My brother, Gary L. Williams had sent to my mother a letter & a poem in 1966 from Vietnam. He was attached to Special Forces, Nha Trang.
I think it speaks for itself as to how our guys felt most days (and nights). We lost him on Oct. 14th, 2001, at the age of 56. He had just started “coming home” to his family. It took him 30 years to finally realize that he was loved and respected. At least he went with that knowledge….
Inspiration comes at strange times, and even stranger places. This poem was thought up about 20 minutes after the attack stopped. I was just starting to go to sleep, when it popped into my head. I wrote it down and typed it tonight. It is rather funny what comes into your head after you have a brush with death. You don’t think about what it would be like dying, instead you think what it would be like not living. If you know what i mean…
by Gary L. Williams
The first mortar round landed with a terrible quake, Believe me, in just seconds we were all wide awake.
Now the siren started with it’s loud, shrilling sound, To remind us again to keep low on the ground.
As we lay in the dirt, with faces in the dust, Our minds wandered upward to One we could trust The explosions were increasing, making us tense, Could this be the night Charlie comes over the fence?
Things become quiet for a moment or so, Then someone whispered, “are you all-right Joe?”
Again the attack resumed, with more intensity than before, But now our mortars were firing to settle the score.
While laying on the ground, gripped with fear and despair, A silent prayer to God, “will You, my life spare?”
We are all bound by faith, and the uniform we wear, To keep our families safe and free from all care.
Nothing is more important to a man, than his life.
Unless he has a family, and a wonderful wife.
Thoughts of little things taken for granted till tonight, Were brought forth with clarity, and illuminating fright.
Our families and loved ones, waiting far across the sea, Many have hardships, even greater than we.
So can we take lightly the responsibility invested in us?
By our country, our families, and our God whom we trust.
Many will say when the mess is cleaned up, I am still alive, it must have been luck.
But let me say friends, and enemies alike, Your life was not spared by just plain luck tonight.
Our God in heaven protects those whom He loves,
He is very slow to anger, and gentle like a dove.
What about next time when death stares us in the face,
Will we be alive, because of luck or God’s grace?
We have so much to live for in this day and age,
Opportunities are limitless, we can all make the grade.
When we are faced again with an attack like tonight,
Let us turn to One Above, for I am sure this is right.