Ben, right, and Mike Mayer of Chicago, center, prepare to join Clay Hawthorne of New Mexico in devouring the contents of Clay's package from home.


The only thing better than you getting a package full of goodies from home was somebody in your squad getting a package of goodies from home. We lived for the mail and even more so for packages. Coming back from a long-range patrol or an operation was not complete without a box addressed to you.  

Chocolate fudge, stale popcorn, more Kool-Aid, and homemade cookies were
common, as was more film. Every once in a while everyday necessities such as Band-Aids, iodine and spices brought a smile to our faces.  

But it was the sweets that ruled. And if we had a rule, it was you had to share with the guys. You got first pick of the treats and took out the personal sundries ... then it was time to share. And, Lord help the guy that didn't. He'd never see a treat out of anyone else's package from home again.

Unlike letters, packages did not make it out to the bush. They sat back at Vandegrift until we returned. In June and July of 1969, that wait was a long
one. (Please see Photo No. 20)


 Photos 19--27