The LZ Sally Poetry Page
[..songs from the I Corps]

The poetry which follows here was written by combat veterans. It was inspired by the anguish of just living or trying to stay alive in the midst of combat and the pitiful conditions of life in a war torn country that was thousands of miles away from home. Strong bonds of brotherhood were created under these conditions, along with many fears, pains, and visions not witnessed before... nor since.

Don't read this stuff fast... it needs to be thunk about.




To submit poetry, please click this link to:
Mark Regan




I Haven't Forgotten (P.O.W.s)

I squint my eyes in the morning sun
As it invades my solemn slumber
I awaken in such a beautiful canyon as this
With no cares for the day!
I take a deep breath
As reassurance that tranquility still lives
And even in this placid realm
With the peace of mind I've obtained
My heart still hurts,
Hurts for those
Who never made it back from the war
And are still alive!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

The Tiger

We saw his prints by the riverbed that day
And were amazed by their size
An eerie vibe hung in the air
Like we were being stalked with his eyes!

We had heard the stories
How you've tasted soldier meat
And hunted at night
While we were asleep!

We soon forgot about them
As the sun went down
And we set up camp by the river
In a clear piece of ground

Night fell hard and black
We tried to sleep
But were restless from recent battles
Yet no one talked or made a peep!

Then in the black of night
We heard splashing in the river
And since "Charlie" moved in silence
It made our spines quiver!

We hunkered down
Figured there was 30 or more
I told Sarge here we go
Katie bar the door!

Then someone yelled
It's the Tiger and he's coming fast
We aimed at the shadow
And cut loose with a blast!

We hollered for "Shorty"
Get up here with your "thump gun"
He said, "I'm not on that cats' menu."
And broke into a run!

So we fired a couple clips of "16"
And tossed two Grenades
And one last deafening roar
The Tiger made!!

The next morning we tracked him down
There he lay upon the ground
His beauty took our breath away
No one made a sound!

I said, I'm sorry my friend
Your life had to end
Like us you were caught up in a war
Yet killing you seems like a sin!
The Tiger!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

Tired of the Rain and Pain

Through the black night I lie
In a muddy foxhole
As the rain soaks my bones,
Beyond tired.
But I dare not shut my eyes,
For this is Charlie's weather,
When you can.t hear or see him coming!
POP my twenty-five-foot trip flare goes off!
I spray the silhouettes with the 16
And AK fire cracks in the dark.
I lay down over 100 rounds in a panic
And toss 2 frags between the bamboo!

Then an eerie quiet fell
And I could hear my heart beating in the mud.
That morning we found a lifeless NVA soldier.
The guys put Airborne patches all over him.
I looked in his wallet
And there was a picture of him and his little boy together.
I slid down a tree and sat in the pouring rain
Staring at the picture,
Thinking, I took away the little boy's dad,
And though it wasn.t supposed to, it hurt!
At that moment a soldier said, Good kill, Greek.
And I said, looking at the picture,
There.s no such thing!
I.m tired of the rain and tired of the pain!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

White Bright Frame

We all lived in a white frame,
a space between time.
What we died for
was more than just our time.
Our combat was never too bright
for who was at our left and right....

- Lenard Blachly -
B/2/501

Father's Day

The blast was loud as it blew dirt and shrubbery from its resting place.
Smoke and noise filled the once silent air. As the dust settled, shrieks
of pain were heard throughout. Calls for medics were quickly assembled
as the helicopter circled the area.

The life of a young twenty year old boy had just been changed.

What`s it like to birth two generations and never see a day of it.
To hold your firstborn and smell her sweet new skin, to kiss your
first grandson only minutes after birth. What is it like to be there
when your daughter walks down the aisle and never witness her beauty.

How can one forget the color purple, or love a wife whose beauty
you`ve never beheld. What`s it like to own your "dream" car and
never be able to drive it. To never play ball with your son,
or dance with your daughter.

What`s it like to listen to the joy of your children as they explain
in detail the new pair of shoes that you just bought for them,
and then as they hold their foot up so you can "feel" their
newest treasure.

Daddy, I don`t understand how you do it.
All I know is that there is not anyone I hold in
higher respect than you. Not one man that I love as
much as I love you. And every time I am away from
you my heart aches for your company.
Daddy, you`ll never truly understand the love
a daughter has for her father. You are my hero!
My pride in life! My example!
Dad, you are my everything. I love you forever!

- Erin Peterson, for her father, DV VN vet Mike Peterson -
Presented by Ken Hornbeck, D/1/501, 69-70

Rear Echelon Blues

Pulling guard in the rear
I think about buddies in the field
We all wonder about death over here
Those guys out there are our shield

I could have been
out there with them
My orders changed to
be in this place
A lonely voice from
a bunker sings a hymn
I look up at the
black sky and see a face

Sometimes I
feel guilty not being out there
Trained an
infantryman and a rifle expert
When we're
bored in a tower we pop a flare
Lights up the
perimeter and puts the OD on alert

Some guys smoke dope on the
bunker line
Few in from the field mean as a
bobcat
Through a starlight scope I
scan so fine
Startled in a bunker by a ten
pound rat

I guess I'm lucky here in a base camp
We're all here to do a job win or lose
Buddies out in the field so hot and damp
Here I sit singing the rear echelon blues

- Paul Cameron -
1st Inf. Div.

Another Good Morning From Vietnam!

Looks like another beautiful day
Here in sunny Vietnam to play
Your favorite tunes brought to you
By way of AFVN and the DJ crew

From dawn to dusk every day
AFVN over the air comes your way
Spinning your Top 40 with the news
Some rock, country, jazz, and blues

Whether you're behind a machine gun
Or buried in paperwork to get done
Groove to some music on the AFVN dial
It's 1969 and you've not heard these in a while

The weather's not going to change real soon
Charlie's been scarce during the monsoons
Relax and turn up the volume for the next hour
Some blasts from the past for the guys in the tower

It's been raining rockets all week in Lai Khe
So here's requests for all of you up that way
'I Wish It Would Rain' and 'Good Vibrations'
Time to sign off now from all AFVN stations

- Paul Cameron -
1st Inf. Div.

We Regret to Inform You

Dear parents of the deceased
We regret to inform you of this release
Your son was mortally wounded in combat
His valor in finest tradition and all that

Dear wife and children of this brave man
We regret to inform you of this telegram
Your husband and father killed by sniper fire
He was aiding the wounded until he expired

Dear America, home of our war dead,
We regret to inform you about all this bloodshed
For their gallantry under hostile action are sent
These silver stars and medals from the President

Dear combat comrades of these dear fallen men
We regret to inform you that your memories never end
The sights and sounds of their death keep pounding away
Their names carved on a wall as you kneel down to pray

- Paul Cameron -
1st Inf. Div.

