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From the Major to the Missus

Letters from the War in Vietnam, October 1966-October 1967
by Major Ray B. Stice to Elizabeth "Gig" Stice
transcribed and edited by Robin Stice Maroney
with John M. Curatola, PhD

DOI: 10.56686/9798986259529



At the height of American participation in the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot Major Ray B. Stice, his wife Elizabeth or “Gig,” and their four children wrote to each other daily from October 1966 until his return home in late 1967. These handwritten letters are painstakingly transcribed here to capture the family’s devotion to each other while apart and detail their struggles, triumphs, laughter, and tears. Their correspondence became a lifeline for the Stice family and displayed their unwavering love that endured despite the perils of war.

The letters take the reader back in time, offering a peek into the culture of 1960s Austin, Texas, and the mentality of a nation embroiled in a war that presented more questions than answers for those serving abroad and at home. This extraordinary collection illustrates the dynamics of a family separated by conflict without the conveniences of modern technology and displays a time-honored military way of life. Ray Stice’s letters reveal heart-stopping combat action straight from the cockpit of a Marine fighter jet, while Gig’s letters provide a glimpse into the everyday life of a military wife and the children waiting for him to safely return home. Importantly, the letters chronicle a year of active-duty Marine Corps service, bringing this history alive with stories of bravery and sacrifice from the battle front and the home front.


Editorial Note 

Foreword by Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey, USMC (Ret)


Select Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms 


Introduction by John M. Curatola, PhD

Chapter 1. October 1966

Chapter 2. November 1966

Chapter 3. December 1966

Chapter 4. January 1967

Chapter 5. February 1967 

Chapter 6. March 1967

Chapter 7. April 1967 

Chapter 8. May 1967 

Chapter 9. June 1967 

Chapter 10. July 1967

Chapter 11. August 1967

Chapter 12. September 1967

Chapter 13. October 1967

Conclusion by John M. Curatola, PhD

Select Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading

Marine Corps University