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Poems provided James Whitson

A Moment in Time (Red Patch Bn.)
by Jeremy Howell

3rd Shore party Bn. A Co.
In the end, I found myself at the “Wall”
there for all the world to see,
asking myself, “why them and not me?”
The many names reminded me of how life was at hand,
to die in a foreign land,
Where life was given, and suddenly taken away,
for freedom has a terrible price,
for the spirit and the flesh,
where lives were thrown away,
like the throw of the dice,
Where the true hero in measured,
didn’t come home at all,
So here I am, standing before the “Wall,”
listening to their voices crying out,
OH America! have you forgotten?
For whom prays for peace more,
than the one who fights the war,
As I stood there with tears on my face,
a lump in my throat,
I could only remember what one great general said,
“Old Soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

The Devil’s Playground

With everyday, at Khe Sanh was the fog,
as death rained down,
with no relief in sight,
even at night,
Anything to keep one’s head down,
below the ground,
Always listening to that certain sound,
as paranoia ran deep,
with very little sleep,
Running around always leaning forward,
always looking down, listening for that report,
for incoming to start,
A smell of death from time to time,
of rotting bodies outside our lines,
with rats running to and fro,
looking for a treat,
or some body to eat,
One didn’t dare get bit by one,
or it was off to Da Nang,
for shots in the gut,
Only way out was wounded or dead,
surrounded by 40 thousand men,
Day by day, the rounds came in,
I learned about the thousand yard stare,
when life left a man, with that endles glare,
Just another day, in the Devil’s Playground.


Such a beautiful land, with green mountains,
until the war came,
and left it with bomb craters and blood stains,
The grass so green, the blood so red,
The skies so blue, and so many dead,
We left it, with not a tree standing in places,
as we sprayed poison on the trees,
where is thy reward for such deeds?
To run out in the end, with the job un-done,
to give up, what was hard fought for and won,
In a world of pain and sin,
where does one begin, or end?
with the burdens of life,
or the childrens sake?
Where their lives were at stake,
precious little one’s,
caught in the cross fire,
of the seen and un-seen,
where they did also bleed,
as a result of mans deeds,
Oh come oh Lord,
to settle such things,
that all war brings,
broken dreams, broken hearts,
and give our world a new start.

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