A Kit Carson Scout

He was a Chieu Hoi, a turncoat, a "Kit Carson Scout".
Ironically, his name was Nam!
I would have never believed an NVA soldier would become my friend!
Yet he did!
He was twenty-one years old and was a six-year combat veteran!
His fervor to serve with us was hellbent extreme!
I once asked him why I should trust him.
And he told me of how the NVA tortured and killed his elderly parents
For not letting them draft his thirteen year old brother
Their only means means of working the farm!
A few days later he saved me from an ambush!
He taught me how to read Charlie's signs in rocks and trees!
And how to listen to insects to stay alive!
When a fire fight broke out Nam always came running to the front!
He fought like ten "Rock Soldiers" possessed!
His bravery was beyond amazing!
He was a hardened warrior, with Ninja skill and an Iron Will!
But most of all, he was my friend!
He called me "Chicago" (chi-ka-goo)and dreamed of going there!
He'd stare at post cards of the big city for hours, asking a hundred questions!
The last time I saw Nam was when a chopper lifted me out of the Bush,
As it climbed to no more than twenty feet in the air I saw Nam on the ground.
For the first time with tears on his hard face, waving and shouting, "Bye, Chi-ka-goo, bye"!
I've often wondered if my friend made it out, and if so, where is he.
Nam, a Kit Carson Scout, a Warrior and a Friend, love ya Bro - Chicago!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

Baghdad 2003

Baghdad that night,
the first of the war.
I tried to do a Flash to Bang
but television distorts the results.
I know the reality,
the bombs do not awe me.
I left that in Nam in 68.
Then a B-52 strike would lift off the ground.
The reality came when you had to walk the ground.
Then you had to look carefully for body parts.
That's the reality of a bomb blast,
who they were is never the question,
only the reality of their death.
I am in awe of life.
The child who survives,
the woman with the terrible wounds,
who only wants you to find her husband
in the remains of a bombed out building.
I am in awe of the humanity that binds us.
Not the stupid irreverent politics that makes us kill.
I swore after Nam,
I would do something to stop the senseless killing.
I am trying that here.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Endless War

The warrior's battles will never end
for each firefight echoes in dreams that shake the night.
Once again with sweated determination the warrior must do battle.
Countless firefights relived until awakened
by those whose deaths were only numbers on the six o'clock news.
I find this strange, those that died in the tempest of battle,
they have found peace.
While we, the survivors,
we are in hell.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

After Nam

After Nam,
it took me a long time to realize
that every time it thundered,
somebody did not have to die.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Nam Night

God, how I hate the night.
Twilight creeping in graying out the green,
turning the jungle black.
Fear grows inside like the winding of a clock.
Under the black cover of darkness,
the hunter becomes the hunted
and Charlie owns the night.
The fear is as real as the night
and grips us all in its unrelenting hold.
Through the sleepless hours the fatigue builds
sapping both mind and body.
In the tense haze of early morning,
you lie on the jungle floor
while waiting for the morning sun
to take away the night's hiding blanket of darkness.
It is in the morning,
as the sun paints the jungle from black to green
that you begin to relax the night's vigil
and you take the countryside back from Charlie.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Brothers

When I first got to Nam
you were black and I was white.
Then sweating together
through the boonies and in firefights
we became brothers.
Everything we did depended on each other.
Without speaking we communicated.
I knew if I went left, you'd go right
and be there to cover me in a firefight.
I never trusted another person as I trusted you.
That is why I shut the door to my soul
when you got hit.
A part of me felt the pain,
a part of me went with you on the dustoff,
and a part of me died with you,
and a part of me is still with you
just as a part of you is still with me.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Tracers

The tracers arc through the night,
like fireflies that sting.
A hypnotic power entrancing and mesmerizing,
as like a dancing messenger of death
it races through the night
looking for someone to talk to.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Angel of the Morning

Armed Forces Radio Vietnam,
your only contact with the real world.
Fifteen guys huddled around a transistor radio
in the middle of a rice paddy
listening to Merrilee Rush sing Angel of the Morning.
For a couple seconds, round eyes girls and home
fill our thought as we share memories,
telling stories about back home
Touchdown passes almost caught.
The cars and girls we never had.
Killing time and wishing we were there
back home in the real world.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Atrocities of War

All of the atrocities of war are for the living.
Only they realize the full impact
of a child crippled, a young girl maimed.
You see, the dead enjoy the finality of death.
While we the living are haunted by their dying.
All around us the war,
in the rubble of a house,
the roar of a jet,
the crack of a rifle.
You can smell it, taste it,
even feel it.
It climbs into your sleep
filling your dreams.
Everywhere around you it is
until with astounding clarity it strikes you.
Shit man, you are the war.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

Buying the Farm

My Man, where did you go down.
The Iron Triangle or War Zone D.
The trees of the Michelin
or the rice paddies of Cu Chi.
The hills of Dak To
or the streets of Pleiku.
It don't make no never mind
when you you buy the farm over here,
you always pay in full.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

DEROS

He got us by the gonads
and keeps jerkin' us off.
We been balls to the wall so damn often
I wonder if anyone else is fightin' in this war.

I've seen so many firefights
and a hot LZ is the only place they put us.
I wonder if I will ever get out of this place
without the purple people eater.

Yet we go on.
Not because we are good, for that we are,
but because you can only do one day at a time
to DEROS this place.

Try to do more than that
and you get a body bag to wear home.
Then everyone can come to your funeral
except the guys who will miss you most.

- Pete "Doc" Fraser -
3/187

A Day in the Bush

Splash!
The cold water opens my eyes towards another day
Swollen shut with jungle rot
As the gnats buzz affray!

Mosquitos feast on hands and neck
Repellent doesn't stay
The sun polkadots the mud
Through bamboo like a green carpet that hangs!

The leeches cling and muscles ache
Just another day,
Booby traps and snipers lurk,
Wonder if I'm the prey.

Straps draw blood from ninety-pound ruck
Rains are on the way
Breakfast cold once again
No bath for a hundred days!

Medi-Vac choppers fill the sky
While the cries of wounded pierce my ears,
Minutes become days
And months become years!

