Last letter

Published 8:01 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Western Union Telegram

1966 Jun 6 PM 2 28

“I deeply regret …”

Sunday, Nov 14, 1965

Dear Mom and Dad,

I thought I’d write you a letter while I had some spare time. Right now, I’m on mess duty. It won’t be long. It’s just for a week. I’m washing the pots and pans. It’s a real easy job. I got a letter from Gerald yesterday. He didn’t have much to say …

“…to confirm that…”

April 16, 1966

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just to let you know how things are going. We’re off stand-by now and back on the island. Not doing too much except getting a little darker each day. The sun sure is hot here now. It rained yesterday afternoon and cooled off a lot. Took my first shower in about two weeks in salt water yesterday. Today waiting to get some beer. Of course, it will be hot as usual. That’s about all there is on that. I made Lance-Corporal E-3 today……

“…your son…”

April 25, 1966

Dear Mom and Dad,

…I got a letter from Diane and Tommy yesterday, also one from Sandy with a picture of the baby. He sure was a big boy. Becky said she was sending me some cookies, but I haven’t got them as of yet. How are Daddy and Boogie doing at the oil refinery these days? Better close for now and clean my rifle and magazine. I might be using them tomorrow …

“…Lance Corporal Douglas W Hogge USMC…”

June 1, 1966

Dear Mom and Dad,

….If you see some orange drink that makes one quart send about ten packs of that. If you get a chance, send me some cookies and cake if you want and as fast as possible. I have 91 days left in Vietnam and then I’ll be on my way back into the world……love, Dougie

“…died 5 June 1966 in the vicinity of Danang, Republic of Vietnam. He sustained burns and fragmentation wounds to the head and neck from an unknown explosive device while on patrol. His remains will be prepared, encased, and shipped at no expense to you, accompanied by an escort, either to a funeral home or to a national cemetery selected by you.”

(A tribute to those in uniform)