Andrea Wuorenmaa

it’s wonderful. I can’t believe it’s you. You have been worrying, I can see that. Honey, you sure do look sweet. You really look the tops and so pretty, that my eyes, just can’t believe it. Now I miss you so much, that I’m afraid I’ll go crazy. Got my radio (transistor), stationary, & envelopes wet when I fell in a stream. I threw the stationary away and the radio is dried out now & working fine. The weather’s been miserable for the last two weeks. It’s been raining and breezy. Everybody seems to have colds and coughs.

My cough isn’t very bad now and my feet are in good shape now. I never had the chance to have my teeth checked. There’s only a little nicotine on them. I’ll have them when I return, don’t worry. I listen to good tunes every night in my hutch with a candle burning. Sure is lonely though. I sure miss home, didn’t know how nice it was until I came over here. I understand you have a bike now, honey. How much did you pay for it. Is it one of the latest types, or one of those old ones? Now, don’t go and hurt yourself, honey. I know, that you can ride a little at least, so there shouldn’t be any reason for getting hurt. The French people are swell. They treat us nice, and trade eggs, and milk, for our cigarettes and candy. They are happy, because they are free now. This was written in my fox hole some where in France.

Temperature: about 90° / Loc. – Khe Sahn / Time – 4:00 p.m. / Days Remaining – 186 / 7 APR. 68. I finally found a bit of time to drop you a line and let you know what’s happening. I was just dying of thirst and we happened to cross a stream, nice cool water, I filled my canteens, sure was good. With my buddy’s 126 instamatic camera I took some pictures of me digging a fox hole near the L.Z. It’s not bad at all here, just like sitting in the backyard at home. There’s been steady air strikes and B-52 strikes with helicopter gunships pounding the area. Boy, the area around Khe Sahn is so cut up with bomb craters from B-52’s and jets (F-4 Phantoms & Skyraiders) it’s not half as bad as they say it is though. How’s the fishing? In one letter you told me how you had cried, and how you scolded your little brother, for spilling milk, on the cellar floor. You really must be upset honey. Please don’t act like that, towards any one. You are over worrying yourself honey. You must relax and try to forget about this war, because it will drive a person nuts, in the end. Don’t scold any one for a small incident like that. I use to be like that, years ago, but the army woke me up, and I realize now, that all people have a heart, and that is some thing. I don’t want to break on any one. I know what a broken heart is honey, and you do also. We left Camp Evans about a week ago and we still haven’t patrolled, just been making a fire base for artillery to get a little closer to the Laotian border to aid troops in that area. We’ve been making bunkers, laying wire, digging foxholes and mainly pulling security for the artillery battery of 6 guns. Aside from that working, plus cleaning the land, I’ve written letters, played cards and talked with the guys. I’m tired of being separated so long. I know you are too honey.

This can’t go on forever, we know. This war should be all over by xmas at the most. It sure would be nice, if I did get home to you, on xmas Eve. I think, that would be a real nice time to meet after this long wait. Honey, are you taking good care of your self? That worries me, more than any thing else honey. I want you to be just the same girl, as when I left you. It’s nice to see Planes going on Raids over here. I’ve seen, so many, that I don’t even look up no more. We really got an air force honey. We are on a fairly high hill overlooking the flat land to the east all the way to the coast. There are mountains in all other directions covered with jungle terrain. The weather is in the 80s and 90s (sorry to rub it in like this) and a nice breeze blowing too. I just returned from Protestant services. My feet have a little jungle rot on the bottoms, nothing serious. I don’t have a smoking cough anymore. I have 207 days to go and a couple ‘till R&R.

I wish I could have attended the ski tournaments but it’s one of those things. I haven’t written to anyone else but my own family, just not a letter writer anymore. Here it is July, and just about one year, since I was home. It seems ten years to me, and I know it’s the same feeling with you. Incidentally, I just ruined another camera. It got wet last night, they just don’t last over here. I’ve two more rolls of film taken in Japan to send home. Too bad about that Seablom lad. I’ll admit that it is bad over here and people should have a little more feeling for G.I.’s in Viet Nam. I didn’t know him and it sure is horrible. He was probably mine sweeping a road. I miss you, Dad & the kids more than anyone else in the world. Stay healthy & don’t worry. I understand you, and your ways, and the will, you have to work, and take care of a home. I know honey, it takes a lot of good points, to make a good wife, and you really have all them points. I know, our future, will be a grand one honey. Don’t worry.

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Author biography: 

Andrea Wuorenmaa is a writer from Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a recent graduate of Northern Michigan University's MFA program. Her interests include historic and travel writing in the realm of creative nonfiction, as well as the personal essay.

The found essay "Honey" is a collection of threaded quotes from letters written by the author's grandfather and father (both deceased), during World War II and the Vietnam War, respectively. The author thus considers the work a familial-composed essay, a kind of lifeline to the past and a brief vision of each generation's experiences, fears, and hopes for the future.