MY DISCLAIMER IT'S ALL JUST A GAME DEATH DREAM Lucky
BRO.'S AND MY P.T.S.D.
No Title 1/3/93 I Am the American Sailor Veterans
I like to write poems,
emotions in black and white.
When my mind is Buzzing,
it's time to write.
The challenge is
to make the words flow.
A story to be told.
No rhyme sometimes,
because the pain is to great.
So the words that are put on paper,
Don't always come out like a love letter.
There is love in the memories,
along with the pain and hate.
There is a need to be cleansed.
A confession of faith,
a plea for help,
A cry of Pain !
Once the Poem is written,
These all can be gained.
From it comes Relief,
For a minute, an hour,
Sometimes even a day.
When its read and reread,
comes a calm,
a type of peace.
The mind and body,
seem to be at ease.
So if you read my poems,
and they don't meet your test.
Remember it was written for me
I did my best.
25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE
SEIGE OF KHE SANH
L.S.M. II 1-20-93
ARMY, NAVY, AIRFORCE, MARINE.
WE ALL MADE THE VIET NAM SCENE.
WE ALL FOUGHT AND MANY DIED.
BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY CALLED WE
SERVED, IN THAT PLACE SO FAR AWAY.
WE WERE JUST KIDS, BABES YOU MIGHT SAY.
SCARED EACH AND EVERY DAY.
SOME CAME HOME HEROES.
SOME TO A GRAVE.
SOME WITH THEIR HEADS SO MESSED UP
THEY WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME...
SOME--- ARE STILL M. I. A. !
FOR WHAT EVER REASON,
MY MIND LIKES TO PLAY GAMES.
IT LIKES TO RUN FILMS OF NAM.
AND IT DOESN'T CARE IF ITS NIGHT OR DAY.
BLACK AND WHITE, COLOR TOO!
PICTURES AS REAL AS ME AND; YOU..
THIS FILM NEVER CRACKS OR FADES.
TIME DOESN'T TAKE ITS TOLL & ITS BEEN DECADES !
IF THESE PICTURES YOU`VE NEVER SEEN,
THANK THE LORD,
YOU HAVEN`T MISSED A THING !
YOUNG MARINES COME ON THIS FILM,
18,19,20, NEVER TO GROW OLD.
THEIR NAMES ARE HIDDEN DEEP,
AS MY MIND PLAYS ITS GAMES.
IT SHOWS ME THEIR FACES,
THAT PART OF THE GAME NEVER CHANGES !!!!
SEABEES & MARINES FROM "66 TO 69"
THEY ARE ON THIS FILM, DAY AFTER DAY.
MY MIND CONTINUES ITS GAME.
I READ A BOOK, SEE A PICTURE.
MY MIND SAYS ISN`T THAT NAME FAMILIAR??
MY MIND AND ITS GAMES!!
I WONDER WHY? WHY DIDN`T I DIE?
THAT`S MY MIND AND ITS GAME.
CLOSURE THEY SAY IS WHAT`S NEEDED.
BUT THAT WORD SOUNDS SO FINAL.
LIKE FINAL RITES, OR A HOLE AND A SHOVEL.
THAT`S MY MIND AND THE GAME IT PLAYS.
SO I WILL CONTINUE TO TRY AND COPE.
I WILL FIGHT TO HANDLE MY HATE AND RAGE.
THIS I WILL DO UNTIL I'M IN MY GRAVE!
AND THEN I WILL FIND AN END TO THE GAME....
L.S.M. II 12/15/92
In a helicopter flying over rice paddies,
then over jungle to a spot brown and red,
tents and a lonely strip.
I run from the chopper looking for a hole.
No weapon, scared as hell.
This base is so small,
and the enemy,
they are every where.
I see bodies everywhere.
A rifle from one I take,
It's bad luck but I'm so scared.
Ammo, I've got none.
back to the bodies,
stealing from the dead.
I must survive,
they're gone, I must live.
Clips, clips, none to be found.
Back to the dead,
Stealing again, from the dead.
With shaking hands, I load the clips.
God I'm so scared, surrounded,
they're closing in,
I'm all alone and going to die.
Back in a helicopter,
The dream starts again.
Each time I know I'm going to die,
I'm going to Khe Sanh !!
UNTITLED 12/ 27/ 92
Pain, Tears, Emptiness, and Memories..
Is this what Vietnam did to me?
Where once there was beauty,
there came death and desolation.
As I watch my memories,
I wonder what would've been.
If we had not intervened,
would Cambodia & Laos now be ?
And what of the 60,000?
Would one of them be President?
What would have happened to me?
