Letters 9 & 10 from Basic, 1968

Posted in Love Letters | 4 comments

Basic Training Fun

I sent Frank my Senior picture in a letter right before receiving the following two letters from him.  I still had my braces on, but that did not keep me from smiling for the picture, just for him.


March 16, 1968 

Dear Nancy, 

This letter is going to be dedicated to answering your questions in the latest letters today, Saturday, March 16, 1968, but first I have to tell I love you very much and that’s 3 small words to cover a very strong undefinable feeling I have for you.   

You asked about the exercises.  Yes, they are hard, but I’m getting in better condition, and it’s getting easier.  To pass and graduate, you need 300 pts. There are 5 fields, and each field is worth 100 pts. (if you get a perfect score).  The fields are the rifle (if you hit 60 out of 87 you get an expert and 100 pts.), the mile run (6 minutes and 10 seconds for 100 pts.), a crawl on your stomach for 20 yds. down and 20 back in 32 seconds, the bars (74 in 2 minutes and (?) seconds for 100 pts.) and you have to carry someone 150 yds. On your back of your own weight, ½ way and they carry you back the other half in 36 seconds for a 100 pts.   To get a pass or PX privileges, we have to answer 168 military questions out of 168.  The letters you write I can keep as long as I have room, I’m keeping them right now in my empty shaving kit. 

I’m getting a letter every other day but don’t think I’m mad at you because you can’t help it if the mail service is slow, so don’t worry about it because I’m not.  I know you love me and will write to me when you can, and it will get here when it does.    And damn it I’ll love you whether you have braces on or not.  I love you as a person, not as a mouth, eye, nose, or ears.  Hey, I can’t wait to see your hair, from the way you talk it’s getting pretty and long.  Don’t go to any bother I mean if you would rather it be short and if it’s easier to keep that way then get it cut.  I’ll like it any way you wear it.  If I ever hear you say, please don’t stop loving me or I’ll die again, I’ll personally kick your butt.  You know that it is impossible for me to stop loving you.  So, knock it off because I don’t want you to doubt me because it’s there and it always will be for you.  Don’t worry about me so much I’m alright, I’ll make it.  Remember, I went to school at VVHS, and we were tough (HA, HA).  Perk up yourself and get off this nervous breakdown crap because the days will pass (24 hrs. Every day), and eventually I’ll be there, and I’ll be the same old guy that left.  Except, I’ll be getting married in a few days. 

If you don’t straighten up and be happy and take care of yourself, I’ll divorce you.  No, seriously, it’s important to be happy because the time will pass faster and easier if you face it with a smile and forget about feeling sorry for yourself.  You ought to be happy because I love you and am looking forward to that wonderful day.  Hey, by the way, we had a formal Inspection today, and we had to put on our dress uniform, and my zipper broke on mine all the way down, and I was in bad shape when the Captain came in, but he didn’t spot it.   Lou, if I told you what my parents have said about you, you’d be so happy.  They told me they loved you very much and they like you more every time they see you.  Every letter is about you and what you’ve said and everything.  I’m learning to laugh too.  Everybody’s getting to know each other better and joke.

Right now, Jim came down (He’s in the 1st. Platoon down the hall, I’m in the second) and all my men in my barracks are playing cards.  The Second Platoon (which is the one I’m in) got the best barracks of the week today after Inspection, and this made me pretty proud because we worked until 9:10 last night getting everything ready until 10:00 this morning.  I plan to go to church tomorrow, Jim and I for the 3rd week straight, (pretty good huh).  Well, I bet you are surprised at the length of this letter, well so am I, but I felt like writing, and I’m feeling good because all I can think of is how happy I’ll be.  I’ll have to close now but keep writing and let me know things. 

Remember I’m crazy over you, and I love you very much.  I know we are far apart, but it’s not the end of the world.  So, chin up and be and be happy.  Ok. All My Love



P.S.P.S.  Tell Mom to keep writing me, and Dad and Lloyd.  Be good Darling and think of me and most importantly, be happy.   


Frank and I were really beginning to feel the strain of being apart, but we were writing to each other trying to perk each other up.   Frank was getting used to his physical training and making new friends in the barracks, which was helping him get through his loneliness.

