1,309,563 poems read


16, December 1968

Dear Dad,

There have been so many things that have happen since I last wrote you,
I try not to say things that will make you worry about me but sometimes
I have to clear my head of fearful thoughts. I have been here now almost
a full month and I still worry to myself that when I'm forced to aim my
rifle at an enemy soldier will I be able to pull back my trigger and if
I do, how will I deal with having taken someones life? I know it will be
either him or me and that he would not hesitate to take my life, but I do
wonder how can I still be the same person I was before once I have to
kill another human being who is an enemy soldier.

I'm not a coward in any way Dad, we've been through some things already
since my arrival here and I knew there was a possibility that I might
have to fight also at some point. But since I was sent to help teach the
VNAF mechanics how to work on their American supplied crash-fire & rescue
trucks, I had hoped I wouldn't have to pick up my rifle and have to shoot
at anyone else here. But when I reported for duty, they told me I'd been
loaned out to our Security Police Squadron defending our airbase. It was
a shocking fact to say the least to me as this base is so small and the
size of a postage stamp, it's one of the smallest and the most remote air
bases over here and especially down here in the southern half of Vietnam.

Dad please say some extra prayers for me, I am not so sure I will make it
through a full year here let alone get back home alive and in one piece,
I am truly sorry that I've put you and Mom into this situation. I'd just
wanted to help the South Vietnamese people to keep their own freedom just
like everyone else who is serving here wants to do, we are making a big
difference here and I know that my Vietnamese counterparts here are happy
that we are here assisting them to learn how to maintain their crash-fire
and crash-rescue trucks and to also help them keep their country free. I
will help them for a few hours during the day, but I will be out pulling
perimeter guard duty in the defensive bunkers that are around our airbase
during the night. We will be watching for any movements out there in those
areas outside the barbed wire fences by those enemy soldiers who will try
to sneak onto our airbase to try to blow up our planes, helicopters, ammo
and also the fuel storage bladders holding our aircraft and helicopter fuel.

I've sent this letter to you at your workplace, because I didn't want Mom
to see it and open my letter at home with the other mail there because she
would just start to panic or that she'd get really worried about what was
happening to us over here. I'm sorry that you have to keep these letters
from her, but I'm only going to send her all those nice cheery letters that
really don't let her know what we have or might be facing here at my airbase.
I want you to always remember that I'm the one who chose to come over here
and no matter what may happen to me, just always remember that I was doing
an extremely important job here. I pray for you and Mom more than I do for
me and please remember that all of you have told me for years, that I must
be surrounded by 100 guardian angels who were there always protecting me as
I grew up and got into everything, I do pray that I'll not wear out my own
welcome with any of them while I'm serving over here though.

I know you've said you didn't want me volunteering to go up on those small
aircraft that we use to drop those Chu-Hoi leaflets above the VC controlled
areas along the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, but you know that I always
loved to go up flying since I was 16 yrs.old with the Civil Air Patrol and
later on while serving as a spotter on those planes on the search & rescue
missions, besides I feel much safer up there in the sky than I do here on
the ground with all of those damn mortars and rockets that drop in on us.
I feel real close to God up there flying around in those little airplanes
and if there was a problem they can land almost anywhere when you compare
them to those big ones that just go straight down when they've been hit by
ground-fire. Just remember if something ever did happen while I'm up there
flying, just remember that I was doing what I have always loved doing in
life and what more can any person ask for in their own life.

Give Mom a big hug and a kiss for me and let's just keep this kind of stuff
from Mom, I don't want to worry her anymore than she is already about me. I
just know I'm doing what I love to do and it also makes my time here go by
much faster than if I just sat around on the ground wondering if we will get
hit or not and thinking about what might happen to me over here in Vietnam,
and besides in no time my year will be done and I'll be heading back to home.
Tell everyone at your job that I said hi to them all, I love all of you and
miss you all and remember to say some extra prayers for me, that will always
help and it certainly never hurts anybody now does it. I Love You Dad, Terry

Terry Sasek - Alwaysawarrior - all rights reserved.

This is one of several letters that I had written to my Dad at his work
where he was a General Foreman, I sent it to him there because I didn't
want my Mom worrying about me anymore than she already was. I did need
to let my Dad know what was happening over there, but more for me than
for him, as he would write back telling me to just send him any letters
about the things that I was worried about and not to my Mom. He'd always
make me feel like I would be alright and remind me that my own guardian
angel would protect me over there no matter what had happen over there.

Comment On This Poem ---