Wednesday, December 11, 1968
Reb received another package from Margaret. This one was shaped differently (like a brick) and was clearly not her normal package of photos. Reb carefully opened it to find metal Christmas cookie cutters, recipe cards and decorative sprinkles. There was also a small wrapped Christmas gift with a tag, “Merry Christmas Bubs.” Included was a letter too private to share . . . it made him blush.
Sumo received letters from his Japanese wife too. Mostly they were color photos of her and her mother. Writing on the back was limited to a word or two, “Happy day” or “Miss you.” It was obvious Sumo was crazy in love with his wife, and he glowed when looking at her pictures.
Fernando was the only one of us who wasn’t love sick. Although he received notes from his mother and sister, it was always the letter from his father that got him excited. Between the four of us, he was the only one who had a good father-son relationship. Fernando worshiped his Dad, and we were all a little envious but happy for him.
Our hooch was isolated from Kilo Battery, and we were closer to the Grunt compound. All of our gun crews lived on the western slope of Hill 65, facing Charlie Ridge. Motor Transport was on the northern side, out of our sight. We lived alone on the southeast side of the hill, with a front-row scene of An Hoa and Arizona Territory.
The countryside was beautiful on all sides of the hill, but our view was more open and sprawling. The Charlie Ridge side had its own charm with a somewhat sinister feeling as the base of the mountains was only a half mile away. Our side felt safer, but it was a false security.
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