Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971

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Long Thanh
February 25, 1971
10 pm

Dear Folks,

Was sitting down the EM club this evening watching the Glen Cambell show with Paulson and Seacord when we heard an explosion that shook the windows in the place. They both got up and left right away. Didn't hear any sirens and everybody else was still sitting there so I stayed to finish my coke. A couple minutes later I hear another explosion so I figure maybe I ought to go see what's going on.

When I got outside I could see the smoke on the other side of the perimeter where whatever it was that made all that noise had gone off.  Still no sirens, but I went back to my hooch anyway. If they were hitting that close I figured I'd better be up near the bunkers. Sat there reading that SCOPE magazine you sent. About 8:30 I heard a siren. Sounded like it was way off in the distance. Didn't think it could possibly be our siren, but as it turned out it was.

Grabbed my steel pot, flak jacket, rifle and ammo and jumped in a truck waiting outside. It took us out to the perimeter burm where I got in a bunker and stood there for an hour and a half looking out across the concertina wire at the rubber plantation. All I ever saw was a rabbit. It was only a practice alert anyway. Tomorrow is payday so they had it today.

Guess they figured everybody would be drunk tomorrow night. They have two kinds of alerts here. One is  a steady siren which we had today. That is for a human wave attack. The other is a wavering siren which is for incoming rounds. When you hear that you just head straight for the bunkers.

Didn't get much mail today. Only 28 letters dated all the way back to Dec. 12th, 1970. All that mail you sent to Personnel mailing section finally caught up with me, and some from Ft. Gordon too. Got 4 letters from Feb 19th and 20th also. Didn't do anything at all today. Just sort of hid. They didn't even miss me. I'll have to go to formation tomorrow though. Have to get paid.

So much for now. Want to take some time to write Tom Ward a letter. Got his address today. One more thing. That package you mailed with the clothes in it actually sat down here for 2 days. The mail clerk just didn't send it up north. So the mailman was just about right when he said 7 days.


(read the next letter home)