December 30, 1967
Dear Mom and Dad and Granny,
Iím sorry that I havenít been writing more often. Itís very difficult sometimes to find the time. When I do have a spare moment itís almost always used for sleep. The captain is appeasing us today though, I guess. We had to rearm and refuel Christmas Day and weíll be doing it again tomorrow. We had two GQís last night, too, one at 9:45 till 11:00 and another from 3:15 till 4:00.
Iíve only been able to work on my Algebra one night out of a month. And I have my correspondence courses for ET3 to get in. Iíve completed the one on military requirements and am now working on the ET course. Letter writing is made more difficult by the way I receive it. It comes in bunches.
Iíve enclosed some negatives for you to have developed. My camera was stolen, and one of my buddies is letting me have his negatives. Iíve also enclosed some souvenirs from Hong Kong. Be sure and save them!
Iíve discovered that there are a few things that would come in handy, and that I canít obtain anywhere. Iím always having to go topside at night, when I canít see my hand in front of my face and they wonít let anyone show a bright light. What I need is a small penlight flashlight with a red lens. I could also use a small first aid kit with Band-Aids. Iím continually cutting myself with nothing to put on the wound. Thereís a small kit in that valise in my trunk. Thereís also a road map in there of the US that I could use. My buddy, David Hathcock, wants me to spend some time with him when we take leave. Perhaps, if he decides to get married, be his best man. Heís from North Carolina.
Another thing, Iím always coming off watch at night with nothing to eat. Lately Iíve had candy and cookies from Mrs. Wright, Marveís sister, Marsha, Debbie, Aunt Lil, Aunt LaNell. But Iím getting tired of that stuff. I need something nourishing. Could you manage some chunky peanut butter, salami, cheese, and crackers; and donít forget the bubble gum. I mean real bubble gum. We canít get a hold of any of those things out here. A few cans of fruit and pork and beans would be nice too. We arenít supposed to keep gidunk in our lockers, but if you pack it in the right containers, the cockroaches wonít bother it.
I really felt bad about Christmas. Not being able to even send you a good Christmas card. I hope you realize that I love you still, Christmas cards or not. I really enjoyed the oneís you all sent.