| UNITED STATES OPERATIONS MISSION
26 May 1964
My Dear Brother:
I do hope that you will forgive me
again for taking so long to answer your last letter. There is so very
much happening here in Vietnam now adays that I hardly have time to write
to my wife. I do hope that you are well and that your studies are giving
you no problems.
I think that I told you last time that
my son Gordon Thomas developed bronchial infection and had to be sent
home. Emily and the children left Vietnam last December and I have been
here alone since that time. I don't need to tell you that I miss them
very very much.
The greatest news is that Emily just
had our second son. Yes, now I have two boys and one girl. The new boy
was really a small one, just 3 pounds 5 ounzes. The last letter that I
had from home he was doing fine. We named him Paul Alexander. What do
you think of that name? I named him after Paul in the Bible. I hope that
he can do the great work for God that his namesake did before him.
If you recall Dwight was working in
the Highlands with me but he has recently been transferred to the Delta.
He is now working in the south in the special zone where Father Hoa, a
Catholic Father, is working. Dwight is very happy because now he can practice
I don't remember if I told you or not
but Dwight has a new girl. I guess she is about six months old now. Old
Dwight has three girls now; that is strange if you recall that in Laos
Dwight delivered only boys.
Ngoan the situation here in Vietnam
is not good at all. I'M very afraid that if the Vietnamese don't change
their attitude we are going to lose this war. We seem to be going down
the same road that the French took. The American military and the Vietnamese
military are still fighting a WW II type war and the Communists are fighting
guerilla style. If we don't change our methods soon we are going to lose.
All of our effort to develope this
country depends upon the security of the country; without security we
can do little for the people. If we do nothing for the people we will
I have found that the Vietnamese people
are very complex. Most of our people don't consider the political aspect
of this fight. We are not telling the people where we are going or why
we are going there. The new government has not given the people a clear
policy that they can accept. There is confusion in Saigon and in all of
the provinces. Many of the Province Chiefs don't really want to do anything
yet to fear that there will be any other change and , if there is a change,
they may be put in jail.
All of my close Vietnamese friends
want to leave Vietnam now. Some of them will admit that they think we
can not win; some of them demonstrate that subconsciously they are admitting
defeat. I try to give them hope and encouragement but it is a difficult
I pray to God to give my guidance and
strength but one man can do little in the presence of such odds. But,
as in Laos, I continue to work and to do my best. It seems as if our work
is never done here; I always feel guilty when I go to bed because I know
that there are many things that I haven't finished.
I think that if you can stay in the
States it would be better. I'm sure that with our contacts in America
we can get you citizenship. A few years ago I was all for you returning
to Asia but now, my Brother, it is very different. I think that you know
me well enough to realize that when I call you Brother I mean it. You
are as dear to me as by blood brother.
I tell you now that with all of our
dollars and with all of our material we will not win Vietnam because most
of our people don't understand the Vietnamese people and the Vietnamese
people have become so numb to war that they no longer care.
Most of the functionaries and military
care about getting their salaries each month but care little about the
job that they do. Most Americans that I have met here, as the people in
Laos, are about the same. Oh Ngoan! My heart cries for peace; I work and
I try to raise the spirit of other people but it is a discouraging job.
I think of the life that I could have in the States with my family but
I can't help but think about the people in this country that will fall
under the Communist net if we fail here.
I have learned so much about Americans
during my stay in Vietnam. I have a very good assistant who works with
me. I have realized for the first time how superior we think we are. I
have seen Americans through the eyes of Asians for the first time. Ngoan,
I don't like what I see. Even though we Americans are here to help this
country win its freedom we don't really understand the people of Asia.
Well my brother I long to see you once
more. I long to see you again and to talk to you as we used to talk. It's
strange the feeling that I have for the people of this part of the world.
I feel that I understand a little of the anguish that they know. I feel
that I know a little of the hopelessness that they know. I hope that God
will give me strength and knowledge to help them to have a life that is
better than the one that they have now.
My brother I must close now. Please study hard as I know you do. Write to me soon and let me know how you are.
P.S. I'll be home in Nov. You must come and see me in Mattoon, Ill.