AK fire riddles hopes
Of having an easy day,
I scream at God and ask Him why,
But always, always I pray!!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

Troublemaker

Watersnake, maybe -
a little bit chunky, though.
Georgia field-test time:
fishing rod pop on the lip.
Hah! Got us a cottonmouth.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Omen

One small cloud, moving -
drifting south in a blue sky.
A second cloud forms
behind. What frost, what moisture.
The first one dissolves. It's gone.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Invisible Wounds

Today an old vet stopped me in a parking lot.
He said, hey Brother, heard you were in The Nam.
I just want to thank you for serving over there!
He asked who I was with and where.
We talked a while of familar territory,
From the DMZ, the A Shau Valley, to Phu Bai and Hue.
I mentioned how I still miss my fallen friends,
And the old weathered vet began to choke up!
Tears filled his eyes!
I said, I know, Brother,
The invisible wounds hurt the most!
They never really heal.
We just learn to deal!
I love ya, Brother, and so does Jesus -
Welcome Home!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

Waiting on the Edge of the A Shau

We sit on the edge of the A Shau Valley
Peering down into its black jaws.
Its legend casts a spell on us
As we wait for the call.
Many a soldier has dropped into its throat
Never to emerge again!
And those who made it out
Wouldn't speak of what happens within!
Silently we stare at each other,
Our green shirts torn and bloodstained,
Our boyish faces expressionless
From months of pain.
We search each other's eyes
For confidence that's lost -
Nothing appears but disillusion,
Our sanity the cost.
War's teeth sink deep beyond the flesh,
Nostrils clogged from death's rancid scent.
Screams from the jungle haunt
As lives are being spent!
With night they come like leeches seeking blood.
Daylight seems forever away.
Fear gnaws at our stomachs.
Our minds are exhausted and frayed.
The snap of every branch
Brings unfathomed rushes to the heart,
Eyes sting from salty sweat,
But till morning they'll pierce the dark.
Again we stare at each other
While death sifts the bamboo.
The jungle grows ever silent.
He whispers, I'm scared, are you.
Then the call comes,
Let's kick, we're going in!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

Black Panther in Ambush

He is awakened every night by the cat fights.
First he cleans his guns.
In a few weeks, he goes out and buys a silencer.
Over a period of time he went out to see what was going on.
Finally he didn't even go to bed until after the cat fight.
He'd sit waiting and watching... and remembering the night
He met a black panther running through his ambush.
Next he carried his gun with silencer out with him.
Eventually he took his wife out with him
To his poncho-covered foxhole.

- Ken Hornbeck -
D/1/501

Black and White

Black and white film footage
Taken 29 years ago:
Vietnam, 1969,
Grunts on Patrol.

A soldier crosses the field.
He nears the camera,
Turns his head,
Looks toward the lens.

My heart stops.

Hi, John!

- Carolyn Parker -
Sister of John Parker, B/1/501/101
KIA 26 May 1969

I Corps, Tet 1968

We are the walkers.
We are the sloggers.
Bandaged and blur-eyed
we are the dwellers in the rain.
Filthy and forgotten,
we are the Infantry.

Our names compose a roll of honor --
in the casualty reports.
Our bodies torn by shards of steel write history --
in pools of blood.

We live,
we die
in mud and sweat and rain.
We are the Infantry.

Do you know death.
We greet it every day
in the sniper's flash,
the rage of guns
with fear that rises from our guts
like clammy mist.

Remembering things that are no more,
that shall not be
we trudge,
red-eyed
in twisted file,
filthy and forgotten.
We are the Infantry.

- Robert S. (Mac) McGowan -
A/1/501

Bound for Nam

America spreads beneath this surging craft,
an inverted universe:
the stars have fallen to the ground
light gleams as the phosphorus of dead leaves will gleam
in the listening posts, in the ambushes
in a land barely a concept in the minds of burr-haired boys,
these sacrificial virgins to the gods of war.

There are some here who will not see those lights again.
Hadley sits beside me.
The silver paratrooper wings he wears
will never see Missouri --
they will shine in his coffin
in the permafrost of midnight memories for all time.

We are going to give ourselves;
we will not come back,
never completely.

The cloud wisps thicken.
The sea congeals along the coast like old blood
and the last lights of America
launch us into dark night
over black sea.

America rides this jet, still sleeping.
The warning rumble of the engines do not stir her.
The banshee's streaming shrieks do not alarm her.

We are riding in the darkness to transformations
wrought by pain.
The pain will last forever.

We are bound for Nam.
We will not come back the same.

- Robert S. (Mac) McGowan -
A/1/501

The Ballad of Charlie Papasan

Now a lot of strange stories have come out of Vietnam,
But sure none as bizarre as the tale of old Charlie Papasan.

It was way back in sixty-eight, not long after Tet,
Near some lush rice paddies, that me and Charlie met.

They sent us out to recon a hill called three-O-four,
But little did we suspect just what lay in store.

You see, that hill was empty except for one dead tree,
But hunkered down behind it was one toothless old VC.

Attired in black pajamas, not a hair left on his head,
This old Charlie Papasan already looked half dead.

He had a single shot rifle, it was dated nineteen and ten.
He`d fought the French and then the Japs and then the French again.

I guess old Charlie`d `bout had enough, having seen a lot in his days,
And like most old goats, he was kinda set in his ways.

So on that hill he sat above his paddy field.
Surrounded by our unit, he still refused to yield.

So we called him on the bullhorn: yelled, "Papasan, come on down,
We don`t want to hurt you, so don`t be screwin' around."

Then out of the barrel of his rifle, came old Papasan's reply,
And we all sucked some mud as he let his bullets fly.

He answered us with a shot, the first one of the day,
But it was not to be the last, as we scrambled out of the way.

Now this went on for hours as we kept our faces to the ground.
We couldn`t even return fire as Papasan shot his rounds.

Our squad leader crawled to the phone and asked what he should do:
He reported we were under fire, had bit off more than we could chew.

HQ called back on the horn, said the word was "No Abort"
Our gung-ho looey said, "Can Do", and called for air support.

So they sent in the flyboys to napalm that old VC
And they dropped tons of firecrackers targeting that old tree.

We waited for the smoke to clear and when it finally did,
There was old Charlie Papasan; still behind that stump he hid.

So they called in Special Forces, the Rangers, and Berets,
But old Charlie Papasan kept them pinned down for days.

Then they tried offshore bombardment from every ship in the fleet
But all their shells missed Papasan by at least a hundred feet.

Then they sent for gunships and they came a spittin' flame
But Papasan behind his tree just took more careful aim.

We watched in stunned disbelief as each Huey bit the dust
Brought down by old Papasan and his rifle lined with rust.

Finally our old Sarge just couldn`t take no more.
I saw him crawl off through the brush, and wondered what the hell for.

Then in a minute he was back and I knew where he`d had to go.
'Cause here came Sarge a-leading Papasan's water buffalo.

Sarge had out his .45 pointed at the dumb critter's head.
He yelled, "Papasan, come on down, or your goddamn cow is dead!"

Now Sarge he`d done two tours; he was wise to the ways of the bush.
He knew Papasan would hurt no cow, if shove ever came to push.

So a thousand armed Americans encircling that hill and tree
All held their breath as one and sat waiting there to see.

Finally that ancient rifle came rolling down that hill.
Hands high, out came Papasan yelling, "NO KILL, NO KILL!"

Well, what happened to old Papasan, I guess you`d like to know,
Did we shoot the tough old bastard or did we let him go.

