LCpl. Roger “Butch” Cecil, USMC, KIA - Quang Tri Province, RVN, July 14, 1967.The following letter was written to my grandmother, and is dated June 23, 1967
Dear Mrs. Fletcher,
A few lines to let you know I still exist in the world. But, believe me, I am in a different world. Mrs. Fletcher, I didn’t know the Lord could change your life in 10 minutes. But he can. If you ever held somebody that was dying you would understand.
I don’t guess anybody really knows what war is until they’re right in the middle of it. Mrs Fletcher, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen about 13 or 14 marines die and many more wounded. When we get into a fire fight with the enemy, I look around and see dead people not two feet from me and thank God I am still alive. And I say,” he was alive only five minutes ago.” The Lord can take your life so fast. If I ever get back to the states you will never catch me out of Sunday School and church.
I’m just thankful that God has spared my life this long. I’ve had nothing cold since I got here, all the water is hot. Not a bath in three weeks. People don’t know what you go through in war. Well, so much for that.
Oh, yes. Every time you take a drink of cold water, think of me. Because, when we’re on patrol the only way we get water is to find a creek or river. Sometimes, we do without water for a day and a half. It’s about 130 degrees. You are really hurting for water. We’re out on operations and patrol 28 days out of the month. Well, guess I’d better go. By the way, how is your family doing? Hope ok. Well write soon,
Roger Dale “Butch” Cecil was killed in July 14th, 1967. He was a close friend of our family and died of shrapnel wounds.
I’ve been thinking of him a lot lately and the contrast of Butch (who gave his all) to Kerry (who grabbed all the medals he could) is searing. (Yes, searing.)