Letters of Condolence

Today, I opened an envelope that I knew contained some documents regarding Robin’s death. A few newspaper articles, and other official papers.

What I forgot this folder contained were letters from then President Nixon, General Westmoreland, our governor at the time and other local officials.

I wonder at the time my parents received these whether they were received as comforting sympathies or with some anger. Maybe both, as I remember my parents handling this differently. My mother seeemd to quietly (not with out tears mind you) accept this as what was to be. She firmly believes when it is your time, it is your time and that Robin was where he felt he was doing what he was to do at that time in his life. My father on the other hand struggled much more, it affected his health and he was never really one to discuss Robin’s death. I am sure there were memories shared, and stories told, but never much about Vietnam.

Here are some of those letters.

President Nixon

General Westmoreland

Governor Shafer
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Letters from Robin – Fire in the Hole – 9/28/69

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On this Eve of Memorial Day, I am taking time to once again share on of Robin’s letters. I had put the project on hold, and like so many things, never got back to it. I have about 23 that I have yet to share. It is a time consuming process, and uninterrupted time is something I have lacked for too long.

The weather forecast is not looking too good for tomorrow morning. I hope that the rain breaks or holds of for before noon. This is one day that my family looks forward to each year. Gathering together, and joining with others who too have lost a loved one. The one ceremony, honoring the high school alumni that lost their lives in Vietnam and the Gulf is a smaller more intimate ceremony that is conducted by our high school Key Club, along with the ROTC, band and choir members. These teens give up a few hours of their holiday weekend to help us celebrate our fallen heroes.

I had hoped to take a drive to the Freedom Foundation in Valley Forge today. I wanted to take my mother to see the Gold Star Family monument. The weather was far too hot to have her out too long. At 92, she tires quickly, and I would rather her be feeling her best for tomorrow.

Instead I ran and errand with Tara, cooked a nice dinner and worked on my blog. I do not blog often these days, but find I just can’t cut ties with it. I actually have two, which today I merged into one, so how I have some cleaning up to do due to the import process. Sometime in the near future when I figure out how, this blog with change to my other domain, www.marthakasper.com, which currently is mostly just a photography blog.

Ok, on to what most of you are hear to read, another installment of “Letters from Robin”. I believe this is the 2nd or 3rd letter once he got to Vietnam. I have already shared one, and the other was just a quick note.

 

Saturday, 28 Sept 68

Dear Mom & Dad,
I received your letter last night I was very happy to hear from you. We only get mail up here about every other day or sometimes every three days.

You asked in your letter how I got from Bien Hoa to Chu-Lai, I flew up on a military transport. Also I flew from california on a Northwest-Orient 707. We had stewardess’ and the works. We had about 5 or six meals during the flight. (I was just re-reading the letter I got, it’s the one from Dad, and you ask me if mother told me you went camping? This is the only letter I have received from home. Did you write one before?)

The unity I am in is not exactly a long range recon unit. It is the battalion recon platoon. Every batalion has one. Most of the time they use us almost like a line company, but I haven’t been here long enough to really say. The recon unit itself is only a platoon size. The rest of the company is made up of a 42 inch mortar platoon and a ground surveillance platoon (radar).

Since I wrote last we have had about 5 missions. The night I wrote the last letter we went on an ambush patrol. the only thing that happened was about 42 guys getting soaking wet, it rained all night. I though the day would never come. The next day we had off, I slept most of the day. The day after that we got another mission. We had to recon a valley where a comany was going to make a sweep through. They wanted to know very simply if a company could move through it easily. The next day we had a CA (Combat Assualt) into a valley sight near here. That’s a helicopter assault. Then we joined in on a sweep with another company . We just got on a line, and every village and hooch we cam to we rounded up all the people and took them with us, and searched the place real quick. By the end of the day there were over 500 people. It was near the beach so wee took them all out there near a little fishing village. The village was on the beach. When we got there we found a bunch of South Vietnamese soldiers already there. They had gone into the village and found three NVSA and killed them. I saw the bodies. It wasn’t a very pretty sight, but it didn’t really bother me. One was shot through the head and one had a couple holes in him, I don’t know which one killed him. The third was hit by a grenade launcher, it hit him in the shoulder and the shrapnel was all over the upper part of is body. They got another one while we were sitting on the beach waiting for the work to go back to Thunder. They dug up a tunnel and found him down there, they shot some grenades down the hole and wounded him. The ARVN soldiers are very brutal, they have no respect for life. Another thing out of all the people we herded out of their houses there was not one single middle aged man or woman. They oldest kid you see is about 13 yrs old, the rest old people.

