A letter my dad wrote to a sibling of a fallen soldier, Maurice
Thanks for being so understanding when I called. My intent was not to bring up past tragedies but to let you know that there is someone else that shares your great loss. That night has haunted me for the past 22 years. It was a turning point for me (for the worst). I had seen many men die & many wounded. But that night brought it all home to me. I remember the next day when the three were loaded on the chopper I was unable to help; all I could do is stand there and watch. I remember it so clearly. My thoughts at the time were, Is this it? Is this all there is? They won’t even let me grieve. Maybe that’s why I called; I was denied the relief of grieving. And they were denied life & you were denied joy.
Dear Mom & Dad,
Today we have been searching villages, we walk thru them and then turn around and go right thru them again and don’t think that don’t get tiresome.
Well with a little luck I might be able to go into An Khe tonight and get ready to go on R&R.
Received 2 pkgs yesterday from you and boy did I enjoy them the spread is all right. I don’t know where you get all these ideas but each box is different. I never know what to expect.
I got one letter from you that I never forget it’s the one with the family picture you don’t know how much or what it did to me when I saw it. I actually went home. It’s the best thing you could send me. Thanks ever so much.
Well thats about all the news or the time I have to write it won’t be long before we move out. So say hi to all and tell them I miss them.
Letter home, 27 October 1967
Arlington National Cemetery 1984
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well I just got back from R&R and I am now in An Khe so I thought that I [would] drop a few lines.
I sure enjoyed hearing your voices it helps a lot. It gives a person a little more hope and things seem a little brighter. I am so home sick when I think of hearing your voice, it brings back so many thoughts.
I maybe shouldn’t write this or maybe think it but I want to tell you because I never said it while I was in the States that if something should happen to me while I[‘m] over here I [want] you to know that you are the best parents in the world. You have shown so much love and have done so much for me. I deeply love you for it.
Mom you showed it the most out in the open and Dad you were to[o] quiet to show you once told me that you maybe didn’t show it but I know you loved us all. You can’t count the times that I’ve tried to picture you in my mind you sitting in the big chair upstairs looking out the window so quiet and Mom trying to catch up on the work she had to do. O[h] how I would love to see it once again it means so very much to me.
I could always count on you for help even over 10,000 miles away. But I am proud to be an Infantry man and if I do die I die as a Soldier fighting for what I think is right.
Letter home dated: November 9, 1967
Dear Mom and Dad
Yesterday I sent you a copy of my five orders. I had just received them, now your little baby is a sergeant in the U.S. Army. I was sure glad to make it. Since I’ve been here I’ve received an Air Medal for making so many combat assaults, a Combat Infantry Badge, and a case of the nerves, but that’s all in the game.
Excerpt from a letter home dated: 25 April 1968
Former ‘Slick-sleeve’, He’s Now ‘Instant Sergeant’
By SP4 Herb Denton, article was featured in Cavalair (newspaper about the 1st Air Cavalry Division), Vol. 2, No. 57 and printed on December 27, 1967
When Charlie Cox Jr., arrived at the 1st Air Cavalry Division Continue reading