Letters I mailed home August 1966.

         

         
         
         
                 
From: Mike
Letters Mailed Home From NAM

The photos in the center show two of
the letters I mailed home from NAM
during the month of August 1966.

The top letter is postmarked the week
of August 9th, and the return address
shows that during that time I was in C
(Charlie) Company.

However, the bottom letter, which I
mailed the next week shows my
return address as A (Alpha) Company,
which was just 3-weeks or so into my
tour.

The reason I have these letters is my
Mother kept everyone of my letters
that I mailed home from Vietnam.  

Now, when I open and read any of
them it strikes me as to how vague
and simple they are. A little of this,
and none of that. Anyone who knew
my Mom knew what a worrier she
was, and I knew this more than
anyone.

After all, she had been through WWII
and she had letters mailed home from
Dad. Now, here were letters mailed
home from another war, Vietnam,  
from her 1st born son.

Armed with the knowledge of my
Mom's extreme concern, I
intentionally kept my letters simple
and just wanted her to know I was
thinking of her and the family. I would
write about things like how hot the
weather was, how much it rained, the
mosquitoes, vague troop movements,
lack of baths, having to shave, our
friendly encounters with local
Vietnamese trying to sell us a variety
of  things.

I never told Mom at the time that I had
been wounded or anything about our
KIA's, or how our M-16's jammed
frequently, especially when fired on
automatic.

I wrote to my Uncle in Oregon and
told him what was really going on and
how miserable it was. After all, he,
like Dad, had also been a WWII
paratrooper and he understood what
it's like to be a grunt.  He would then
talk with my Dad in Georgia by phone
and relay my real sentiments about
combat and tell him what we were
doing, RECON after RECON looking
for Charlie almost every day.

I remember after graduating from
Basic Training (BT) at Fort Benning,
Georgia and then completion of
Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at
Fort Ord, California I got a 30-day
leave to go home. I had been given
orders for my next duty station,
Vietnam, but I just couldn't bring
myself to tell my Mom.

I had been home around four days
when I was sitting at the breakfast
table with Mom and suddenly she
asked me where my next duty station
was. I just couldn't bring myself to say
Vietnam. So, I quickly thought and
merely responded by saying Oakland
Army Terminal in California.

There was a minute or two silence
and then my Mother said: "Oakland,
that's a P.O.E., isn't it?" I hadn't heard
that term before but quickly ran the
abbreviation through my mind and
realized she meant Port of
Embarkation.

After a little hesitation, all I could
bring myself to say was:  "Yes." My
Mother sat silently for another minute
or so, then she got up without saying
a word, left the table and went to her
bedroom, where she proceeded to
have a good cry.

I left her alone since I knew I couldn't
console her. However, I worried more
about Mom's concerns than I actually
worried about being assigned to NAM.

Mom was so distraught after that, I
couldn't bear to watch her. So, after
being home on leave for only 17-days,
I decided to cut my leave short and
report early. I thought, let's get on
with it!

So, it was off to Vietnam and the rest
is history. I can only imagine how
Mom worried about me for the next
year, all the while storing my letters
mailed home in a little wooden cigar
box.  At the end of my tour I was so
happy to come home and walked in
the front door, unannounced. My
Mother had a big smile on her face.
Her son was home from the war.
Hurrah!

         Best regards, Mike
You bet, I sent you a letter!
SGT Mike Kovitch, RTO
NAM Photos And Information
A Company 2nd BN 7th CAV
July 1966 - July 1967
Posted With Permission June 2013/jb
From Mike Kovitch
It would always be good to hear from a
fellow 1st Caver, no matter the year served.
My email address is:
kovmike@bellsouth.net
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