Yesterday and today the platoon went out, I didn’t go. I’m not exactly sure why, they leave behind about 3 guys from each squad. One reason might be because they got work that a few people are going to be sent to the other units because we are over sized right now. The word was that the new E-5’s would be leaving but the platoon is trying to keep us. So far there has been no definite word either way. I hope I stay because that would really mess up my mailing address, I might lose some mail in the change. Until I find out for sure don’t send any packages or anything valuable. I suppose you already sent my rain jacket.

The loss of my records might create a little problem, especially in the financial section. Come pay day, I am liable not to get paid. But everything will work itself out.

The place is really pretty nice. They have a mess hall that serves good chow, the only time we eat C’s is when we go out and then we usually are back by supper time. They show a movie every night too, so the place isn’t too bad.

Well, write soon and often, mail doesn’t come often and I like to get alot.

Love,
Robin

 

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Countdown to Christmas – Remembering Robin


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Today, I would like to remember my brother Robin, on what would have been his 66th birthday. Robin was killed in Viet Nam on 3.9.1969.

Memories of Christmas’ past with Robin are very vague to be the me, I was probably 9 or 10 the last time we celebrated with Robin at home. I wish I had clearer memories of us all together on Christmas morning.

The photo I shared above is one of only a few that I have found of me (the baby) and my siblings; Linda, Bill and Robin. This would have been my first Christmas. I was 10 months old, Robin had just turned 9, Linda was 10 and Bill would turn 12 just a few days later.

 

Kriebel Rd housed under construction/late 1957 – early 1958

 

Robin skating on Freddy Hill Pond. Great times and great memories were had on that pond!

I wonder quite often what Robin would have become had he returned from Viet Nam. Would he have a family? Would he be dealing with any of the trauma or health issues so many Viet Nam vets struggle with?  How different would our family be? One can only wonder how life would have been had that one moment in time been different.

Instead I honor and remember his life by sharing bits and pieces of his “history” that I uncover. You can read about his time in the Army in post I have written by clicking on the link below.

Remembering Robin
Love and Lattes,

Martha

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The Dash was too short

Dec 5 1949 – Mar 9 1969

It is sometimes said it is not so much your date of birth or the date of your passing that matters, but what you do with the dash in between. My brother Robin’s dash was cut way too short by the Vietnam War. A very unpopular war at home that greatly divided our country. He however left a lasting mark on all those who knew and loved him.

I don’t think in our history that our service men where ever treated so disrespectfully upon their return. No matter what conflict we are involved in our servicemen and women deserve nothing but respect for their service to our country. None I am certain return home unscathed in one way or another, if they are among those who return home to their families alive.

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the day my brother Robin was killed in Vietnam. Forty five years, I have a hard time believing that much time has passed. Sometimes I still feel like that eleven year old little sister, who was proud of her big brother the soldier. Robin was only 19.

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We have a box full of letters that Robin sent home from the time he arrived in basic training up until just two days before he was killed. I am thankful that my Mom has held onto the letters and photos he took all of these years. It really was all we had left. Robin was just out of high school like so many who enlisted or were drafted back then so he really had not accumulated many earthly things. I have read the letters from start to finish. The closer I got to the end of the pile the harder it was to continue. Unlike the end of a book, I knew the end of this story. Like any sudden unexpected death there was no real goodbye. These were the last lines of his letter, the final words

Well I’ve run out of stuff to say for now. Take care and tell everybody I said Hi.
Love,
Robin

I wonder what that final day was like. From the vague reports we received his squad was ambushed while they were out patrol. While Robin was “mortally” wounded he continued to give aid and encouragement to his men. Although Robin was the youngest, he was the Sergeant of the squad. From this information that we received I have to believe there were survivors of this ambush.

We never had any word from anyone that was with Robin that day. We have had contact over the years with Robin’s radio man who Rob had sent on R&R on that day. John contacted us shortly after he returned home and visited us on his honeymoon. We also visited with John and his family in Indiana on more than one summer vacation. The emails are not frequent but we so still keep in touch.

I can’t just speak of Robin on this day, as others in his squad lost their lives or had their lives forever changed that day. There were three other casualties from the ambush. Two, Ralph Mayers and John Petrie, were killed along with Robin, two others were taken prisoner, One Arthur Lindsey was found dead the next day. The other, Coy Tinsley was held captive until early November 1969. He had been wounded as well. While the VC had operated on his wounds it was not done under very sterile conditions.