Well, we all looked at Sarge and this is what he`d done:
He traded Charlie that buffalo for that rusted out old gun.

So that old man just walked away with his water buffalo
Back to his lush rice paddies where you reap just what you sow.

And as I turned to look at Sarge I saw a sad look on his face.
He looked down at that rifle and said, "I`ll never understand this place."

- Author Unknown -
Furnished by Wayne Hastings
B/1/501

The CALL of THE WALL

I stood numb throughout staring at the names on THE WALL,
Trying to muster up the guts to feel the engraved letters with my fingertips,
I pierce the mile deep crevices as the emotions surge!
A volcanic eruption seems to occur from within,
I read through tears stirred by memories of war,
I shared joy and pain with these faces behind the names,
Kerry "Doc" Vance, Thomas Hess, George Underdown and more!
Their legacy now embedded in black, these heroes who never came back!
My mind races ten thousand fold from guilt trips, nightmares and stories untold!
Adrenaline floods my heart as I ponder the POW's on hold,
My family and friends look on helplessly, for I cannot be consoled,
For only GOD ALMIGHTY knows my mental dimension,
As THE WALL stares back at me!
Neither love for woman, birth of child, medal of achievement, loss of relative,
Nor victory or defeat in life can compare,
To the feeling THE WALL subjects one to,
It's unequalled, unparalleled!
Thus unexplainable by the mere finite mind of man!
THE WALL seems to breathe before my eyes,
Emitting screams from its black granite,
Sometimes laughter from old friends soothes and coats invisible wounds,
That once gripped my soul like the teeth of a jackal!
THE WALL comes with a guarantee, that it will affect you for better or worse,
The rest of your life, until death do you part...
From the CALL of THE WALL!!!

- Pete "the Greek" Agriostathes -
B/1/501

RTO Prizes

Brian, you have heart,
although your eMail says Brain.
A warrior's praise.
We shall treasure our handsets,
yet agree - more riflemen!

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

End of July

Moon landing. So far.
Search for constellations:
Cygnus, Lyra, Cross.
Anne, do you think of me still.
Hip hole. Shoulder hole. Lie still.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Comfort Zone

Pistol belt, one each;
two canteens; four more covers
(magazines and frags) -
just right for a shallow pit...
American standard seat.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Inspector General

Ladies' Social Club
will meet at LZ Sally
to start off the year.
Sip tea and nibble bridge mix.
No boonie rats need apply.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Spirit Shirt

Crazy Horse hailstones
or Roman Nose pipe quill bars -
thank you, Don Gourley.
It reads: B, 1/501
Tam Ky 1969.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

End of the Year

Cease-fire and log bird.
Christmas present from the World -
a kaleidoscope.
Colors turn and colors turn.
Chish - a flower falls apart.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Febo from Nam

Green blades of grass
reach up to the sky.
No one told Febo
it was his time to die.
I think of a time so long ago
relive the terror that always leaves me low.
Febo's back from Nam
did he ever really go.
I close my eyes
wait for the light to rush in.
Listen for the sounds
of the far away place I had been.
An image forms,
Febo running for cover.
He heads for the dike
then runs no further.
I rush to my friend
heart filled with fear.
Febo's dead
but it doesn't seem real.
I lift his head
to close his eyes.
Curse at God
scream out "Why.".
His blood on my hands
so sticky and hot.
I looked down at Febo
Febo smiled not.
The rain fell heavy
on the swollen rice paddy field.
The mound of dirt forming the dike
could have prevented the kill.
Mortars exploded
small arms fire struck everywhere.
I sat alone with Febo
I no longer cared.
I stayed there forever
or so it seemed.
I entertained the thought
Vietnam was a horrible dream.
Febo's legacy a tableau
that stamped in my mind.
Febo's gone
I'm still here.
Green blades of grass
reach up to the sky.
No one told Febo
it was his time to die... Why.

Ivan Febo-Bentancourt - KIA 6 April 1968

- Lawerence "Doc" Mize -
A/2/501

Two Day Hill

The giant beech tree -
circumference, four men's arms.
The split-rock altar.
Rising wind, His court unto,
halfway up the mountainside.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Dreamwalk

This could be heaven -
forward, new sights, no return -
or it could be hell.
The mountain trail goes onward.
Who has been here before me.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Reprieve

Ribboned through branches,
sleeping cold at the trailside -
green bamboo viper.
Next time I dropped my heavies
I checked before sitting down.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Third Guard

Tap on my boot - up.
In your bunkers, in your holes -
sleep on, enemy.
A cold wind moves through the rocks.
I think it's almost morning.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

All Quiet

Guarding the Rome Plows -
October quartz crystal digs -
chess with the FO -
humping the captain's radio.
It was good to walk in the sun.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Our Vietnam Veterans

Our Vietnam veterans who's price was so high,
That they have to fight and so many have to die.
They showed us courage of men tho they were young boys,
Tho 58,000 will speak no more their hearts will be with us for ever more,
Yes our vietnam veterans both dead and alive payed the price for you
and i.

- Tom Hayes -
B/1/501

Salad Days

Salad days,
sowin' our oats,
we're nineteen
and like green weeds,
we feel indestructible,
sometimes...

carrying rifles,
playing cards,
matches for chips,
humpin' the boonies,
readin' our mail,
cryin' for our dead buddy,
thinkin' of home.

We were young,
we were ignorant,
we were scared,
we were brave,
we were brothers.

Now we're old,
our kids are grown,
but in our dreams
and in odd moments,
we're nineteen again,
strong green weeds,
in our salad days.

- Paul Clayton -
B/1/8/4th

Jewelweed

Ripped hands and ripped heart.
Nothing grows familiar here,
distilling a cure.
Venenata vi Veneris
nullam herbam inveneris.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

* The power of Venus poisoned,
you will find no poultice.

Re-entry Capsule: Aliens

The one who jumped out from behind a bush.
The one whose rake handle was pointed this way.
The one who carried a mailing tube.
The one who knocked over his glass.
The one who clicked his ballpoint pen.
The one who did not inspect his shiny 1970 penny.

The one who reached into the hole.
The one who pulled monofilament at the brook.
The one who picked up the piece of metal.
The one who stepped over the log.
The one whose girlfriend opened the gate.
The one whose shoelace was untied.

The one who stepped off the curb.
The one who crested the hill.
The one who waved her arm.
The one who stood in front of the window.
The ones who jumped up together.
The ones who approached the treeline.

The one who took a seat in the middle of the auditorium.
The one who stayed to listen to the waterfall.
The one who spread her picnic blanket next to the stone wall.
The ones who faced in the same direction.
The one who walked around the corner of the building.
The one who tossed pebbles into the pond.

The one whose daughter was walking on the riverbank.
The one who was blocking the doorway.
The ones who could not see the warblers.
The ones who hurried out of the rain.
The one who couldn't find his keys.
The one who is reading a book on the bench.

