It is Tuesday night and it’s raining like crazy. I’m typing in the orderly room and I hear rain beating down on the roof. Our switchboard operator is listening to the radio. The televison blew up the other night. All this sounds dull I know but I’m quite content.
Peggy wrote me a nice letter, says, what is all this stuff about danger? If it’s actually worring you, mom, let me say that I’m hardly in any danger out here. This is not a vital military area, was never contested in the war and, while there are lots of Korean Marines here , there are no American fighing units within several miles. (Don’t worry — if we needed anything, there’s always the Air Force and these R.O.K. Marines are rough and tought and a wild bunch — good fighters. Our nearest American units are a 7-man U.S. Marine Advisory detatchment just across the bridge on the mainland, a Hawk Missile batterey about twenty miles down that miserable dirt road, then there is the whole General Support complex in the Seoul area, the Second and Seventh Infantry Divisions (the actual fighting units) are located on the central part of the DMZ (inland). This is where things sometimes get hot and dangerous and where incidents occur….oh, yes, we have infiltrators comong on the island. But I’m as unaware of that as you are that someone right now is being murdered in Neponset Circle. I’m far safer here than I’d probably be at Time Square and 42nd Street, or walking across Boston Common at night looking like I have a few dollars in my wallet….We all have our hiding places picked….This is an interesting and fairly attractive area — not the treeless, barbed wire DMZ. This is about as close as you can get to the enemy without having much motive to feel endangered…The only way it’s dangerous is because the road is rough and you might land in a rice paddy if y ou’re not careful and there are women and chidren and dogs and oxen ad ducks and chicken every inch of the way. I make it an adventure. I’m looking for the smoothest possible ride on the worst possible road.
You mentioned typhoon season. We caught the tail of one last night that came in off the Yellow Sea. I’m afraid I caught it worst of all riding back from Seoul in an open jeep. This rain tonight might be a hangover from the big storm which is gone farther out to sea now as far as I know.
End of September 1. I’m tired and I’m going to brave the rain down to the barracks and to my warm bunk. The rain’s really beating down now.
More about typhoons, etc., tomorrow.