Going through my mother's letters this weekend, I came across a letter written to her from Staff Sargeant Allen Dillow, her nephew and our cousin. I always joked about having a crush on him when we were kids, so handsome was he in his uniform.
He writes to her from Vietnam in February 1966,
Dear Aunt Ramona and Girls,
I would like to express my sincere thanks for your thoughtfulness at Christmas time, a card, note, or just about anything is appreciated over here. We service men are not robots taught to kill. We still have a heart, and like to be thought of at such times. We are over here half way around the world, in a hostile land, not only a foreign land, away from our loved ones. Where every day things seem as such to you, they would be like a gift from heaven to us. Hot water, cold glass of milk, cold can of beer, seeing friendly eyes, someone that you could reach out and touch, or maybe even kiss, that are only gleams in our eyes that we have to wait a year for. But being what it is, and being the kind of men we are "supposed" to be, we must never complain, even though at nights you still hear sniffles from these men, not excluding me.
I don't hear much from home but I do hope things have worked out for the best. Daddy is the greatest as far as I am concerned. He has his faults, but we all do, none of us are perfect. If we were we would not be on this earth.
Do tell grandmother I said hello and hope this finds her in good health.
Tell Ray (our brother who was in the Ohio National Guard) that if it is at all possible not to get messed up with this over here. May he stay home as long as possible, and for God's sake don't volunteer, don't get star struck by some John Wayne type movie, it isn't fought that way.
Do take care, and thank you again for your kind and warm thoughts.