Two Actual Letter's Home from Vietnam, by Chuck Slezak
Our many Thanks to Chuck for sharing these with us.
20 JUN 66
Dear Mom and Dad,
Iím very sorry I havenít been able to write. We have been very busy lately. With the monsoon season approaching the action has increased quite a lot around here. Mostly because the rainy season is Charlieís kind of weather, he can move about much more freely without being seen.
We even go out on night missions now. Thatís when we can really catch Charlie with his draws down. Sometimes these night missions back fire though. Like two nights ago the lead ship crashed in
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VC infested mangroves. The Pilot was knocked unconscious and the CO-pilot was all cut up and suffering from shock. The Gunner was unconscious and had a broken ankle and some teeth knocked out. The Crew Chief, Jerry Warzeka, 18 years old from the north side of Chicago, was thrown out of the ship and the engine and transmission landed on top of him. Itís really unfortunate sense he was so young and also sense a few days earlier heíd just gotten out of the hospital from being wounded twice. Once in the arm and once in the leg. It was also his first flight sense he got out of the hospital.
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I donít mean to scare you or cause any undue worry in you by telling you this. I just want it understood that this is a war Iím in over here and things like this do happen. Am I understood?
Youíll probably be P.O.íed after this next thing Iím about to tell you but anyway here it goes short and sweet. Iíve extended over here for another 30 days. The reason being that in September when I was supposed to go home they had to many people with my MOS (Aircraft Mechanics) going home and they need some to stay a month to train some of the new guys whoíll be taking our places. The CO personally asked a few of us to stay. So we did. I
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wonít have to fly though. All Iíll have to do is teach the new men. So instead of leaving Sept. 27 Iíll be leaving Oct. 27.
Well I havenít made any rank yet but I was put in for it this month again and they havenít gotten anything back from Battalion yet, so thereís still a chance I might make it this month.
Thatís all thatís new around here so until after payday I guess I wonít be writing.
9; 9; Love, Chuck
P.S. Wish Gerry a happy birthday for me sense today is her birthday. Also say "hi" to everyone.
Another Letter Home by Chuck Slezak
Dec. 2, 1965
Dear Mom and Dad,
Iím sorry I havenít written sooner but Iíve been crewing for the past month and havenít had the time to write. You see we fly from 6 to 11 hours a day and then they expect us to pull the necessary maintenance at night. Well itís pretty hard and when we get in we just hit the sack because most likely weíll be going out again at 3 or 4 in the morning. We had a mortar attack a week ago Sunday and 15 guys were hurt and one dead. One of the wounded
had his leg blown off. It was a pity although I didnít know him. I was out in the street running for a bunker when the one that went off and took the guys leg off. It was about three hundred yards from me but I thought it was on top of me. When I heard the shrapnel landing all over around me I really put on a burst of speed and made it to the bunker. BOY! Was I trembling. After the mortars quite coming in we all went out around the perimeter to guard it in case they
tried to over run us, but they never came. Thank our lucky stars. We were there all night anyway. The mortars started about 1:30 at night. I havenít gotten any flight pay yet until I can get a flight physical. They say it takes 3 or 4 months for that. Then you get all the flight pay in one lump sum. I sent only $30 last month so this month I decided to send all my pay home and kept the $70 I have left from last month. I hope I donít short myself
because if I do you canít send it back. They donít cash money orders or personal checks. The PX will take a personal check for the amount of the purchase only. So at least I wonít run out of out of necessities. The reason you canít send me money is that green backs are illegal over hear. We use military pay script. If youíre caught with greens itís a court martial offense. Itís because of the black market.
Well, Iím sending $180 home so write me as soon as you get it so I know it got there. Until I get a chance to write again,
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