The one who is approaching the treeline.
The one who pours out the rest of the water.
The one who is sunning herself on the dorm balcony.
The one who closes the window.
The ones who do not search in a woman's eyes.
The ones who knew all along they would see 1970.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

First Morning

From sapling to bush,
my cherry poncho tiedown
has pooled last night's rain.
Light hand under heavy breast -
gentle lift fills my canteen.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Rockhound

Decomposed granite
(so says his civilian eye)
and streambed goldstone.
Yes, Thailand may have rubies,
but Hound needs some tigereye.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Faithless

English Anne Darby -
my trails would be different
if I had been true.
A millstone by the trout stream -
village of Lower Slaughter.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Rap Poem

I am a Veteran and what can I say
'cept I am Airborne all the way--
Now during my Tour; sixty-seven-sixty-eight
I was wounded by mortar that did not wait--
Lost left eye by metal from a strong exploded shell
then was flown to DaNang 'cause I was not well--
A doctor there said, "He's out, not going back"
(At least not sent home, home in a sack)--
By chopper they sent me to a hospital ship
where the doctors operate and don't want to slip--
Those that patched me, first cut through my skull
to take metal out so I would heal well--
They kept me on the ship for 'bout fifteen days
then they flew me back home...(USA!) to stay--
In Letterman General Hospital, California state
months of re-learning 'cause my reading was late--
Then, well enough to live-in with Mom and step-dad
like other Nam-vets, was happy but sad--
August sixty-eight on a wonderful day
with hospital retirement along with pay--
Today I am happy in happy tears
'cause God gave me 34 extra years...
"So far"!
"AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY TO GOD"

- Brad Jimerson -
B/2/501

Searchers

Moondark patrol,
walk soft on the sand. It glows,
the sand so white.
From the lost spirits of Hue
silent blood sinks to the sea.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Heat

Tam Ky cicadas
zree away my memory
of Georgia summer free.
Thirteen years or seventeen.
I don't care. I won't return.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Open Arms

Wrinkled by the rain,
a yellow Chieu Hoi leaflet -
impaled on tree thorns.
Suppose I gave myself up -
would I receive good treatment.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Montero

None to look down on,
who climb and breathe the clean air,
con puro fusil.
Somewhere the sun sends its light,
returned by the fossil moon.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Both Sides Now

Growing up,
my heroes were Stonewall Jackson
Robert E. Lee

J. E. B. Stuart
Here comes the Cavalry!!!
Yo Rinny!!!

J.F.K. went down
Beatles and Stones brought on a
NEW SOUND

Hair grew
My Insight too
QUESTIONS were asked
NO ANSWERS

Uncle Sam called
tried to stall
April '68
they was takin' us all.

THIS IS YOU'RE M-16 RIFLE!!! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!
BETTER THAN YOUR MOTHER!!!
For 11 cents an hour
it might as well have been
FREE LOVE

Hippy, black, indian, chicano
and yer just plain joe.
We all suffered the same.
The wall is proof.

All THE NAMES

I made it back
but almost forgot
WHAT WE HAD PAID FOR

Having seen both sides now
I know ain't nothin' free
Especially Freedom.

- Dan Gorey -
321 Arty Recon Sgt.

T'ai Chi

Ward off and rollback -
my hands form what my heart seeks,
to protect again.
Emptiness, imagining
I am not vulnerable.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Dedication: Ia Drang Valley - Nov. 1965, 1/7 - 2/5 Cav - USA
To all who fought, and the 234 young Americans who died during four days
in Landing Zones X-Ray and Albany, in the Valley of Death.
May their souls be cradled in the Arms of the Lord Forever.
God Bless the Soldiers, the Brothers, and the Sisters - God Bless them All.

My Brother, Your Brother
Our Brothers

All gave some and some gave all.
We need only to gaze at the names on the dark wall.
Etched deep are the ranks in the Garden of Stone
And all over the country are the Nam Land's own.
Many are still with us and some have since gone;
Some met an early fate in the Nam Land's dawn.
But none went gently into the night.

They stood steadfast with honor, duty, and what was right.
Many walked home; some were carried;
Many are still scattered, in the Nam Land buried.
Yes, all the brothers' souls walk the Nam Land at night -
Especially the dead, while the living still fight.

The nightmares of the neverending Nam Land War,
The sacrifice of their brothers and the memories' scars.
America's civilians, awaken from your slumber.
Stand tall and salute them with reverence and honor.
Greater love hath no man than to give his life for another,
Especially in battle, when that man is his brother.

- Doug Connor -
Brother of a Combat Medic, I Corps

The Sun Came Out Today

The sun came out today
But it may as well not have come out at all
It brought along blue skies and great white clouds
What nerve, what gall

The sun came out today
And shed its radiant beams on the soil
What a curious sight to behold
Amid all this trouble and toil

Yes, the sun came out today
But it may as well not have come out at all
It came not for warmth, it came not for hope
It came to watch men fall!

- Gerald (Jerry) Wolf -
HHC/1/501

What Warriors Do

Came one more watch
Choice not chance, no complaints
Cammo the restlessness
Combat past, roars once more

The cold, damp, darkness
Takes command of the moment
The heart awakes
The adrenaline revs

My nerves eased by knowing
Multitudes of brave warriors to my front
Most, strangers, by rank and file
My buddy, here and over there

So many, many, so brave
Seeing them comforts me
Secure now in my faith
Surely we will win the last battle

Numbing pain in my chest
No audible reason greets my ear
Now warned by pain
Never such a scream have I heard

God, this can.t be happening
God, not now, not now
Gone is the escape
Great are the cries

Washington, Washington,
Why you, Washington.
Where is the origin of this plea
When will I see my way clear

Dare I try to aid
Dare I try to comfort
Dare I expose myself once more
Damn right, I must

Forward I move
Forward through fear
Forward I move
Forgetting myself

Soon, it can.t be long now
Soon I will see the tormented
Sweet Jesus, prepare me for this moment
Sweat begins to flow

Instantly, I.m upon him
I halt, to secure my place
I see him move across my view
I watch him stand, tall

Huge, is this man
Heavy is his weeping
Having kept his cadence
Halting his slow forward march

Suddenly, a snap to attention
Salute to the yet unknown
Slow the repose, but
Sure was his purpose

Reaching now for the concealed, I see
Remembering all the pain
React quickly to prevail
Render useless this death attempt

No weapon was wielded, only
Neatly folded, white gloves
Now presented as an offering
Now placed as to a god.s feet

Here they are my friend
Helped carry you to your rest
How I have kept them, all these years
Hope you remember me by these gloves

The warrior spoke softly his story now
The battle raged violently you see
The hole we were to share was hit without me
The blood of a son spilled upon the ground

Washington was his name, a Negro
While I am white, he was like a son
We shared every memory together
We became one

One old warrior
One young trooper
One last battle
Only one survived

Finally, I felt it was proper to speak
Friend, let.s walk away from this dark wall
For you have come home now
Feel free to love and be loved

We hugged
We wept
We comforted
We did what warriors do.

