go see if he’s getting up.  I’m back (big deal) and he’s coming so I’ll finish up in the morning.  Good night. 

Well here I am on my bunk writing a conclusion on this letter which probably doesn’t make any sense but I hope it does because all I wrote was true especially the part that says I love you.  Baby, I love you so darn much I just can’t start to stand to miss you.  Does that make sense?  We just got the message that North Koreans just attached U.S. forces in Korea, so it looks bad.  I’m pretty shook up now because I feel a particular feeling for my country and its’ way of life and I also feel for you because it wouldn’t be right for you if I went, so I’m goofed up. 

Don’t worry about it I’ll do enough worrying for myself and you.   

Well, good night darling and remember me in your prayers.  Be sweet and remember I love you very, very much.                                                                     

All my Love,                                                                          

Frank 

Frank was definitely shaken by the news he had received about North Korea attacking U.S. forces.  When he wrote me this letter his handwriting really showed his concerns.  Frank had no idea if he would be sent to Korea or Vietnam after his graduation or if he would be coming home to me to get married.  Everything was up in the air and very unsettling for him but I knew Frank would do whatever the Army asked of him and I knew I would stand by Frank in any way I possibly could whether married or not. 

Frank had only one week and four days left in basic training.  Would he get his leave to come home and marry me or go straight across the ocean to war?  Those two questions kept running through my mind while I prayed and continued working on our Wedding.

<<<<< Beginning | Next Chapter >>>>>

 

12 Comments

  1. Although it’s difficult to appreciate, I will say I’ve begun to gain a better understanding for the interplay between two people who’ve found their desire to begin a life together put at the feet of a decision they had no ability to influence! While some would point to a thing called chance, I’ve begun to see how this story really goes to faith! You’ve done well to recognize the moments when and where one’s faith… in love, in family, or in your God might be tested and I look forward to how you and Frank chose to deal with each other in the moments both together and apart. By the way, I have always always been that line in the song by the band, America…Sister Golden Hair Surprise, ” …I’m one poor correspondent…and I’m way too hard to find, but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind!” I’m glad that you and your husband were Nancy, it makes for a great story! Carry on…

    • Thank you so much Dennis. God was so important to Frank and I. I really believe that God had a plan before we were born for us to find each other no matter what. Even then God had a purpose for the two of us. Finding these letters has truly reenforced that belief in my heart for that purpose.
      True love, true commitment, true struggles, real separation by war, struggling to have a child and eventually heartbreaking grief at losing a soulmate who shared my heart and soul. You will read about all those things as I type about our lives in this book uninhibited while bearing our life together with you.
      God has a purpose.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

  2. Nancy Lou, mail fun knew no boundaries for my brother and I. While I was a Radio Teletype operator in S. Korea my brother was a teletype operator for the FBI in DC. We would send letters back and forth and occasionally add a handful of the ticker tape punch outs we both had an abundant supply of. It really made my houseboy mad so I let him help me prepare an entire package for John.

    • Walter, I know that was so much fun. How big was the box? I love that you wrote back and forth with your brother. Do you still have any of your letters?
      Thank you for your comment
      God Bless you,
      Nancy Lou

  3. Nancy, I enjoyed this post so much. I love your comments underneath the letters. That adds the depth of meaning in it for me. What a lovely thing to share with the world.

    • Thank you so much Mary Rae. I am glad you like my comments between the letters. Frank speaks to us all in his letters so you will truly get to know him. He also reminds me of what I have written him.
      Praying you keep coming back and reading because soon you will get to watch this amazing person named Frank, my husband, write letters from Vietnam and he will grow into a stronger, wiser, beautiful man. I’m just his narrator.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m really behind and need to catch up on your other posts. I don’t know where my time goes. Keep up the good work. God bless.

    • Thank you so much Diane. Struggling a little here on writing next chapter of the book, so I did a funny blog instead. Hardest thing in going in that time capsule to write about the past, is trying to be able to come out and live in the present to make new memories.
      My youngest Grandson is in from Saudi Arabia so I want to spend as much time as I can with him while keeping the tribe fed with chapters of my book. He is actually my biggest fan and always has been.
      God Bless you and Thank you for you’re comment. I consider you an Amazing Friend,
      Nancy

  5. Did Frank ever tell you about all the cadence songs? About the legendary sleaze “Jodie?” Thinking back to some of the guys in my BCT company and how they got the notion in their heads about their significant other’s…it truly is a testament to the love you two share that he never mentions that.

    • Kim, Frank never mentioned that song but now you have sparked my curiosity. Lol! Frank, as you will see as you keep reading, was very protective of me.
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It means alot yo me that you read and comment.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy

  6. Lol…the drill sergeants used to use limericks to keep everybody in step when marching…several of them involved a guy taking up with a wife or girlfriend…for example…ain’t no use in going home, Jody’s got your girl and gone…ain’t no use in going back, Jody’s got your cadillac…the DU would call out a verse, we’d repeat it, tben he’d xall out the next verse….there are hundreds of variations…lol

    • Lol, thank you, Kim. Frank never mentioned “Jodie” songs. Thinking he knew that I was true blue. I was more afraid he would change his mind about me, of course, that was a needless worry also.
      Thank you for reading and giving me some info on things a basic training.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *