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Veterans/Memorial Day Poem, #69: INTO THE NAM

Von: Otis Willie PIO The American War Library (themilitarytoday@pacbell.net) [Profil]
Datum: 06.05.2010 07:15
Message-ID: <e0k4u51om4ruusamau36el5pi7ulc2m9s6@4ax.com>
Newsgroup: alt.collecting
Veterans/Memorial Day Poem, #69: INTO THE NAM

Into the Nam went the 9th Marines, on a beach at Da Nang they stormed ashore. Getting used
to C-Rats and cold canned beans, they were ready to die for the honor of the Corps.

It was still '65 when some others landed, like "The Herd" and "The Big Red
One". Sent to Bien Hoa and An Khe, they banded, "Tropic Lightning",
"Screaming Eagles", each by the ton.

Back in The World there was less to fear, for nothing was as bad as a day in The Nam.
Trench Foot; Kraits; and ALICE pack gear, were first to un-nerve even the calm.

On patrol in the bush was a bad time for all, with punji stakes, toe poppers, and trip
wires around. Grunts looked for "Charlie" with many a close call, tough going
near Cu Chi where tunnels abound.

Riding a Huey into a Hot LZ, 1st Cavalry did meat the NVA. M-60s and "Bloopers"
made noise near Plei Me, and the valley called Ia Drang was red that day.

F-4 Phantoms flying low level strikes, began what was called the Rolling Thunder. Ho Chi
Minh trail resorted to bikes, which made the "Gooks" start to wonder.

Dust Off missions usually saved the day, when the Viet Cong did their worst. Medivac
Choppers only a few klicks away, extracted the wounded who needed help first.

Brown Water Navy patrolled the Mekong, especially the Rung Sat Special Zone. Most hoped
they wouldn't be too long, as the Swift Boat's engine continued to drone.

Summer of '67 saw heavy fighting at Con Thien, in the north on the edge of the DMZ. Green
Berets and "Cidgees" had been over-run, and for miles NVA was all the Marines
could see.

By the time most had the thousand yard stare, thoughts of their DEROS date had been
stirred. Thirty days and a wake-up their only care, short-timers waited for the Freedom

The taking of the hill numbered 875, was a job that was given to the 173rd. November near
Dak To - not many alive, but cries of wounded can still be heard.

The Five O'Clock Follies in the city of Saigon, could not explain the massive build-up.
Many a coffin being made by the Cong, would help to bring their courage up.

Recon and Rangers could see it coming, the SEALs and SOGs saw it too. The NVA and VC were
up to something, then in '68 it all came true.

For 77 days around Khe Sanh, the Marines kept fighting so bitterly. The Tet Offensive had
barely begun, at Lang Vei was left only Willoughby.

Fighting for the Citadel in the city of Hue, how many really died - none can tell. Suicide
Squads hit Saigon during the day, and even the U.S. Embassy almost fell.

By May '69 they were at Hill 937, up in the A Shau Valley highland. The 101st fought hard
'till day 11, "Hamburger Hill" was then just abandoned.

More Cherry LTs and FNGs, were unsafe for others while In Country. Humpin' through
jungles, daring not to sneeze, 'till a sniper would zap 'em from the trees.

In late '72 most things had gone sour, and Grunts just tried stayin' alive. General Abrams
you see, had lost all his power, and the South did what it could to survive.

Nixon had decided that we would slowly pull out, our allies didn't need us anymore.
Winning the war was now in doubt, as politicians wanted us out of the war.

The fall of Saigon was a great big mess, it had come in April of '75. Many returning Vets
were treated as less, most thought they were lucky just to be alive.

People now know that the War is over, except for the night-fright here and there. For the
Vietnam Vet it's no roll in the clover, when you've been through Hell and there're few who

Many good men have their name on "The Wall", who gave their lives far away in
The Nam. Remember the Vet who answered the call, when you see him - extend him your palm.

Written from the heart by E. Jonathan Holmes

More Poetry: http://home.pacbell.net/amerhero/poems/poems.htm
Submit A Poem: http://home.pacbell.net/amerhero/poems/mypoem.htm

-- Otis Willie (Ret.)
Military News and Information Editor (http://www.13105320634.com)
The American War Library, Est. 1988 (http://www.amervets.com)
16907 Brighton Avenue
Gardena CA 90247

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