Man’s Love Not A Weakness

Posted in Letters After R&R | 6 comments

I did not receive a letter from Frank for four days and was really worried about him.  In his last letter, Frank had told me that he would be requesting a sick call to see about getting something done for his severe hemorrhoids.  He was not sure what could be done or when.  All I could do was pray for him and wait to hear from him in a letter.

Of course, Frank and I knew that he would not be a priority at the hospital in Phu Bai, Vietnam.  Phu Bai had a hospital called the 85th Evacuation hospital but it was for soldiers wounded in the field, evacuated by helicopter, stabilized, and sent to a bigger hospital in Japan for more intense treatment.  Frank had given a direct blood transfusion to one of those soldiers, so he would never have asked to be a priority.

Frank’s next letter says something that I truly believe all men should read and apply in their lives.

September 16, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Well, hello there.  How’s my Darling doing?  

Honey, today I’m really lonely.  I miss you so very much.  Here I am a grown man fully capable of taking care of myself and my needs.  So, why does my whole life depend on you?  Why does everything I do say or think have you in mind?  

I may be able to take care of myself but without you’re love, Nancy, I’m not worth taking care of.  What I’m trying to say is that I need you.  I more than need you, I’ve got to have you.  I don’t like having to say this but you have me sewn up.

The reason I hate to say it is because a man doesn’t want to be weak and he sure doesn’t like to admit his weakness.  But my love for you is no weakness as long as your love for me stays there.  It’s my strength.   The only way it can ever become a weakness is if your love for me goes sour and then life isn’t worth living anyway.  I guess you could say your love is to me what spinach is to Popeye.

Hey, did you make it through the storm okay?  We got some pictures of Sinton in yesterdays paper and it really looked bad.  I hope everything is alright.

Honey, I’m in a weird mood tonight.  I want to tell you just how much I love you and I can’t with this pen and paper.  I’m going to try and get a tape off to you as soon as I can.  I’d love to have one from you if you could, please?  

I’m going to close for now and go to bed.  I need you to kick me in the pants and tell me to quit feeling sorry for myself.  So, I guess I’ll have to do it myself.  Ouch!  I forgot about my hemorrhoids.  HA!

God bless you, my love, and know in your heart that I love you very much.

All my Love Forever,


P.S.  I’m about ready for a “dream date”  any time you’re ready.

Frank did not give me any information in the above letter about what was going on with his health situation.  The only clue I had was the fact that he was feeling really lonely which made me think they had put him in the hospital.

I had gone to my Grandmother’s house for a few days because we had a hurricane coming into the Gulf of Mexico which did damage in Sinton, Texas.  As soon as the threat was gone I came quickly back to Van Vleck.  I wrote to Frank every day while I was gone but did not receive mail from him until I got home.

The letter is really beautiful as he discusses telling me how much he loves me and it was not a weakness for a man to tell a woman that he loved her.  I loved that my love for Frank gave him strength because his love for me gave me that same strength.  He was my Popeye and I was his Olive Oyl.

Frank’s writing in his letters for the last two letters is very calm and seems to flow effortlessly across the pages.  He really seems to be more relaxed.

September 20, 1971

Dearest Nancy,

I love you.  In a hundred and seventeen days, you and I once again will be as one.  That is what we were both made for and that is what we both want. The ability to live together as a couple, as a partnership and a family isn’t easily obtained.  Yet, we two have accomplished this feat with relative ease.  Why?  Well, I feel it is because we are so deeply in love and so very compatible with each other.  

Look up the divorce rate in our country.  So, that fact right there should show you how hard it is to find true compatibility and happiness while living with a member of the opposite sex.  It’s hard for me to understand because, for me and yourself, it was so easy.

I believe the reason it’s easy for us is because we understand each other very well.  But the biggest factor is that small overused word, love.  Many people use it too lightly.  When I use the word love it explains an emotional, physical, and psychosocially feeling.

It explains everything that is happening to me at once.  It describes how I feel, think and hurt, and all these feelings are directed totally to you.  To put in simpler terms, you own my heart, body, and mind.  You are the sole possessor of me.  In other words, I’m yours for as long as you can stand it.

