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

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Long Thanh North
October 31, 1971
1:15 pm

Dear Folks,

We're sitting here listening to Rodger Miller on Instenes's tape deck. We now have three stereo systems in this room. Probably a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment. Sometimes I think I'd like to order some and send it home, but that's just something else to spend money on. You've got to buy tapes and records for it.

O'Briant and Hoffman have a set up too. You should hear it when they all get going at the same time. Sgt. Skaggs who was the first Sgt. when I first came here has about 3 days to go. For the last week he has been coming in here to play his Merl Haggard country western record on Hoffman's record player. He just sits there drinking beer and smoking cigars and playing that record over and over and over and over. Believe it or not he is ETSing after about 25 years in the army. Talk about happy! He's the guy I said reminded me of Uncle Wilbur the first time I saw him. (As I recall the song he played over and over was Okee from Miskogee, every time I hear it now I think of ol' Sgt. Skaggs stoned and smokin' his cigar in my room waiting to go home and get out of the army. I liked that ol' guy.)

I've got about 5 prospective buyers for my frig. I think I'll wait till next payday to sell it. I've got to sell it around payday because that's the only time anybody has any money. After next payday I can't be sure I'll be here for another payday.

I think I mentioned that we have a hot water heater now. They also have some gooks building a boardwalk around the outside of the hooches.  It's about half way to our room now. Maybe someday before I leave I'll be able to the shower without getting my feet dirty. That was always a real bummer. You either had to dodge mud puddles or dust puddles.

I've got about 4 pictures left on a roll of slide film. I think I'll take it to the club tonight and take a few pictures of the band. I bought with a pre-paid mailer so the developing won't cost anything.

We got some of that dry season weather again today. Sat out in the sun for a while to bring my short timer tan back up to par. That cloudy week took it's toll.

We fooled you this time around. Had a hurricane without any need for radio relay. I don't know what we would do if radio relay kicked off right now. I understand all the ships but one are down for scheduled maintenance. Every 100 hours they have to be inspected. They usually schedule the flights so that only one or two are down at a time. But somehow the schedule got messed up this time around and they all finished 100 hours about the same time.

I'm going down to the club now. They had some barbecue chips in a can last night and they might have some left.


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