Our Vietnam Experience

They sent us to a strange land to fight in an even stranger war, one we weren't quite prepared to wage. But, like the warriors who preceded us, we quickly
learned the hard lessons, too often at a costly price. After all the blood, sweat and tears, and before the conflict ended, we were abandoned by our
politicians and scorned by our fellow Americans. Nonetheless, we stayed the course and this is the legacy that can be dimmed by neither man nor time.

"To all my fellow veterans, this is for you".

No rifles crack, no cannons roar,
No jets scream overhead,
The silence now is deafening,
Acclaim to honored dead.

Trails once contested on tired soles,
And heavy booted feet,
Lead once again to marketplace,
And quiet Village Street.

Jungle paths now overgrown,
Terrifying tales could tell,
Of ordinary, yet so gallant youth,
Who came of age in hell?

Green jungle vine and lotus leaf,
Once splattered bright with red,
Washed clean afresh by monsoon rain,
No hint of fearful dread.

In paddies worked and tilled anew,
Now green and lush with rice,
No sign of those who fought and bled,
And paid the highest price.

Across the pond the foe returns,
To his own native shore,
To face the friendly enemy,
And wage a strange new war.

No hero's welcome was his lot,
No parades for valiant deeds,
Just jeers and sneers was all he got,
Disregard for all his needs.

Ungrateful fellow countrymen,
"Make love, not war" their call,
They turned their backs, took not our stand,
While better men than they did fall.

The widows and the orphans,
Knew naught of all their kin,
Like grandpa's son, what was he like?
Save the family tales they'd spin.

They sought no hero's accolade,
For the mission they were tasked,
A simple "Thanks" or "Job Well Done",
Was more than most had asked.

An ebon polished granite Wall,
To those who stood the test,
None present here "aye" this roll call,
For they sleep the warriors' rest.

We who survived, but shared the cost,
With every setting sun,
Hold high our heads in proud salute,
"Thanks for a job well done".

In ceremonies tribute,
We pray and hope, perhaps.
Their gallant deed will ne'er recede,
With the fading note of Taps.

Sgt Maj. Mac McGee, USMC (Retired)
Copyrighted 2003