The Letters:

Basic Training: April 23--July 4, 1972

Fort Knox, Kentucky

Company C, 17th Bn, 5th Bde



44.  Pat Bratcher

June 25--72

Dear John,

Hi! How's life? I just thought I'd write you while I still have the right address. So how'd you like the party? Pretty good, eh? I had a real nice time. Well, I don't really know what to say to you, cause I don't really know you well enough to just talk just about anything. Do you think you'll have to go to Vietnam? I hope ya don't. What are you trained to do or are you trained to do any specific thing? Did anything happen between you and George-Ann? Just wondered. I gathered from last nite you don't like beer--eh!? How come? I also gathered you really dig weed. Well That's ok. Do you do any kind of chemicals, aside from T.H.C.? I'm only asking you all these questions for something to talk about or I should say to write about. Well, really must go! See ya around. Be good & be careful

Love,
Pat

Always smile!



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

Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas

3rd Enlisted Student Battery



66.  Pat Bratcher

Monday, July 31-72

Dear John,

Hi! I'm ok! How are you? So, how do you like the army? Most guys I know don't particularly care for it. Are you majoring or involved with any particular subject in the army? I mean are you going to jump from planes or work on planes or tanks or what are you doing? Are you going to go to Vietnam? Or will you go to Germany? Or just stay here in the States?

I'm doing ok. I see George once in a while. Yes she talks about you. Says you write long & extra ordinary letters for a guy. Says You're very interesting, too. I've known her about 9 years & I still don't understand her. To me she's really a strange person. Yes, George told me about Alice Cooper—sounded Like you had a really good time. I consider all pills chemicals no matter What's in them. I myself would rather pop a pill, than smoke some weed. I don't know, I guess dope just isn't for me, cause I always go back to beer. I tried Choc. Mesc. & didn't get nothing but a body high, so back to beer. I really was digging on blue T.H., but I can't never find any, so back to beer.

Are you going to be able to be home for Christmas? I hope so—I wish all the guys in the services could at least be home for Christmas. Yeah, we had fun at Bob–Lo—it would have been more fun, if she wouldn't have gotten rid of all her pills so quickly. It would have been a riot if we were high. Oh well—it was still fun. From the letter I got from you—I assume you didn't get my first letter—did you? Well—I wrote one to ya. I can't remember what it said, but I did write it. Well, not much happening hereó-so see ya later.

Bye,
Pat

Write when ya can,

Be good & always smile!



74.  Pat Bratcher

Aug. 10-72

Dear John.

Hi! I sure was surprised to hear from you so soon! So you ain't been up to much, eh? Not much happening here. Well, I see nothing wrong with smoking dope or "popping" a few pills—just so you don't get so hung—up you just gotta have it. Ya know what I mean? Cause I've smoked dope—didn't care for it but I still don't knock it cause lots of people really dig it. I've also "popped" a few pills—for kicks & to feel good, but I don't consider myself a dope addict or anything. A pill here & there can't do much harm that liquor couldn't do. I have nothing against dope just so long, as you say, you don't abuse it.

No, I wasn't tired of hearing you talk about dope—It's a very deep subject–that should be talked more about. I disagree to the statement that you feel "You're still the same—but only going through a few minor changes"—cause I don't think if You're not hooked badly on dope that it can change you. Understand?

No, Mike hasn't had any more parties lately. Mainly cause he hasn't had the money. You see his Barracuda quit running & It's gonna cost $700 to get it fixed, I guess. That's what I heard anyway. You're right "you don't get rowdy when You're stoned cause when You're stoned Everything's beautiful."

I baby-sit from 2:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. for a 14 month old baby boy, 8 houses from my house. It's not bad—just boring, I make $25.00 a week for it. It's ok!

I'd like to go to Vietnam. Maybe I will. I'd also like to go to Germany—It's supposed to be beautiful there. I think the war is a bad thing—and—I can't wait till It's over. Well, I'm happy that at you at least get to come home for Christmas. I really feel sorry for the guys that can't come home. Especially the ones in 'Nam. I wish they'd all just stop fighting & come home.

Well, I guess That's about all for now, John. See ya later! Write when ya can.

Love,
Patty



104.  Pat Bratcher

Oct 22-72

Dear John,

Hi! What's new? Why come you haven't written me lately? Like for 2 months? Are you mad at me or something? Have you heard from George? I got a letter from her a while ago & she moved to Lansing with her sister. So, how ya been? Nels went in the Navy about a month & a half ago. Mike got a letter from him a while ago.

I just got done writing George a letter and I thought I'd write you one, too, cause you hadn't written in so long. I guess I'll write Nels one, too. By the way—when's your birthday? I just thought of that and decided to ask. Well, I have nothing more to say, except you better write back this time.

Happy Halloween!

Love,
Pat

Write soon & let me know what's happening!



118.  Pat Bratcher

[Christmas Card, postmarked December 9, 1972]

Love,
Patty

Smile!



133.  Pat Bratcher

[Greeting Card; postmarked February 21, 1973]

"If you ain't got Nothin' to say . . . Why don't you write and say so . . . ." Love, Patty

Dear John,

Hi! How ya been? I been just fine. So, What's new? Not much here. My sister Cheryl told me today that when you were home on leave last you came over & said hi. Well, hi! Sorry I missed—it would have been nice to see you. I guess that since you were home, you know I have a son. he's 2 months & 3 weeks last Friday. You'll have to come see him next time your home on leave. If you answer this in my next letter, I'll send a picture of him, so you can see what he looks like now, when is your birthday? Did I miss it? If so sorry. Gotta go! Drop a line sometime.

Love,
Pat