I would give anything to speak to Mr. Tinsley. I would love to know what he remembers of his time with Robin. John had told us that he had only been with the squad a short time,

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Tara is working on a project for school, writing herself into her family history. They have to research 2-3 topics of world events somehow impacted her family. The teacher has suggested with Vietnam having impacted our family so directly, that she concentrate on just that one topic. This is a period in our country’s history that has not been covered well in my opinion in previous history classes. I hope she will come to understand why it is so important for us to continually remember Robin and all who served.

I will continue to tell Robin’s story as long as someone will listen!

I love you and miss you big brother!

Love laughs and lattes,

Martha

 

 

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The Vietnam Moving Wall – Hatfield, PA


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Our community had the unique opportunity to have replica of the Vietnam Wall, The Moving Wall, on display at American Legion Post 933 this past week. This project took months of preparation and fund raising. The Moving Wall is required to be open to the public 24 hours/day, so you can imagine the amount of volunteer time just to staff this undertaking for the 4 1/2 days.

Maybe to some, this does not seem like a big deal, but I grew up during Vietnam, and my brother was killed in Vietnam. If you have read my blog over the past month, you know that I have been sharing letters and pictures that Robin sent home during his tour in Vietnam. This “project” was spurred on in anticipation of The Moving Wall’s arrival.

In research I have done while sharing these letters, I realize that over 40 years later there is still much pain, physical for some and emotional for most, endured each day for the veterans from this era. It was an unpopular war and these brave fighting boys and men, were not welcomed home by parades and yellows ribbons, more so they arrived home to protests and picket signs.

I have actually been to to visit four times. I am not sure if I will get back there today before it closes and moves on to it’s next destination as I have to work and it is a rainy morning.

During my visits, there were of course couples and families (I was so thankful to see many families with children who for them the war is just history), but also lone men. Many wearing caps depicting them as Vietnam vets, some in their motorcycle leathers with patches that identified them as a vet, and some who just stood and stared at one panel in particular for a long time in silence. Surely remembering a comrade, friend or family member.

I visited with my mother on Friday evening, my sister, mother and I went on Saturday evening to see it in the dark with the lights illuminating it, I went for a quiet solo visit Sunday morning and I took Tara yesterday evening. I used to visit The Wall in Washington DC weekly during the five years I lived nearby, and my mother and sister have seen it as well. All though this is a scale replica, the emotions are still the same. It is quite overwhelming to see all of the names etched on the wall.

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My sincere thanks go out to all the members of American Legion Post 933 in Hatfield, PA, and other local veteran groups, and everyone who volunteered their time. Also those who helped in fund raising and helped by financially sponsoring this event. I had hoped to be be able to help in some way, and regret that the craziness that has been my life the past couple months did not allow me to attend a planning meeting.

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Letters from Robin – Happy Birthday – 12/6/1968

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Dec 6, 1968

Dear Mom & Dad,

Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote last but we’ve been mighty busy. We’ve been running alot of night ambushes and out in the day looking for Charlie around Thunder. The other day we worked on APC (armored personalle carriers, or better known as tracks) for the first time since I was over here. Linda has a picture of Bud sitting on a track. They are really neat to work on. instead of walking we rode and they go through anything. They knock down trees and go through water and through mud. Not much can stop them.

Well I’m 19 now. I’m getting old and this army isn’t helping any. Not really, I don’t feel any older than I ever did. It was really some birthday. I walked all day with a full pack, up hills, down hills and through bush so thick we could barely make it through.

Tomorrow we have another CA. This will make about a dozen for me, and the platoon had about 11 when I came. That’s the way they work it, who ever is in the platoon when they get to 25 gets an air medal even if they didn’t participate in all 25.

You won’t believe it, but I lost Bill’s address before I got a chance to write him. I guess he’s home now so tell him I said hi. If he wants to write give him my address, but I don’t expect he will ever write me, he is usually too busy.

I’m sending a couple of pictures of myself, one of the guys has a Polaroid. The one where I’m sitting down was taken the day we worked with the tracks.

Well it’s getting dark and I can’t think of much to write about. Write whenever you can.

Love,

Rob

 

Our local paper has been doing a series on the heroes from our area who lost their lives iy Vietnam. This was prompted by the visit of the Moving Wall later this month at a local American Legion Post. Today Robin’s story was on the front page. My mother, sister and myself were interviewed a few weeks ago. It was that interview that prompted my project to share these letters on my blog. They got his name wrong in the title of the article. I love our local paper and how community oriented many of the staff are, but they need better proof readers!

