2 September 1966
Dear Mom, Dad, Shrub, the Egg and Peach:
Sorry to be so long in writing, but I have just come back from an abortion called Operation Jackson. I spent a three-day "walk in the sun" (and paddies and fields and mountains and impenetrable jungle and saw grass and ants, and screwed-up radios and no word, and deaf radio operators, and no chow, and too many C-rations, and blisters and torn trousers and jungle rot, and wet socks and sprained ankles and no heels, and, and, and) for a battalion that walked on roads and dikes the whole way and a regiment that didn't even know where the battalion was, finished off by a 14,000-meter forced march on a hard road.
My God, the epic poems I could write to that ambrosia of Marine Corps cuisine - peanut butter and/or hot coffee after three days of that! The only person in the battalion to see a VC was, of course, me. I was walking along a trail doing a village sweep and alone, and here comes Charlie, rifle in hand, with not a care in the world until he sees me, and then it's a race to see if he can get off the road before I can draw my .45 and get off an accurate shot (he won). Of course, there was an incident when four snipers took on the battalion, which promptly, more to release the weight of all that unexpended ammunition than anything else, threw everything at them but the Missouri; and that would have been there too, except it could not get up that Sang Tra Bong. So goes about $50,000 worth of ammo. They probably played it up as a second Iwo Jima at home, but it wasn't.
Then two days after we got back, we played Indian Scout, and my platoon splashed its way through a rice paddy at 3:30 in the morning in a rainstorm to surround a hamlet, which we managed to do somehow without alerting everyone in the district, which is surprising as we made enough noise to wake up a Marine sentry. It was "very successful" since we managed to kill a few probably innocent civilians, found a few caves and burned a few houses, all in a driving rainstorm. There's nothing much more, I'm afraid.