Who would be my wife & kids?
Would I be rich, or poor?
Would I be happy or sad?
Questions never to be answered.
Yes they flood my head.
I saw the beauty,
I saw the Death & pain.
What could have been, will never be.
This is what Vietnam did to me.
I try to focus on today.
And make my memories go away.
I have a wife and children you see.
I am sure they can do without me.
But because of them ,
I can some how keep my Sanity.
Vietnam was a living hell !
Now my memories
are a HELL living in ME..
I want to dance and sing, to laugh
and love like it was meant to be.
It will never be,
not with my memories.
What of the people we left behind?
Those we went to free,
are they living in tyranny?
The children of that place
should now be
taking their place.
18 to 48 what
has been their fate?
Agent Orange, Napalm, Bombs,
and Bullets untold.
DO their memories unfold?
When all is said and done.
Will they feel
we should be one
under the Sun?
Question and memories,
How they plague me.
and what it has done to me !
L.S.M. II 12-27-92
Lucky where are you now ?
In my memories that unfold,
you were so bold.
Stories to me
you told .
To Nam you came , your Brother
In his squad you came to be.
Both Marines you were so proud.
His loss to you so profound.
Revenge became your cause.
How many lives ?
A second tour,
Just to even the score.
In KHE SANH we met.
I will never forget,
Your soul to me,
laid bare there.
Like a Brother you became to me.
A hero then and now.
Lives you saved,
you pulled them from
that firey plane.
Your story & face
sent to your home town paper.
How we laughted and joked,
another Medal for a scared joe.
In March I was ordered to leave,
NO time to say Goodbye .
On that Helicopter then
you were gone Forever.
Lucky what was your fate ?
Was it better than mine?
Did you survive?
Are you still alive ?
In my mind you I find.
I left you behind.
Lucky where are you NOW !
Names appear out of the past,
For hours my heart beats fast.
First comes the joy,
I've found, someone who was once lost!
Then memories flood my mind,
again I see the flash,
and feel the blast.
Depression and pain I feel,
an emptiness in my chest.
What happened to the rest?
Where is Frenchy, Coffey, Crow and Cann.
Marines from Recon and 1-26 move
through mind double fast.
Rockets, mortars, artillery blast,
sand bags seep red,
blood mixed with red clay.
Holes in the runway, must replace,
sections ripped to shreds.
I'm caught in the past,
nowhere to run, can't hide.
See the flash?
Feel the blast?
Who's in that bag,
zipped foot to head?
Is it me or one of my Bro.?
My dream is over,
my eyes were never shut.
It's over, it's done,
I'm home at last!
5-28-93 0300 LSM II
I fell asleep for a minute or two.
When out of the night came sounds,
Bombs dropping close somewhere.
still the sounds were there.
I feel a rush,
AGAIN! I am back there.
The sounds I hear are a band, next door.
But the rush of blood pumping,
and my heart thumping.
Take me back to "TET 68"
again I am there.
Oh I`m so high,
sleep is denied.
My sences are again alive!
Memories flood my mind.
Oh thank god I`m alive!
Holes in the bulldozer,
the truck caught a motar,
The fork lift is no more, Dear,
The seat I sat in,
is shredded like paper.
Shrapnell in my Jacket,
no I'm not hurt Dear.
The chow hall now vacant.
A cople of rockets it has taken.
For K.P. I was five minutes late,
was it fate?
Back to my bunker,
five hours later!
Cry, crawl and pray,
I hugged that RED CLAY!
Rounds dropping around me,
from the dump that day.
Could I survive? - NO Way!
Safe in my bunker,
I let out neverous laughter.
I light up a cigarette,
my arm is on fire!
burning a hole in my arm.
With a k-bar,
he digs out the burning ember.
The roof by c-med we redo,
it was such a mess.
Damm I didn`t know VietNam had bees.
Little holes at our feet,
Damm guys, it`s a sniper.
A hole in the strip,
as large as a dozer.
Please! send me somewhere safer.
Helecopters comming in,
take cover, in comming.
They`re Angles of Mercy,
but they bring Hell,
with their comming!
The young men on the strip,
laying on streachers.
They can`t take cover,
to take them from this danger.
Helecopters comming take cover!
Each day our jobs to do.
It`s not easy,
but SEABEES CAN DO !
Dec. Jan. Feb & March.
Awake each night,
I`ve got the mid-watch.
The memories flood my mind.
God, Why? am I, still Alive?
The Alamo Hilton,
that`s our bunker.
Thats where we gather,
with the Marine Major.
At the rock quarry,(1/9)
they`ve breached the line.
Load up Reaction force,
its time to ride!