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Letters from Robin – Better in the Boonies – 11/19/1969

Another Monday off, and more rain! I’m glad I like rainy days! They make it easier to stay home and get things done! Unfortunately even with staying home I didn’t accomplish too much! I did get a couple more letters transcribe for future posts! I worked this past weekend, so I only have three days of work this week, and then I am off for FOUR! Tara is doing homebound instruction to finish out the school year, so it almost feels like summer has already started since I don’t have to get her up and drive her to school every day!

 

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This letter was about 2 1/2 months into Robin’s time in Vietnam. I did not remember reading this one before. He writes about looking forward to getting out of the Army and what he would do with his life. I have no doubt, had he been given the chance, he would have done something good with his life! Not in the monetary sense, but I am sure he would have made an impact on many lives. He never had that chance!

I normally include a scanned copy of the original letter. Robin wrote this one and one other in red ink and I am having trouble getting a good copy! Wi

19 Nov 68

Dear Mom & Dad,

How are you? Sorry I haven’t written sooner, but we’ve been on the move alot. I got a letter yesterday from you, the one with the pictures. They came out pretty good. I’m trying to keep them from getting wet. it hasn’t rained much lately.

This morning we chalked up another CA. We’ve been flying so much lately we just about know the pilots and door gunners by name. If we keep going at this rate I’ll have about 2 air medals by the time I go home, 25 CAs and I get an air medal. I’m getting so flying is almost second nature, but we still do our share of walking.

We’re back on Thunder now and doing the same things as before. Actually I liked it better out in the boonies. Out there your on your own, there’s no brass around to bother you and they’re not always thinking of little annoying things for us to do.

I understand that now the Army will pay for 4 years of college education, $130 a month is what it is I think. That’s a good deal, I just hope I can get accepted somewhere. You know my grades weren’t too great in high school. Even if I can’t get into college I’ll find something to do. There’s a million opportunities in life and there’s no excuse for anybody being a bum. I’ll always look back on my army life and be glad I served. I’ve learned more about life and people and now have a completely different outlook on the world.

You know that whenever somebody asks me how old I am, I ask them how old they think I am. Would you believe that they all say 20 or 21. I tell them I’m 19, there’s not a soul here that knows I’m only 18. It is pretty funny a 18 year old running a squad of guys anywhere from 19 to 24 yrs. old. Even Fred used to tell me I acted older than my age, even more so than Bill, he said. I guess this year over here will just about make me an old man. (ha, ha)

I hope you send plenty of film with the camera. I’m going to take a lot of pictures.

Well it’s getting dark, so I have to close now. Oh, by the way   the instamatic will be just fine. Another thing, if you can find a picture album send it to me. you know something small to keep these pictures I have in.

Love,

Robin

Speaking of medals, we have Robin’s medals framed and hanging in our living room. These were very challenging to photograph, so please don’t judge my photography!


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Letters from Robin – LZ Buff – 02/10/1969

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10 Feb 1969

Dear Mom and Dad, Well as of yesterday we moved off of LZ South, and once again the LZ is just another hill where we have been. W are now working off of LZ Buff, it’s a couple miles west of LZ South. It’s a much smaller hill but it has been here alot longer. Recon was working off this hill last August and early September before I joined the unit.

We are no longer part of Russell Beach. The 198th and ARVNs are staying in the area. I had to stop for awhile and now I’m back. Us squad leaders just got our rear ends chewed by our E-7 platoon leader. (Our ? is on R&R). He has talks with us quite often and tells us what he doesn’t like and what he wants changed or corrected. Now I’m sitting up on the hill waiting to get a haircut. B Co. is on Buff with us and they have two barbers. They’re pretty good too. I haven’t had a haircut in quite a while and it’s starting to get long and it’s even starting to curl in the back.

I’m glad to hear you got the other roll of film. I have my doubts about it turning out good though. Are you sending a copy of those 19 pictures from the other roll? There are some pictures in there I want to see.

Tomorrow we are going off the hill just north of here to work the area. The only way to find out if Charlie is out there is to walk around and look for him. I have a real good squad, they aren’t afraid to get shot at but like me they won’t take any unnecessary chances. I do have one guy I am ashamed of, he acts like a baby but talks real big. If we ever run into trouble I don’t think I can count on him to help much.

The weather finally cleared up. The sun is shining and it’s just the right temperature. One night last week the temp. went down in the high 40s, and last night it was really cold. When I went out on guard I was only out of my tent a couple seconds and I was sneezing. The weather is really weird. Well I’ll close for now. Can’t think of much to say.