- Richard "Berk" Bergquist -
C/1/501

Souvenir

A thing I envied -
that SKS bayonet.
Until August 2.
I wonder now and again,
did his family see it.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Ambush 8/2

The warm cool water -
stream crossing, Song Tram Valley.
The red and black koi.
Mission Santa Barbara -
Daddy, can I feed the fish.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

A Passage, Summer 1970

We have all been through them.
Times of change, passages.
We go through them along life's way.
Sometimes alone and sometimes with others.

One such passage occurred in summer, after Nam.
There were dope freaks in downtown Denver.
They talked me into wide belts and bell-bottoms,
Libra cufflinks, fluffy shirts, and hashish.

I soon settled for a "boonie hat" and jeans.
A hamburger, fries and a six of Budweiser.
They grooved on their dope and Clearwater Revival.
I chose my young friend's wife and Charlie Pride.

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

Yellow Brick Road

Night after night they move through the valley.
Streaming down the Yellow Brick Road while
their headlights flicker like fireflies dancing
among the trees on a warm summer night.

Then like the sky of a Texas blue norther,
The mountains light up and tremble.
We call it Arc Light and it is a light show
for Charlie, and its straight from hell.

Still the trucks and the troops come.
Night after night down the Yellow Brick Road.
They are the merchants of death and nothing
it seems will stop them

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

A Viet Nam Prayer

For asking please forgive us Father
But were you with us here today.
In this place that must be hell.
If it is not, then we cannot tell.

We lost so many good friends here today.
It is so bad that we no longer know the way.
We have seen so much in this past year.
We really need to know that you are here.

We need your love, your guidance and a song.
We fear this place and that our being here is wrong.
So many of us seem lost.
Yet we stay together no matter the cost.

Please Father guide us and show us the way.
So that we can survive another day, and
If we are not to make it home,
Please do not let us die here all alone.

(Dedicated to the Grunts)

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

Ashau

The deep dark canopies are hung with dew
The darkness resounds of voices
Out of this tangled web of life
Comes the chilling call of death

We have felt the scorpion's sting and
Peered into the viper's fangs
Our images have been reflected in the eye of the tiger
And we have met death face to face in the valley

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

Unknown Soldier

Dragged from the mud
Of some unknown land
Stripped of his belongings and
Wrapped for his journey home

Must one die here so young and so alone.
To become a man, victim of an undeclared war
On unknown soil. To be so soon forgotten
By those who sent him here

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

Good Night Siagon, Good Morning Seattle

This is not the Spring I knew a year ago,
Leaving then and returning now.
Both have been uncertain seasons and,
Each different but yet very much the same.

There are two cities a day apart in time.
But there is a world and a lifetime between.
I have been to one in fear and anticipation.
I come now to the other in doubt and confusion.

Saigon like blood is warm and wet.
Seattle like ice is cold and wet.
Good night to death, good night Saigon.
Good morning to rejection, good morning Seattle.

- Roger Ables -
HHB 321 Arty

Forty and a Wakeup

Wet-shoulder morning,
first task. LSA - one drop.
Tip left. Tip right. Wipe.
Click safe to semi to full.
Click full to semi to safe.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

P-38

Stars and Stripes tells me
the record is four point eight.
We never broke six.
Betsy, don't go and cry now -
I'll polish you up like new.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Survivor

Field of manioc -
Duc Thanh demonstrates as chef.
At the treeline, blue.
Morpho-like butterfly. No
one else saw. Scrape down the root.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Trail Break

Drop heavies - take five
used to mean a little more:
drop trou for leeches.
Now, for Adirondack Club,
can't say I recommend it.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Stand Down

Sign for a face mask,
warm fin the South China Sea,
dive for MPC's.
Casing bell rings - hot meal time.
You're kidding about sea snakes.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Aquarius

The soft clank carry of a water jar - Tam Ky -
still remembered through the silence of a photograph
negative. Farther over,
the old town fountain, and children gathered.

Still remembered through the silence of a photograph:
the better times, drinks shared the year before, in Marburg.
The old town fountain, and children gathered
where the fathers had grown to forget war -

the better times, drinks shared. The year before in Marburg,
there was no need to bring water to wounded lips.
Where the fathers had grown to forget war,
look, true north was simple: to find

there was no need. To bring water to wounded, lips
declare direction without revolution.
Look true. North was simple to find
still: two spans from the Southern Cross,

declare direction - without revolution,
embrace the opposite horizon with spread of arms.
Still thirty years from the Southern cross,
do not regard the empty space:

embrace the opposite. Horizontal with shred of arms,
we returned fire and acted as water carriers,
did not regard the empty space,
but closed with brothers in need.

Return fire and act as water, carriers
of memories bitter and sweet, separated
but close with brothers. In need,
recall the night, and align the constellations

of memories, bitter and sweet, separated,
shackled, and broken out.
Recall the night and align. The constellations
come in at first light.

Shackled and broken out
(Negative further. Over.) -
Come in at first light.
The soft clank carry of a nightjar - Tam Ky.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

RPD

When the metal bees
whiffed my face, and the bark flew,
no brave-life flashback.
Humble ruck to carry now,
this phrase: scrabble like a bug.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Cold CA

White direction sign.
Hey rocket, don't explode now.
Helmet edge away.
Eyebreeze off the bright LZ.
Dark plunge, silent canopy.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Cherry

Across the paddy
three bunkers. Seven tracers:
the mortar fire ends.
Moonset on the morning sweep.
One radio, one giant.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Teak

In the mountains of Annam, September '69 -
sidehill flat ground for the NDP.
At the team position a squared log,
level, with carvings.
Likely a foundation beam for a villa
from long before the French war.
On second guard the rain starts,
and the undrained soil turns to mud.
I sit watch on my upturned steel pot.
The rain softens, and the jungle
becomes still.

I sit on my bookbag at the courtyard wall -
St. James School, Savannah.
Eighth grade, and girls.

Deni Hitchcock: French braids and long skirts
handsewn like quilts by her mother.
Always my equal, up to the end of spelling bees.
Pam Pedicini the runner,
with smooth black hair and flashing eyes.
Eyes for Michael Wassil.
Judith - midterm transfer,
an Air Force brat like me - and more.
Also born on March 21st, 1946, and at the same
Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.

Judith... your red hair, your troubled smile.

They say teak can last
a hundred years
in the rain.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Point

Maybe a safe trail:
the morning's fine spider strand
still stretches across.
Subtle evil floods my mind -
this bait, if I choose ambush.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

Target

From Firebase Jerome
three klicks north on a crushed-shell road.
Then west through the woods.
Night falls, and wide eyes O Lord
see tracks our tracks luminesce.

