A Marine rifleman's reply to a Christmas letter received from a young girl 54 years earlier. Christmas 1967 on the DMZ in Vietnam
byCharles Glenn Estes
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Cathy, I am the “Dear Soldier”, that you wrote to while I was fighting in Vietnam. I have attached a copy of the letter you wrote. I hope you remember writing it, but maybe not. You were just a young schoolgirl when you wrote your letter to a “Dear Soldier”. So, I will refresh your memory. You said, at the end of your letter, “I am going to ask you one question, please write back”. Well, I am writing back. I am just a little late. Fifty-four years late, to be exact. War, for whatever reason, just has a way of taking its toll, and sometimes, it takes a while to work things out before you can write back and express your true thoughts to a young schoolgirl, like you. It is important for me to tell you about receiving your letter and what it meant to me. I am hoping those fifty-four years, between your letter and mine, have been good to you, and everyone you love, just as mine have been good to me, and all the ones that I love.
I want to share a little about my life in 1967, I want you to realize how important and what it meant to receive your schoolgirl letter, on Christmas Day, addressed to a “Dear Soldier.” Your letter contained everything important. It was a letter written on the type of paper I had used in grade school and it so reminded me of my childhood and my family when I was reading it by candlelight on Christmas night.
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About the Book
This is a short story replying to a Christmas letter that I received from a young girl walking through a chow line on Christmas Day 1967 at Con Thien, Vietnam, 850 meters from the border with North Viet Nam.
About the Author
Charles Estes is a retired mechanical engineer. He was a marine rifleman who fought with Echo Company, 2nd Bn, 1st Marine Regt in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. He came home and struggled with undiagnosed PTSD. He eventually graduated from college, married, and raised a loving family