I’m making you a tape.  I did half of it today and day after tomorrow, I’ll finish it up and send it to you.  I just remembered something.  I hope you remember it too.  I didn’t get to write to you for a few days, but I explained it all in my tape, so I won’t go into it again.

I’m really looking forward to seeing you again.  I guess that sounds crazy but I am.  I really am going crazy to see you again.  It won’t be long now.  Here we are sliding down the hill and getting closer and closer to the bottom.

What a happy day it will be when I walk out of the Army and into my love’s arms forever.  I’ll be the happiest man in the world.  I love you so much my, Darling.  We’re going to be so very happy again.  How good it will feel to know that it is permanent, not for thirty days or whatever.

To know that I’ll never be more than a few feet away from you at any time.  To know that when I’m lonely all I have to do is call and you’ll come running into my arms.  To sit down over a quiet cup of coffee and talk.  To feel your warm body laying tenderly close to mine.  To wake up in the morning and see you so peaceful in contented sleep.  I can go on and on forever. 

It all amounts to the fact that, Darling, I love you with all my heart and I need you by my side for all times.  

I have to go now, Hon and get some much-needed sleep.  Take care of yourself and I’ll be there soon.

All my Love for all my Life,


From the above letter and a cassette Frank sent to me, I know that the Doctors figure out a way to fix his hemorrhoids to help him get well.

There was one problem, Frank being in the Army Security Agency and his security clearance.  Putting Frank to sleep during a surgery meant another person with his same security clearance had to be in the room with him.  I do not know if they put him to sleep or not.

Frank sent me a tape telling me all about this but I do not have the tape.  All I have are these letters and he does not go into any detail about what happened.

September 22, 1971

Dear Nancy,

A happy day to you.  How’s my woman today?  If your love for me is as strong as my love for you is then everything is alright.

Here, I am on my three days R&R.  I couldn’t afford to go to the R&R center at Da Nang, so I’ll spend it in my room writing you and reading,  Just to have three whole days off from work to relax is going to be fine.  It also gives me time to be alone and think.  To make plans for when I get out.

I got your letter about going to your Granddad’s place when I get out.  I’m glad, I really am.  In California, we wouldn’t be really alone.  There would be people all around and I’m greedy.  I want you all to myself.  I don’t want to talk, see, or listen to anyone but you.  I want all your attention. In short, I don’t want to share any of you with anyone. 

I’ve done without all of you for so long and now I will not and I mean will not do without you anymore.  I’ve paid my price for the free world, our economy, South Vietnam, and our government.  Now, all I want in return is about two weeks with my wife in solitude.  If that’s too much to ask then too damn bad because I’m going to get it. 

Maybe this doesn’t sound like old easy going me.  Well, it isn’t.  I’ve been pushed and told what to do when to do it, and where to do it long enough.  In 115 days, I’m going to start getting my way and get the things we both want.  It’s our turn. 

I want this to be a closely guarded secret.  I don’t want people to know that I’m home.  I don’t want anyone knowing where we are.  I will not tolerate people breaking our peace. Maybe you think I’m being a fanatic about this but I want this very much and I’m looking so forward to it that I don’t want it spoiled by anyone. 

If anyone wants to know why you’re meeting me in Houston, then tell them that I’m meeting you then we’re driving to Louisiana for a second Honeymoon.  I’ll meet you in Houston.  I want you to register in a hotel there near the airport and I’ll come to the hotel when I get there.  We’ll work all the details out later. Without you, nothing would be worth anything for me.  

Honey, I’d better close for now.  My heart is beating 100 miles an hour just thinking of seeing you again.  Take care of yourself and remember me in your prayers.  I love you and you know I do.  God bless you, my life.

All My Love,



Frank definitely need this three day R&R to recover, heal, and just relax.

My Granddad’s place was a farm up in the Hill Country about sixty-five miles Northwest of Waco outside a little town called Fairy, Texas.  The house sits back off the road on a hilltop and you can see for miles.  Frank and I loved this farm and the peacefulness that emanated from it.

In Frank next letter he was really excited and also answers some of my questions.