Take care and right often. Love, Rob

I wanted to share couple letters to the Editor of our local paper. now called The Reporter. The first letter was written the day of Robin’s funeral by his boss, mentor and friend Fred Seipt. Fred was and still is the owner of the farm on which Robin worked. We are still friends of the family. They have a flag pole in the parking lot of their dairy store/entertainment center that is now part of the farm business. This is in memory of Robin.The original flag that flew there was the one from Robin’s casket,it was stolen. The flagpole in the photo below is actually the second one as well. Superstorm Sandy brought the flagpole down under the weight of a very wet flag. I wonder what Robin would have thought of all the changes at the farm that have enabled them to stay in business as a family farm! (click on the photo to see a larger view.)

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This letter was written by my cousin Dean. Dean is a sergeant in our local police department. It was written in 1990 during the first war in Iraq. Dean was sitting near the park in which the Memorial Day ceremonies took place last week.

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Dean’s brother Kenny enlisted in the Air Force the same day as Robin enlisted in the Army. We spoke of Robin for the first time in years on Memorial Day. He still struggles with Robin’s death and his time in Vietnam.

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Letters from Robin – Final Words – 03-07-1969

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Today’s letter is the last letter my family received from Robin. I felt it fitting to share this letter on Memorial Day. In a short while, I will head out with my mother to meet up with several family members to attend the Memorial Day parade and ceremonies in our town, Lansdale, PA. After the parade there is a Memorial Day service in Memorial Park and after that a small ceremony that is hosted by North Penn High School’s Key Club. The ceremony honors the fallen alumni from Vietnam and the Middle East.

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March 7, 1969

2100 hrs

Dear Mom & Dad,

I’m sitting in my bunker here on Buff writing this letter by flashlight. I never get too tired until around ten o’clock so I figured I’d write a few letters.

I go on guard duty around 3:30 so I’ll get enough sleep before then. I find I can go with less sleep now than ever. We haven’t run a patrol off the hill in about 5 days. I don’t doubt a bit that we’ll go out tomorrow for a few hours.

I’m getting a real dark tan now that its so nice out all the time. It still hasn’t rained, I believe the monsoons are definitely over.

You know I read the Stars & Stripes all the time and some of the news from the world astonishes me. For one thing the Navy is trying to place all the blame for the Pueblo incident completely on Bucher. It isn’t working too good though because all his men are sticking up for him. If they don’t lay off Bucher is going to crack up. All those men have been through too much already and those stupid investigators are making it worse.

Another thing that I just heard on the radio today, that deserter tried at Fort Dix got off with 4 yrs and a dishonorable discharge. He should have gotten alot more than that, the only reason he didn’t was because the trail was highly publicized and the army was afraid what the public would say. It’s hard to believe that not long ago deserters were shot. Deserting in the face of the enemy didn’t even require a trial, the man was shot on the spot no questions asked.

Not much else in the news is out of the ordinary. College students are still acting like they know everything and run around picketing and rioting and the peace talks are still a big farce.

I was surprised to hear Randy Boltz is in the Air Force. That article about the narcotics raid was real interesting. It didn’t suprise me it was the Owens family. They’re nothing but white trash anyway.

As of now I have 182 days left. If I get a five day drop I have 177 days to go. I’m getting short.

You know Mike came home Feb 17th by surprise. I hope by now he has paid you a visit. Mrs. Krause said he really looked good.

What’s Linda hear from her guy. I hope he isn’t the kind of guy that makes up war stories like some rear area guys I’ve seen. I don’t envy them though. I haven’t been to the rear in over 2 months, but I know its a hassle back there. Its almost like back in the states in Chu-Lai. When one of our guys goes to the rear to take care of a problem or go to the dentist or something the guys back there try to put them on details and stuff. They don’t have any consideration for the guy out in the field. You couldn’t pay me to take a job in the rear.

Well I’ve run out of stuff to say for now. Take care and tell everybody I said Hi.

Love,

Robin

Two days later, on March 9th, 1969, Robin and two others in his squad were killed when they were met by hostile forces. The casualties were Ralph Mayers and John Petrie. We have been told that although mortally wounded himself he continued to give aid and encouragement to his men before he succumbed to his wounds. For this Robin was awarded the Bronze Star.

