The Letters:

Basic Training: April 23--July 4, 1972

Fort Knox, Kentucky

Company C, 17th Bn, 5th Bde



45.  Mary Beth White

June 26th, 1972

Hi, how ya been? Sorry I haven't written sooner. You're probably moved by now. I really haven't had time. I'm in summer college & there's so much studying to do.

Greg & Mike told me that they went to see you & your beautiful hair is about 1/4 inch long. Oh well, it will grow back. Eventually?

I've been seeing your friends around a lot. John & John & Gary etc. It seems strange that you're not with them.

It feels great to be graduated & the partying was a riot. The only thing is I have 4 more years of college to go. I'm going to be an R.N.

I hope you remember me but, how could you forget? I'm the one at the dances, the crazy one!

Gotta go now. I hope you'll write if you have time.

Love,
Mary Beth

P.S. Take care!



Advanced Individual Training (AIT): July 9, 1972--March, 1973

Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas

3rd Enlisted Student Battery



50.  Mary Beth White

July 5th, 1972

John,

Hi, how are ya? It was great to see you again last Sunday. I was hoping I would after I talked to Mike the Thursday before. I only wish I could have talked to you a bit longer. It's gonna be two months before you come home again, is that right? That's a long time.

When are you getting transferred to Texas? When you do send me your address, ok?

You left for Kentucky before Tuesday night didn't you? That means you missed the fireworks. They were pretty good. They had this one on a fence that was in the shape & colors of the American flag. That was just before the grand finale.

Are the guys who are ahead of you sergeants, lieutenants, captains, etc. very tough on you? I heard that It's lights out at 9:00. And all sorts of junk like that.

Is what you're going to do in Texas what you wanted or is it just what they're telling you to do? It sounds like it would be really interesting working on missiles & stuff I mean. You were drafted weren't you? I can't remember if you were or not.

I've got a big test tomorrow in Chem. Every Thursday we have a test over about 3 chapters. It's lots of fun!

Tell me about the things you do there & about what you want to do there & when you're out. How long will it be before you are out?

It's gotten real cold here. I wish it would just get hot & stay hot for the rest of the summer. I bet It's beautiful in Kentucky now. I was there last April. It's a fantastic state. We visited Mammoth Caves. They were unbelievable.

What kind of things do you like to do? Besides go to parties! I bet you like to do almost anything, don't ya?

My parents are going to Canada this weekend with our boat. That means I'll be home alone. I enjoy the freedom of not having someone constantly on my back. The peace is great too! When my parents are gone I get to listen to my albums for as long as I want, which is great because I never get to since the stereo is in our closet in the front room & my dad is real touchy about it. If you ever did anything wrong to it, he'd get quite upset about it. Like blow the roof off the house!

Boy what crummy stationary. You know how they give you some printed sheets & some plain? Well I've only written 3 letters with it & the printed sheets are all gone already so I have to use plain. I should have used the printed sheets for the first & the plain for the rest. Oh, well too late now.

I guess I should end this letter now since tonight's Wednesday & I have that test tomorrow. Write soon. Take care.



Love,
Mary Beth

PS. I'm sending you a piece of gum for when you get bored & a firecracker in case you missed the 4th! Bye-----------



71.  Mary Beth White

August 5th, 1972

John,

Hi, how are you? I was wondering if they would forward my letter to you from Tenn. It did take them a long time! I'm glad they did forward it. I haven't seen your brothers so I couldn't ask them for your address in Texas & I wasn't sure if you were transferred when I wrote or not. I was so happy to get your letter. It was my birthday & it wasn't a very happy one since my uncle died the day before. Your letter made things a lot better.

For my birthday I got a Melanie album & Mud Slide Slim by James Taylor, I'm listening to them now. I also got $15, a watch, a purse, & a smock top that my sister made for me. I also got this stationary & some Chantilly Cologne.

In the mail along with your letter I got my voter's registration card. I'm now a legal voter. My first chance to vote will be Tues. Aug 8th. It's something I've been looking forward to.

Tomorrow night my sister is taking me to see 3 Dog Night, also for my birthday. I can't wait. They were here once before last year & I was sorry that I didn't get to see them, now I will.

The other night I went to the Drive-in & we saw Easy Rider, Getting Straight, & Bob, Ted, Carol & Alice. Easy Rider was good but I didn't like the ending because the good guys got killed. Bob, Ted, Carol & Alice was really dumb. It was mostly about group therapy & how married couples should be perfectly honest with one another. We didn't stay to see all of Getting Straight, it was crappy too.

I wanted to ask you, what is a Nike Hercules site? I know nothing about things like that. Also if you go to one will you be moved out of Texas?

Bliss sounds fabulous! I love mountains!! I've only seen them once live & that was the Smokies in Tenn. It's funny because of all the things I had hoped to do in my life times I did all 3 in a week. I went to the Bahamas with my senior class so I was able to fly & see the Ocean, both were all I'd hoped they would be. Then I went camping in Tenn. The mountains were the most fantastic thing I've have ever seen! I plan to do all sorts of traveling. First over the U.S. & if there is still time left in the world!

The weather here is really crazy. It got real cold. I couldn't believe it, freezing in the middle of August. August used to be unbearable. I really love hot weather but We've had none.

Is Ft. Bliss anywhere near Amarillo? My parents were down there last year & said it was beautiful. With all the red clay on the way. I would love to go further south, the states there are so pretty & so different from here.

I made it through my summer classes. I have to go to orientation August 11, 12, & 13th. It should be fun. I can't wait to start in September!

Melanie & James are great! I love them both.

Well, I've got to be going now. Write soon.

Love,
Mary Beth

97.  Mary Beth White

Oct. 3rd, 1972

John,

Hi, how ya been? How is school going? I bet you can't wait to get home. That is if ya haven't been home yet. I haven't seen anyone to ask how You're doing so I decided to write you.

I'm away at college now. I've been here for 5 weeks & I love it. All my classes are great. So are the instructors. My roommate is great too. All the people are really nice. The food is ok except It's fattening. It's all starchy.

I've been working weekends on campus. I get $1.80 an hour which isn't bad, it helps a lot for extra spending money. The work is fun too. I work in the dish room. Okay, go ahead & laugh. I don't care. It's money.

I haven't been home for a month now so I'm going home this weekend. It seems so strange to have been away for that long. I suppose you know how that feels, huh?

Tomorrow I'm going to a Tiger game. We only have to win 2 out of 3. Isn't that great?

I'm not sure if you will even get this or not but, if you don't That's the breaks!

Take care!

Love,
Mary Beth