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Letter to Private Dennis Ray Roberts on Serving in the Army.

May 16, 1969

Dear Private Roberts:

It was gratifying to receive your recent letter regarding your sense of pride and dignity as a soldier in the United States Armed Forces particularly since our nation honors our Armed Forces this week.

Letters such as yours are most reassuring that there are young men throughout our nation and the Armed Forces who stand ready in our quest for peace for all mankind. As President and Commander-in-Chief, I appreciate your expression of dedication and willingness to share in the responsibilities of maintaining our freedom and security as a nation.

My best wishes for your success.



[Private Dennis R. Roberts, B-7-2, United States Army Training Center, Fourth Platoon, Fort Benning, Georgia]

Note: Private Roberts' letter, dated May 4, 1969, and released by the White House Press Office along with the President's letter on May 16, 1969, read as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

I'm writing this letter to you to let you know just how I feel about the two years I'll be in The United States Army.

Mr. President, I know you will never see this letter nor will you read it, but I'm sure there must be many guys like myself who just want you to know their feelings toward you and the United States. Mr. President, I'm proud to serve my country in the best way possible--that by being in the Armed Forces of the United States, and Mr. President, I'm very proud to be under your leadership and guidance. I know there is a lot more hardships to face than what our country has faced in the past but I will do whatever I can for my country and for you, Mr. President. You don't have to answer this letter. I know there is a lot more work that's more important than answering a letter from a soldier, so do that work and maybe, I pray, we won't need all the soldiers we have now in the United States Armed Forces.

So, Mr. President, do your work because that's the only answer I want.
Cordially yours,

P.S. Maybe, Mr. President, one day I can meet you and tell these words to you and not send them to you on paper.

Richard Nixon, Letter to Private Dennis Ray Roberts on Serving in the Army. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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