- Mark Regan -
B/1/501

A Hundred Paddy Warriors

A hundred paddy warriors,
March toward the sun,
Hunting Victor Charlie,
Camping lots of fun,
Snuggling close to leeches,
Sleeping in the rain,
Laughing in the face of doom,
Going near insane.
Pulling guard at midnight,
And again at three,
Pay no income taxes,
Mailing letters free.
Dreams of perfumed ladies,
Foiled by sniper fire,
A hundred paddy warriors,
High stepping in the mire.

Philip Woodall
A/1/501

Two Grunts From Salt Lake City

A dozen years have washed away
The Mississippi mud,
Since buddies met the judgment day,
in paddies full of blood.
In sixty-eight when cannons roared,
Two boys became two men,
In Asian heat the devil scored.
"To Hell and Back" again.
Joe and Dan stood side by side,
in paddies and in rain.
With Utah dreams and Eagle pride,
Amidst old Scratch's pain.
Steel birds were buried in the sea,
indeed a shameful pity.
Buddies came home to the land of the free.
Two grunts from Salt Lake City.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

John Holton

Holton was from Jacksonville,
Amigos, he and I.
Gave me cash to buy some booze,
Waved to me goodbye
I went to Hawaii,
To spend my R & R.
Rest up from the fighting,
And nurse my battle scar.
I walked the beach of paradise,
Civilization I did tap.
Holton humped the boonies,
Tripped a booby trap.
Back came I to battle,
Toting Holton.s rum,
I cried when I discovered,
He was blown to Kingdom come
I sat inside a bunker,
Stared into the dark.
Saw John Holton's image,
A friend had made his mark.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

Boonie Rats

Lovely shrine to Buddha,
In a Hamlet south of Hue,
Is refuge from scorching heat,
This stifling midday.
So far, the day's been peaceful,
Despite some sniper rounds,
A paddy march, now some rest,
Inside these hallowed grounds.
Word is out, hot chow en route,
Rest your weary hooves.
Not for long out here, my friend,
Airborne always moves.
Read old mail, change your socks,
Shave, and blow some Z's
A "Homey" from the third platoon,
Comes by and shoots the breeze.
Oh glorious, glorious boonie rats,
Go ahead and dream,
But remember Victor Charlie,
Expect a deadly scheme.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

Oh Wall

Oh wall oh wall of granite stone
Not tomb or glory chart
Reflects the pain of shattered bone
And shrapnel in the heart.
Mothers moan. Warriors weep
Abe and George look on
Silent souls would angels keep
inside the great black stone.
America, America, see
No shining perfect star.
Your undercoat of memory
Reveals an ugly scar.
Remember how the warriors died
in places hardly known.
Remember tears that widows cried
Beside the great black stone.
Ia Drang, PhuocYen, Hamburger Hill
Khe Sanh, hundreds more.
Five thousand days to maim and kill
The victims of the war
Peace comes now upon the mall
Where painful memories start
To wound those standing by the wall
With shrapnel in the heart

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

The Paddy Preacher

God lives in the paddy preacher,
No doubt is there in me,
That the doggie reverend, a rare creature,
Will live forever in eternity.
The cross is never so close to a man,
'Til he humps where legions tread.
A painful stake was nailed to his hand,
Ten years later he arose from the dead.
Now the grunt parson did not really die,
Like a buddy once told a friend,
Shrapnel exploded between his eyes,
And his fate was cast to the wind.
The eighties arrived, the cause is lost,
The blood had dried away.
The paddy preacher had paid the cost,
And still had a little to pay.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

A Doggie's Heart

I live in civilization,
Among wealth and lives of ease.
I've spent twelve years of fascination,
Suffering point man's disease.
I still remember very well,
Humping through hard times
Now the story, I must tell,
And write my ghoulish rhymes.
I must sing a warrior's song,
Right off the devil's chart.
Old Satan's beat is might strong,
Inside a doggie's heart.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

Dream World

A skinny lad from Memphis, Tennessee,
Set out one day to play Old Scratch's game.
He thought he marched to make his country free,
But found that others could not feel the same.
The cannons roared a symphony of rage,
The armies marched through hardships and in rain.
Trapped deep inside an Asian's steel-barred cage,
A fury wrapped his lonely heart in pain.
He jetted home and saw a world at play.
He felt an awe he could not understand;
Confused his soul with words he could not say,
He knew deep down a dreamworld lay at hand.
He found a cry of pain and song of fear,
Why was the world not filled with thankful cheer.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

A Night of Leeches

"Let's go," screamed Coley.
Why he did would forever haunt him.
The squad leaped from the bird.
His command would long plague him -
Why hads they jumped, six of them,
Unto wet and muddy ground,
While trailing birds banked skyward,
And would not set down.
Their bird lost RPM while,
Taking heavy fire -
Flew back toward heaven,
Heard an angel choir.
The bird was blown out of the sky,
By a foe who raised a cheer,
The stranded squad had no radio,
To ease their isolated fear.
Again instincts had saved Coley,
But no burden had he shed,
He had two men badly wounded,
And two squad members dead.
There would be no rescue tonight,
To alleviate the pain.
Murray, Willie, Ralph and Coley,
Were drenched by February rain.
Murray died in blackness. Coley knew right away.
Willie manned his sixty, his thoughts turned sordid gray.
"O blessed Mary, mother of God,
Don't let this doggie die.
If it ain't so, bless my soul -
Tell mama not to cry.
Ain't been the best guy, I know Lord,
But look where the hell I am -
Stuck in a paddy in the middle of night,
No longer giving a damn."
The night passed along, chilly, cold, wet, From toe to face,
A long weary night of blackness,
Slithering at snail's pace.
Souls of men taught to believe what,
America teaches,
Belonged to the devils' forces, this
Rainy night of leeches.
"Let's go," screamed Coley.
Why he did would forever haunt him.
The squad leaped from the bird.
His command would long plague him -
Why hads they jumped, six of them,
Unto wet and muddy ground,
While trailing birds banked skyward,
And would not set down.
Their bird lost RPM while,
Taking heavy fire -
Flew back toward heaven,
Heard an angel choir.
The bird was blown out of the sky,
By a foe who raised a cheer,
The stranded squad had no radio,
To ease their isolated fear.
Again instincts had saved Coley,
But no burden had he shed,
He had two men badly wounded,
And two squad members dead.
There would be no rescue tonight,
To alleviate the pain.
Murray, Willie, Ralph and Coley,
Were drenched by February rain.
Murray died in blackness. Coley knew right away.
Willie manned his sixty, his thoughts turned sordid gray.
"O blessed Mary, mother of God,
Don't let this doggie die.
If it ain't so, bless my soul -
Tell mama not to cry.
Ain't been the best guy, I know Lord,
But look where the hell I am -
Stuck in a paddy in the middle of night,
No longer giving a damn."
The night passed along, chilly, cold, wet, From toe to face,
A long weary night of blackness,
Slithering at snail's pace.
Souls of men taught to believe what,
America teaches,
Belonged to the devil's forces, this
Rainy night of leeches.
The squad lay in knee-deep water keeping,
Ralph's head,
Above a parasite infested environment,
For rice.
Three survivors avoid finality of,
Ultimate sacrifice.
Light from morning finally arrived,
Allowing vision,
So birds of Americans in the 101st,
Airborne Division,
Can find three warriors in the,
Morning mist,
And erase their names from the,
Missing-in-action list.

