I recently came across a form letter that I remember seeing in Vietnam forty years ago.  Back then, it was referred to as “A short-timer letter”, one that offered a warning to everyone stateside about his expected return home.  All soldiers in Vietnam kept track of the amount of days they had left in country – a measuring stick of tenure that began as a Cherry with 365 days and continued downward – a short-timer’s count was in single digits. The intent of the letter was somewhat of a joke intended to hype up the soldier’s return, listing behavioral changes that may occur, with advice on what loved ones should or should not do.   I remember sending off my letter and returning home after fulfilling my obligation.  However, looking back upon this letter, many veterans, new and old, still exhibit some of those behaviors.  It’s still a fun read.  Do you remember seeing this?  What is your opinion about it today?

Short Timer’s Letter

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about the Vietnam War – subscribe to this blog and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.   A directory to the right of each article, lists my published posts in chronological – links are live – click and read.  If you’d rather sample every post by scrolling through the many pages, then click on the Cherries title at the top of this page and be redirected to the blog’s main page…most recent posts are first – a navigation bar at the bottom helps move between pages.

Advertisements