Couple shares letters from Vietnam on Veterans Day
CRANSTON, R.I. —
To mark Veterans Day, Kerry Rock took out a couple of shoe boxes from a closet in her Cranston home.
In the boxes, letters that she and her husband, John, wrote to each other while he was in Vietnam.
"Hello Doll," Kerry reads from a letter dated Nov. 26, 1970. "That's what he called me."
The words and the paper they are written on are 43 years old. The memories don't seem anywhere near that long ago.
"It was like yesterday. It's so fresh in my mind," she said.
At the time, they were newly married.
Kerry was pregnant with their first child. John would read and write when his unit would come back from the jungle.
Mail call was highly anticipated.
"I can remember standing out in front of the guy standing there with the letters -- 'Rock!' you know, and 'Yeah, I got a letter,'" John said. "Anything you could do to distract yourself, and think about home, was cherished."
Kerry reads some of the words John wrote to her.
"I've slept in almost every conceivable position in the last week that there is. I'll be so glad to get back to that soft bed with you I dream of the days we'll have to spend together. The three of us, when I come home I miss you so much. I love you more than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. Love always, John."
John said he'd keep the details of war out of the letters.
"We didn't want to alarm anybody about what things might be going on. So, you're trying to revolve the conversation around everyday life," he said.
John said he'd write about the food, the rain and the bugs.
The letters bring those times right back.
John said it's still too hard for him to read the letters.
"I haven't seen those letters. I haven't looked at them in 40 years," John said.
Kerry will look at them occasionally, as a reminder.
"That was all you had. And you had no idea whether you would ever see that person again It puts you back and puts things into perspective and you say, 'You know, we've been through a lot,'" Kerry said.
"I'm so proud to be the wife of a Vietnam veteran," she said.