Phillip Woodall
A/1/501

A FREEDOM BIRD CALL

Three recoiless rifle rounds shot me in the shitter.
Sixteen months were long enough to call this boy a quitter.

Tam Ky, final days, fifty nine and counting.
Captain Gay, blown away and the fires of a smokeout are mounting.

Look at rainbows late at night, make a gunship perform.
Seek some shelter for safety from the wrath of a bloody storm.

Facing a full fledged fury for nearly five hundred days,
Had damaged a kindred spirit with lightning and thunder displays.

The cupboard was bare, the shingles loose,
Time to empty the pockets.

Time to believe in a freedom bird call
And look out for enemy rockets.

P. Woodall
A/1/501

"OLD ABE"

Enemy beware when "OLD ABE" is near,
A predator of flight, by day or by night
The eagle will STRIKE with a terrible might.

His feathers are made of soldiers of nether,
They will send you to hell,
no matter the weather....

They will appear from out of nowhere
and death you will fear,
for it is so near....

You shall run for cover when he hovers,
too soon to discover
the shadow of death you have met.

His eyes are keen and he has seen
the fear of death you have left.

Your body trembles as he assembles.
Too late, you know, theres nowhere to go....

His talons are sharp as they cut you apart,
Your screams you shall hear,
as Hades grows near....

The devil you say, is on his way,
to collect his pay on your dying day.

It is over fast as you breathe your last.
But before you go you have come to know,
Exactly what, I told you so....

Peter S. Griffin
Co. A/2/502

The Killin' Floor

Lying there on the cold wet ground
there's total darkness all around
Silence, shattered by a screaming sound
that chills you to the core

You curse the night. You say a prayer.
While through the mist you can feel them stare
Somewhere in the bush out there
Waitin' on the killin floor

It's another bad night like the night before
another bad night on the Killin' floor.

All at once, a blinding flash
A flare explodes you hear it's blast
you can see them running through the razor grass
there are three... or maybe more

You squeeze the trigger drenched in sweat
as muzzle follows silouette.
For fifteen minutes it's raining death
out there on the Killin floor

It's just another bad night like the night before
Another bad night on the Killin' Floor

Badroy
A/1/501

Ghosts

C's and malaria pills, steel helmets and ambush,
Never ending hills, ragged uniforms, daily push,
Cobra gunships, tropical storms and resupply,
I Corps, assault, and no time to wonder why,
Free fire zone, A Shau, redleg artillery, too.
Whip, Lash, Thor, and Pike, to name a few,
Kalashnikovs and RPD's, fifty-ones galore,
Versus M-sixteens, sixties, and many more.
Ho Chi Minh, the N. L. F. , and booby traps,
and the N. V. A., those little men of Giap's.
Mad minutes, R&R, and those foxholes to dig,
Monsoons, concertina wire, running zig-zag-zig.
Bladed elephant grass, dust offs, and C-4,
LAWS, Claymores, and det cord to store.
Insects, snakes, snipers, and "Chieu-hoi",
Cokes, beers, "off limits", and "Xin-Loi",
"G. I", Number One, and Number Ten,
Contact, air strikes, artillery, and then-
Silence, stillness, burning flesh, smoke,
Maggots, death, flames, and a bad joke.
A hot L. Z., a high jump from the skids,
a combat assault and heads without lids.
Hot meals, cold beer, bunkers, and mud,
"Incoming!", in country and dried blood,
"Kit Carson" scouts, shovels and picks,
Door gunners and pilots and their slicks,
Evans, Eagle, Sally, and the road to Hue,
Get sick, "ghost", and live for another day.
Walk point, pull slack, trail, or the flank,
Humping the boonies without track or tank.
Fire base Professional, Chu Lai, Tam Ky,
Under NVA siege that wounded us three.
"Roger", R. T. O., his handset and the whip,
Ambush, "hit", "Medic!", and a one way trip.
"Sixty up"!", me and my a.g. and all the ammo,
"90 to the Front!", a spider hole and its cammo.
Extractions, insertions, and firefights and flares,
Guard duty, jungle boots and numerous scares.
Friends, leaders, troops, R.E.M.F's and command,
Streams, trees, rocks, roots, mud. paddies, sand.
Plans, operations, movements and transfers,
MACV, deros, assignments, and BuPers.
"Geronimo", Laos and the South China Sea,
Bronze and Silver Stars and the C. I. B.
TOCs, perimeters, gunpits and sandbags,
Ammo dumps, bloopers, and rebel flags.
Recoil less rifles, and howitzer batteries,
Ramrods, flechettes, H. E.'s, and disease.
Skycranes, loaches, blown dust and rotors,
generators, mules, jeeps, and diesel motors.
Bandoliers, machetes, ball caps, and pockets,
Trip wires, trail watchers, grenades, and rockets.
Medical wards, I. V.'s, pain beneath clean sheets,
Air conditioners, milk, ice cream, and more treats.
Friends around the bed, stretchers, and a C-141,
Winging us away to a distant land of the rising sun.
Camp Oji, endless wards full of wounded men,
Bedridden, wheelchair, crutches, a cane, and then,
Therapy, dry dressings, scars both thick and thin,
A leave to the States and return fit for duty again.

John Conroy
A/1/501

Names in the Sky

I look up at the sky and I see the wall,
the names are the stars on a black background
and like the wall, when it rains
the stars disappear, but they always break cover
like the names on the wall

Lucien Carter
A/1/501

THE HILL


To make a hill, you pile a lot of dirt.
Put some trees and bushes, also some rocks,
but to take that hill, you need some brave
and willing men, to climb up, over and through
those rocks, bushes, and fallen trees.
Just to claim and defend that hill,
to make it to the top, just to let it go again.
To fight and defend another day.
So many hills, in so many wars have been taken,
and a lot of blood of young soldiers,
has been shed for these hills.

Like Bunker Hill ... San Juan Hill ...Pork Chop Hill,
and of course, Hamburger Hill;
where so many brave eagles lost their lives,
to claim and defend that muddy hill.
Just to give it up again.

Lucien "Luke" Carter
A/1/501




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