In addition, two other soldiers were captured as POWs. One, Arthur Lindsey, was found dead the next day of wounds he received. Coy Tinsley was held as a POW until October 24, 1969. From the report that I read, he was liberated on that day with two other POWs that had been held almost two year and they walked for days until they arrived at an allied compound and were repatriated on 5 Nov 1969

Mr. Tinsley from all that I can find on the internet is still living in Tennessee. I found a photo of him when he was name Veteran of the Year 2009 for a Fraternal Order of Eagles post. I would love to speak with this gentleman, he was one of the last people to be with Robin alive.

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In the end Robin served 180 days of his tour in Vietnam.

We his family and friends miss him each and every day.You have to wonder what Robin and the rest of the soldiers who have paid for our freedom in all of our countries wars and conflicts with their lives could have done in the world if given the chance..

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You can click on the individual photo to see a larger version.

I had originally thought I would do this series for the week leading up until today, Memorial Day. I however, think I will continue, most likely not every day. The research I do as I read each letter has brought to me so much information from both my Google searches, as well as the brothers of the 11th Light Inf Brigade FB page.

 Sacrifce for Me – Oak Ridge Boys – The ORB have to be one of the most patriotic vocal groups in our country. They are a personal favorite of my mother’s and myself. I feel honored that Joe Bonsall read my blog posts about Robin!

Many of shared patriotic music today at Monday’s Music Moves me!

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Letters from Robin – 12 Tons of Rice

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Today’s letter is from 4 January 1969. I love that when you read the P.S. page that this letter went on ambush with Robin! This letter was written three weeks before the previous two letters I had posted.

He also speaks of the Christmas tree we sent him. I have included pictures of that tree and some of the guys. (You can click on the photo to see a larger view.)

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4 Jan 69

Dear Mom & Dad,

How are things with you? Fine I hope. As for me things are as usual. There’s not much happening. We go out in the day and return to Thunder for the night. We haven’t run any ambushes in about a week and a half. I think that’s a record.

The 2nd of Jan. we had a big sweep near LZ Lowboy which is further south than Charlie Brown. I guess t 10 or 15 miles south of Thunder. It’s the southern most OZ in the 11th Bde. AO (area of operation). Just below Lowboy is the line seperating our AO from the 173rd airborne Bde AO. From what I heard not much goes on around there because the 11th Bde sasys it’s the 173rd’s job and they say it’s our job to work there so nobody does much of anything around .

Lowboy is a big LZ and is occupied by engineers, about 2 or 3 companies of them. They treated us real nice, they let us use their clubs which had plenty of beer and soda, and get this, their First Sgt. apologized to us because they didn’t have hot water in the shower at the time. We stayed on Lowboy that one night and left early in the morning to set up our blocking force for the sweep. The sweep netted 3 VC suspects, one weapon and 3 M-16 magazines. I hope the VC don’t have the rifle to go with the magazines.

Dec 31, we found part of a rice cache just off Thunder. the VC had split it up among all the villagers in the area and they hid it and kept it for them. The next day we had to go to Lowboy so Charlie Co. went out and started bagging it up. In the afternoon of the 2nd they got fired on by a couple VC. We came back to Thunder that afternoon and yesterday we went out to help Charlie Co. find and bag the rice. Our platoon found six hootches with rice hidden in and around them. In about 3 of the places it was buried in the floor. Our platoon alone found and bagged at least a ton of rice and altogether 12 tons was carried out by chinook that day. We really put a hurting on the VC by taking all their chow. the village chief that told us about the rice said NVA carrying parties were supposed to come down from the hills sometime this week and collect all the rice and take it away. We beat them to it.

Tomorrow we’re going into the hills southwest of here for a few days. I think we will be working with Bravo Co. We get CA’ed out in the morning

Linda told me about her new boyfriend. She said you like him more than you did Bud. I can’t really say I am surprised she got engaged though.

These pictures I am sending were taken awhile ago. The one of me was taken before we went on that big operation when we found that NVA base camp adn those weapons. The other was taken a couple days before Christmas. Those two guys in front aren’t Sgs. They just picked up those shirts out of the clean cloths we got. It was probably more wishful thinking than anything. A couple days later our CO made them tear the stripes off. That’s the Christmas tree you sent me, and that’s the bunker I live in, its a new bunker because the other one that was there burned down.

I close now, write soon.

Love,
Rob

PS

I really pulled a stupid one with this letter. I forgot to mail it the day I wrote it and that night we went on an ambush. I had it in my pocket. As you can see the letter got slightly wet the one picture of the tree and the other guys was all messed up. The one I’m sending is still a little good.

 

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