GI No. 1

Dear Mom & Dad,

Haven’t had much time to write but today all we are doing is sitting up on top of a mountain so I thought I had better write while I had the chance. All of you back in the world have been good to write and I look forward to each letter I receive. I suppose it looks hopeless some times though when you don’t receive any and I’m really sorry for not writing. So far this last week I’ve received 9 pkgs and was glad to get each one. The radio sure is nice. Well mom you sure have been faithful to a son so far from home and so lonely. I look so forward to each letter I receive from you; I can’t say how much they mean. You’re No. 1.

Over here everything is either No. 1 or No. 10 with the people. No. 1 means best and No. 10 the worst. A lot of times when we come to a village the kids come running up to us and say, “GI, No. 1”. Sometimes when we are searching a village some of us guys go to some hut and talk to the kids and the men and women. At one hut there was this one kid that was trying to teach me their language, he’d point to something and say what it was and so forth. Some of the kids are smart and know some English. They call the men over here Papasan and women Mamasan and kids Babysan.

Excerpt from letter home postmarked Sept 12, 1967