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Date: November 9th 1974
Susan, Tonia, and Cameron Doerksen - (wife & children)
Kenn Doerksen

Saturday, 9 Nov

Dearest Susan, Tonia and Cameron,

Hi, all. Two letters and a phone call...what a pleasant week. Thank you. Sorry if I sounded confused on the phone, but at 5 a.m. I am normally confused, but it was wonderful hearing your voices again. And, glad to hear you are all well.

I have had a sore back all week, made more so by a tough day on the ranges on Wednesday. I had to succumb to the doctor’s pain killers and relaxants for two days, but they made me so dopey that I stopped today and the pain has left. Just have to take it easy, I guess.

On Wednesday, Smitty and my driver and I went to Dhekelia where I played “private for a day”. Learned how to sneak through some of the roughest, rockiest terrain on the island, crawl under/over obstacles and throw grenades. We ended up being led (6 of us) by Ken through a 800 meter range, moving at full pace from rock to bunker, firing our machine guns (real ammo) at targets which popped up around us, while smoke grenades and explosions went off all over. We even had to throw 3 live grenades first one was a dud, the first they had ever seen. I was sure it was all my fault when it didn’t explode, but the demolition experts who exploded it said it wasn’t. I was really beat, but it was great fun...I was the talk of the regiment the next day (a pilot doing that???).

Today I hosted the other 7 Economic Officers from the other contingents to lunch after our bi‑weekly meeting and then led an international convoy of UN vehicles along the Green Line. They all enjoyed it and I’ve been invited to all the other’s messes. Great.

On Friday, Col Fuchs, the head of the Austrian Civil Police invited me to lunch at their H.Q. with two other Canadians. I have a lot of dealings with them, and after I organized the soccer game last week, they insisted I come. An excellent Wiener Schnitzel but I was so groggy from the drugs that I couldn’t eat it all.

We are playing soccer again tomorrow against a British Unit stationed near the airport. I even bought a new pair of ADIDAS soccer boots, as my old ones (at home) are just about finished...15 years is all they lasted.

Oh yes, the legal suit...$1065 for re-levelling plus 12% interest for 1 year, plus the cost of the roof repair, plus legal fees should be sufficient.

Life is moving quickly...the RCR begins arriving in under 2 weeks. Be good and stay busy...I love you and miss you all.

All my love,

[postscript added at top of first page:] P.S. How about a subscription to “National Geographic” for Dad (or does he already get it)? Record for Bruce? 

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