September 25, 1971

Dear Nancy,

Hi!  I love you!!  I got five, yes five letters from you today.  I’m just sitting on top of the world.  I sat down and read every one of them in complete excitement.  Weird huh?  No, just thrilled at hearing from you and reading how much I love you and you love me.

You say we’re getting “short”.  Well, you’re right but we’re not getting short enough.  Pretty soon though, I’ll be fighting my way to Oakland then into the great “state” and into the great arms of my Wife!!! “Aurk”!!  That’s “Argg”, I just misspelled it.

I wrote my folks two days ago.  So that solves the promise you wanted me to make.

I don’t believe it!!!  Your fingernails are growing!!!  Eureka!!!  What’s the matter??  You put poison on them or what??  Looks like our next fight is going to be a really good one, huh?  HA!  I know you plan on doing a job on my back, huh? HA! HA!  Feel free to do so by all means.  HA!

What’s this hip language?  “Decent”, “Out of sight”?  You’re getting hip, huh?  Well, you’d better not get too hippie or I’ll have you running around the block till you get less hippie.  Joke! HA! HA!  Well, so what!

Now for the serious side.  You were worried about a kid in Hue getting killed over a watch.  It’s bad and I’ll admit that but it’s expected.  You’d have to be here and see the stuff that goes on before you can understand it. 

I don’t really blame the guy.  He shouldn’t have killed him though. That sounds cruel, doesn’t it?  Well, you know me and you know I don’t get violent easily.  So take it from there. 

You’re right about him being in trouble.  Funny thing though you don’t hear of a kid getting in trouble when he throws a grenade in a jeep and kills three Americans.  No, he’s only a child.  Well, I tell you what, children over here kills people. 

It’s the wrong way to feel but you can’t help it.  My whole goal is to put my time in, go home, and get there just like I left.  With all my body parts. So you get this way and like I said it’s wrong and that’s why I want to get out of here because I don’t like feeling this way.  I’m sorry if you disagree with me and think less of me for being this way.  I really am sorry.

You say you don’t care if I come home naked, “as a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to having you home and keeping you that way.”    Well, Honey, I want you to remember you said that.  Because I’m really looking forward to it.  I love you.

Honey, I’m going to close for now.  I’m so happy and I’m getting “up-tight” (more hip talk) because I can’t convey how I feel.   


God bless you, my love and I’ll see you in 112 days.

All My Love for You, Forever,



These four letters cover so many feelings from Frank, from his feeling that a man does not show weakness by telling a woman how much he loves her, to Frank really wanting to get out of Vietnam and stop having feelings that he knows are cruel and wrong.  Like Frank wrote children over there killed people during the Vietnam War.

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  1. It just keeps getting better. 🙂 I believe with Frank that it shows a great strength for a man to be able to convey his feelings of love. And besides that, it is very healthy for body, soul and spirit. There are many people who would do well to follow his example.

    • Thank you so much, Diane. Frank was such an old soul in a young man’s body. God blessed me with Frank. I think that all men whatever age should realize that the manliest thing they can do, is to speak and show their love openly. It totally endears them to their loved ones and makes them men among men.
      God Bless you, Diane.

  2. So many feelings expressed from Frank. His excitement about coming home to you in full privacy is prescious.

    • Thank you, MaryRae. He really wanted to be alone with me with no distractions. We had so many decisions to make about our future and we really needed to do that alone together. In a future letter, you will read that decision was not very well accepted by others but I convinced him to make a slight change in our plans that remedied the situation. Not sure how I will approach that letter but have time.
      God Bless You, MaryRae.

  3. So many emotions, so much covered in those letters. I’m so happy he managed to rerurn to you in some semblance of normalcy.

    • Thank you, Kim. He never only allowed himself to change. He was a very strong person and processed what was happening around him but refused to let it change him.
      In these last letters he is really opening up to me. His best friend who he trusted and could talk to had left. Frank had been shielding me trying not to upset me or make me worry but then he realized so much he had shielded me from, I could read between the lines in his letters anyway. His total openness to me only made me trust and love him more, if that was possible.
      God Bless you and thank you for your comments. The “Wow, just Wow” comment made me cry because I knew you understood his words.

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