Post 577: old letters

I found some old letters I wrote home when I was in the US Army (December 2, 1969-November 30, 1972). I was looking for old photos I thought I had, but found this pile, most likely saved by my mother. I will read through them, for the fun of it and to get better dates on what I did while in Europe. Or didn’t: I found references to trips to Denmark and Spain that I didn’t take, probably because of motion picture jobs that came up.

Written during my first trip out of Germany, a job in Greece.

Written during my first trip out of Germany, a job in Greece.

Typed on a portable typewriter I took with me to Greece, apparently, though I don’t remember having it with me. Oh, for spell check! Computers make corrections neater, faster, and less obvious.

The thing I remember most about this trip was the six hole biffy, the Turkish-style squatter that was wooden planks over a trench latrine with six strategically placed holes. Burlap bags hanging over the opening offered some small privacy from the farmer’s beautiful (and no doubt heavily haired) daughter who made an effort to be across the ravine separating their farm from the camp anytime there were soldiers out and about.

This matter of privacy was a concern to one of the Green Berets on the trip, and he used the biffy facing in instead of out. His ill-placed “offering” converted the biffy into a five holer for the duration of our stay.

I never wanted to be a soldier, so I was very fortunate to be accepted for training as a Mopic photographer, then be stationed from July 1970 through the end of November 1972 in Germany.

I never wanted to be a soldier, so I was very fortunate to be accepted for training as a motion picture photographer, then to be stationed from July 1970 through the end of November 1972 in Germany.

Here I am, making a light check so I can set my exposure correctly. My team leader, I guess, took this of me when I was in Greece for a joint Green Beret-Greek special forces exercise involving a jump from a plane into the Mediterranean, a long swim ashore, followed by storming a hill and taking an “enemy” position.

The swim was in December. Ugh! I felt sorry for them and glad for myself that I had no aspirations to be a hardcore soldier! The motion picture photographer job in Germany and Western Europe was just fine with me!

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