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Christmas Letters from Vietnam

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Today is my parents’ anniversary. They were married on December 21, 1954. Now, they are together again in heaven. In memory of my parents, I’m sharing two of the many letters my dad wrote from Vietnam. They are slightly edited to remove items about other people.

Dec. 25, 1966  From the Republic of Vietnam

My Dearest Wife,

You have made my Christmas much better. I received ten letters from you and a Christmas card. I was feeling real blue til mail call and you came through like always. I also received a card from (his niece). We will get paid on the 6th of Jan. and I’ll send you a check for $250. This should help you some. We get paid once a month and from now on, I’ll be able to send you a check. I went to church twice today, first to Roman Catholic and then to protestant. I also received communion. I prayed each time as I do at night for God to give you strength, health, and happiness. I also thanked God for my wonderful wife and family. I love you with all my heart and will forever. We had turkey, corn, powdered mash potatoes, nuts, and candy today for dinner, but it tasted rotten. They did try however, and I guess I should be thankful for that.

We’ve had rain again for three days, but it stopped at 1:00 pm. The mud is about six inches deep and it’s getting cloudy again. It’s 8:00 pm (2000) and I go on watch at 10:00 to midnight. ….. Please try not to worry too much about me. I won’t be foolish, I love you too much. Please tell our wonderful children I love them and give everyone my best. Remember, I love only you and our family and live for you. May God Bless you.

All my Love, Forever Your Husband, Jim.

December 27, 1966 from Republic of Vietnam

Darling Betty Ann,

It rained all Christmas night and yesterday too. It’s been raining all day today and hard. I hope I don’t have to go any place. It’s now 2pm. We were real busy yesterday and last night so I didn’t have time to write. So for today, it hasn’t been too bad….There sure are a lot of rumors going around but nothing certain. One is that we are supposed to go back to Okinawa soon, but like I say, it’s not fact. A lot of people start rumors just in hopes they will come true. I am going to enclose envelopes  that you may be able to use again as the stamp was not cancelled.

I sure do miss you honey. We have a radio in my bunker and all I ever hear is Christmas carols. I just sit and think about you and the children. I love you my darling and always will. I know things seem unbearable, but it will all come out in the end. As long as we have our love, we can endure anything this world has to offer.  I just want you honey and no one else will do. You’ll always be my only love….. I  guess I am not worth much to you right now, but I’ll do all I can to make it up to you when I get home. Lover, I want to hold you again in my arms so bad that I could cry just to dream about you. You are the greatest and most wonderful woman God ever created, and I love you, oh how I love you, forever and ever.  Please give my best to all and tell our wonderful children I love them. May God bless you all.

All my Love, Forever Your Husband, Jim.

My favorite photo of my mom and dad – 1960 Newfoundland Canada. That’s me on the left.
Dad in Vietnam
Post retirement photo of Mom and Dad on the road with Frannie

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

27 thoughts on “Christmas Letters from Vietnam

  1. This is beautiful! I am tagging you for an award soon!

  2. So beautiful, JoAnna! You have many treasures in these letters and the precious memories you hold of your parents. They are so very sweet! ♥️

  3. Lovely letters. So heart-felt! Thanks for sharing

  4. What a lovely personal gift to share with all of us. It gives our crazy world a little perspective. What a wonderful love they shared. It is reflected in all that you write, JoAnna.

  5. Your dad sounds like a wonderful guy. Your parents were married just a couple months after mine…

  6. Thanks for sharing, JoAnna. That must have been a tough Christmas for your mother. The cost of war on families rings out loud and clear.

  7. Beautiful. Hard for this generation to imagine not having the instant satisfaction of cell phones. My mom and dad were dating when he was in ww2 in navy in pacific. I have a few telegrams and his navy scrapbook

    • Thank you, Paula. Yes, we do take instant communications for granted. Most of the letters came in batches. Our parents left us treasures to remember and be thankful.

  8. Beautiful tribute to your parents, JoAnna! Thank you for sharing with us! Have a holiday season filled with peace and joy! ❤ ❤ ❤

  9. Such loving letters. And so bad that he had to go.

  10. Sad to say, but I never knew deep love like this could exist. WOW! Thank you so much for sharing these precious letters. WOW!

    • Thank you for this thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I have come to suspect that the depth of love my parents felt for each other is somewhat rare. They worked through many challenges together. Maybe that’s why I thought my first marriage would last forever. Now, I’m glad it didn’t, because something better was on the way. My mother’s marriage to my father was her second, so she and I have that in common. There’s always hope for deeper love, whether in a marriage, friendship, with self, or something more spiritual. I’m so glad you appreciated the letters. Take care!

  11. Amazing that he was the one in the war zone, praying for her to be strong !

    • Thank you for sharing that insight. My mom struggled with depression, especially when Dad was deployed. After he retired from 20 years in the Marine Corps, they were a great team volunteering together in the community.

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