I was planning our wedding with my Mom and Frank’s Mom but wanting Frank to be by my side to discuss the plans with him although I knew he would be happy with the decisions that were made.  Actually, I let my Mom and Frank’s Mom make most of the arrangements because they were having so much fun planning our wedding.

I was going to school Monday through Friday, which kept me busy on those days.  It was the last few months of my Senior year, and there was so much to do but the weekday evenings were lonely but as Frank has said the weekends were truly very long and lonely.  Frank and I had spent every waking moment of every weekend together before he left. 


March 20, 1968 

Dearest Darling, 

How’s that for an opening?  I thought it was pretty good for me! 

Well, we had our pt — today (Tuesday) instead of Friday.  Boy, am I tired.  First, we had the 40yd. low crawl through sand and the minimum time for 100pts. was 22 seconds, I made it in 41 seconds, which was fair and worth 49pts.  Jim got 54pts. Then we had to go to the bars, a maximum of 76 in one minute.  I made 60 and fell off.  I got 80pts, and Jim got 57 bars.  Next, we had the dodge, jump and run, maximum 22 seconds.  I made it in 22.5 and got 95pts.  Jim did 23.5 and got 80 something points.  Next was the 150yard man carry, where you had to carry a man of your own weight 150 yards, maximum of 41 seconds.  I made it in 43 seconds for 95 points. Jim made it in 46 seconds.  Next was the badass, the mile-run. I felt like shit running because my chest is full of shit and when I cough I cough up a little blood and snot and all kind of shit, so I had trouble breathing, maximum time 8 minutes 30 seconds.  I made it in close to 7 minutes, and Jim made it in 7 minutes.  Anyway, when I was running and hurt so bad, I thought of you, and it made the road a lot easier to go and a lot more pleasant. 

Well to qualify, you had to have 300 points, and I wound up with about 408 points out of 500 points, so I didn’t do so bad.  I think Jim might have made 400 points, and I don’t know.  But I got a letter from my old man today, and I read it, and now I’m writing to you.  I know I’ll get some mail from you tomorrow, I hope. 

Well, may I ask you a question?

When you write to me let me know what letters you have gotten, so I’ll know how caught up on matters you are.  Hey, I love you.  Hey, beautiful get your damn head up and smile.  We are allowed to have one picture in a frame in our locker, so when you get a recent picture of yourself with your braces off, send it so I can see what you look like with the barbed wire off (HA! HA!) If you look anything like you do with them on you’ll be simply beautiful. 

Darling, I miss you and love you so very much. 

I’m keeping my chin up and trying to be pleasant as I can because like I said it’ll make things easier to take.  I hope you are taking care of yourself and being good because if you’re running around barefoot, I’ll kick your butt personally. 

Well, baby, I’m going to have to close because I have to polish my boots and mop the floor and s, s, s and study my test booklet because I have a test coming up.  So, remember I love you and need you very, very much (wow, two very). Take care and keep loving me. Ok? OK.                                                                       

All my love forever,                                                                                    


P.S. I love the hell out of you.  I wish I could explain just how much I love you, but all I can come up with is I love you more than anything else in this whole world.  Rumor has it we get out May 3rd. I love you so damn much it’s pitiful. 

Love Me?                         



Even though Frank was doing well in his Physical Training, he was also very sick.  He was afraid to go to the infirmary because he thought it would set him back and keep him from completing Basic Training with his buddies.  He was also worried he would not make it home on time for our wedding, which was planned for May 8th.

Frank’s last letter had me so worried about him.  He was trying to make light of being sick, but I knew he was just trying to keep me from worrying.  How sick was he?

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  1. You two had something very special. I think it is obvious as Time passed that the depth of your love for one another deepened and matured. The freshness and excitement of new love is something that stays with us for all of our lives. Thank you for sharing these obviously special and tender memories with all of us.

    • John, thank you for understanding how special our love was for each other. So many people still have this same love and commitment. Sharing these letters, our soulmate love, and our life together, I pray reminds others of their memories of falling in love then makes them look across the room at each other, seeing themselves as young Newlyweds but with the knowledge of knowing they are now one heart and soul forever.

      Thank you for your comment.
      God bless you,

  2. Yes, the possibility of being recycled was enough to make most enlistees suck it up and keep driving on….. barbed wire?? LOL

    • Yes, barbed wire! Lol! He use to call me “his cast iron kisser”.
      He got so sick but he did not want to miss and be held back.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      God Bless You,

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