The Last Letter

The Last Letter

This is an old story not quite finished, any comments are well appreciated, including any facts on vietnam war, if you have any, so i can make this as accurate as possible

Chapter 1

Off to work

May 1, 1961
Dear Rose,
On the plane writing, Maser is reading over my shoulder, but you know him, nosy. I tell him what I wrote so far, he laughs at that but the truth is he is nosy only cause he can't read a darn thing that I'm writing. His wandering eyes will cost him one day, or at least that's what Colonel Pete said. I already miss you and I wont be there to hold your hand. Stan is sitting with me, holding my paper for me, good kid, you would like him. Stan says hi and Maser is too nosy to stop "reading" but I'll just say that's his way of saying hi. Promis me you'll be there when i get off that plane. I"ll be back sooner than you know but Colonel says lights out for tonight. Big day tomorrow.
Love You,
I finish the letter quickly and fold it up. The best thing about these letters is they’re their own envelope. Maser sits back now that I’m finished and makes the toothpick in his mouth tilt up, meaning “I didn’t do nothing”, his classic phrase. Maser is an arrogant guy but I’ve known him forever. Maser isn’t his real name of course, it’s Donald, but ever since he got lost in the corn maze when we were kids, and completely freaked out, everyone calls him Mazer but with an s. He’s not exactly a big tough guy, with his scraggly brown hair and dull green eyes, but he does have a girl back home, her name‘s Cindy.
“How many more days?” Stan asks. His real name is John Stanley but everyone calls him Stan. He’s nineteen not too much younger than me, twenty- seven, but he listens to what others tell him to do. He’s not half bad for his age. . Most girls would fawn over him, he’s a nice kid good head on his shoulders, he would go far.
“The doctor says twenty last I checked.” I tell him then suddenly aggravated with Maser’s cocky pose “Would you take the dam toothpick out of your mouth!”. He never takes that thing out of his mouth, he thinks it makes him look tough, so I like busting his chops about it.
“What’s wrong with you all of a sudden?” Maser looks at me now sitting up on his elbows.
“You and that rotten toothpick of yours. Your not sitten’ by the dinner table cleaning your teeth. Just throw it away” I tell him.
“No way man. No one messes with me when I got my toothpick” He taps it with his finger.
“Hey Dave back to Rose! You two got a name for it?” Stan breaks in.
“ ‘it’ is a girl.” I tell him “Her name is going to be Abigail.”
“My aunt’s, husband’s, mom was named Abigail.” said Maser.
“Ya, Ya I know, you told me that a million times” I ramble.
“Well Stan doesn’t know!” He says sitting upright now.
“Don’t go gettin your panties in a knot Maser” Stan teases.
“ALL LIGHTS OUT. CHARLIE CAN SEE THEM!” the order rings out from Colonel Pete a second time. A stocky guy, well muscled, loud, intimidating, a perfect guy the army got to boss us around, just our luck. We use our packs as pillows and lay down in a row, some of us don’t sleep.
In the morning at O-six hundred hours the wake up call sounds and we line up. Stan, Maser, and I are separated, only for roll call. Then we are debriefed on our mission as some of the best troops in Vietnam. We are one big Special Forces, or SF, group of troops, about 400 strong. The mission is to help the South Vietnamese and fight the guerrillas. Stan, Maser, and I are all specializing in weapons and demo so we are the front lines.
“Charlie could be anywhere, he could be on this very plane. That’s why you have to keep your guard up” Pete says and kicks over a box exaggerating his point. “ No Charlie there, but how about in it? Charlie‘s is crafty he can do a lot that one man can‘t normally do.” Charlie is what the army called the North Vietnamese you could say it was their nickname. “You have to get inside his head, think like the enemy and find a way to kill it.” He paused for a minute. “First you train with the South Vietnamese. Teach them the methods of ‘counter-insurgency’. Then you fight the Viet Cong guerrillas, with no mercy. Some of you will not make it back. It is your fellow soldier‘s duty to decide whether you stay here forever or your boxed up and sent home. I suggest you make no enemies on your own team. Soldiers prepare to enter hell.” He finished with the old ‘everything you do in the army is hell’ show. The plane started to descend, letters were put into a bag, and supplies were handed out. I held onto my M3 submachine gun, picked up my pack, and shoved on my helmet.
We landed and jogged out of the plane in a perfectly straight line. We had to build our own barracks there was literally nothing in the high fence but us some boards and sandbags. We hurriedly built up the piles as Pete screamed at us sometimes knocking on some guys helmets if they weren’t listening. I tried to stay out of his way. That guy had a voice like a megaphone and I didn’t enjoy it in my ear. The guys like to call him howler monkey behind his back. We got a small foundation going and the officers took it from there as the soldiers went to get their rations. It was a small portion, but we were used to it, each man took five seconds to eat, we looked like pigs but there was no one but our fellow man to judge us.
My parents weren’t against me, going to war, or this war in particular. My dad was once an army general so he thought it was natural for me to take interest. He was real proud that I had become a Green Beret. He fought in WWII and told me all these different secrets and tactics I could use. Being a Green Beret none of it was much use but I learned them hoping in some situation I could use it. Rose’s parent’s on the other hand didn’t approve anything about me. They hated that I took their little girl from them but because she loved me was the only reason we were able to get married. it was only natural that they would be against the war I would fight for them.


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