As day breaks,
I again realize.
I`m one of those that survived.
Now that a new day has arrived,
I feel, that I can close my eyes.
Hear my voice, America!
Though I speak through the mist of 200 years,
My shout for freedom will echo through liberty's halls for many
centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and
the rights of man.
For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world's
troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal -yours is but a moment.
I am the spirit of heroes past and future.
I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth,
rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of
Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in
southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and
I gained my sea legs high atop mizzen of yankee clipper ships.
Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world
has ever known.
The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the
sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi
and the song of whales off Greenland's barren shore.
My eyes have grown dim from the glare of
sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights
under the Southern Cross.
My hands are raw from winter storms while
sailing down round the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of
cannon broadside while defending our nation.
I am the American Sailor,
and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands.
I am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul
Jones as he shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
I fought upon
the Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with
Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn Philadelphia.
I met Guerriere aboard Constitution, and I was
lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay.
I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of Monitor.
I have suffered the cold with Peary at the North Pole and I responded when
Dewy said, "You may fire when ready Gridley," at Manila Bay.
It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier's
were called "over there." I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South
Pole. It was I who went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor,
who supported our troops at Inchon,
and patrolled dark deadly waters of the Mekong Delta.
I am the American Sailor and I wear many faces.
I am a pilot soaring across God's blue canopy and
I am a Seabee atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific.
I am a corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle,
and I am a torpedoman in the Nautilus deep beneath the North Pole.
I am hard and I am strong.
But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brother
went down with the Thresher, and it was my heart that rejoiced when
Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the earth.
It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp,
and it was I who walked upon the moon.
It was I who saved the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts in the mine
infested waters of the Persian Gulf.
It was I who pulled my brothers from
the smoke filled compartments of the Bonefish and
wept when my shipmates died on the Iowa and White Plains.
When called again, I was there, on the
tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
I am the American Sailor.
I am woman, I am man,
I am white and black, yellow, red and brown.
I am Jew, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist.
I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian.
And my standard is the outstretched hand of Liberty.
Today, I serve around the world; on land, in air, on and under the sea.
proudly, at peace once again,
but with the fervent prayer that I need
not be called again.
Tell your children of me. Tell them of my
sacrifice, and how my spirit soars above their country.
I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean,
and I will guard her forever.
her heritage and yours.
I am the American Sailor.
THANK YOU MY MARINE BROTHER FOR SENDING THIS TO ME
BILL MESSNER "B"RECON
All of this discussion on the Navajo Code Talkers brings to mind an incident
I think you would enjoy hearing about.
We don't need much reminding of the close bond we Marines
have with this particular WWII group,
but this will cement it even more,
and I dare say you will not have heard of a similar story.
Several years ago my Vietnam battalion, 3/3,
a very tight group consisting of some legendary Marines we've all heard of,
had its reunion here in Washington. We had met here before
but decided to come back because one of our members agreed to be the honored guest
and speaker for the banquet; a former Company Commander, now CMC, named Krulak.
All of the usual events were planned; a visit to the Vietnam Memorial
(where, remarkably, the Park Service permitted us to have
a Battalion formation with wreath-laying, etc. -- a first),
the Friday night parade, a visit to the
Museum here and other Marine Corps related events.
I organized a separate, special event as the reunion coordinator.
This was a personalized, Marine Corps oriented tour of the Arlington National Cemetery
with our own private trams and exclusive access to off route locations
the general public doesn't see. Its a pity that more people don't do this,
as I have done for over 30yrs for private groups.
It is one of the most beautiful, moving, poignant
and proud events you can imagine; impossible to describe.
One of our purposes was to see and decorate the graves of the former 3/3 CO's
all of us had at one time or another served under, and we are very well represented there.
Joe Muir, the first battalion commander KIA in Vietnam;
Josh Dorsey, later to become the Senior Marine Advisor during my year as an advisor;
Jim Marsh, a great Marine by anyone's standards; and Dutch Schultz,
for whom all of the previous superlatives can be said.
None of these Marines need embellishment or introduction,
and they are all there in Arlington.We were enroute to Jim Marsh's gravesite
when we passed two quite senior men in
Navajo dress walking slowly on this very hot summer day.
They waved politely and I stopped the tram to offer assistance.
They wanted to know the location of Ira Hayes grave.
We would be going there at our next stop
after paying respects to Jim Marsh, but they preferred to walk.
We carried on to Col Jim's grave site (the columbarium) and spent some time there
as most of us had either served with him or knew him.
Leaving this site we proceeded to Ira Hayes grave which was central
between Dutch Schultz and Josh Dorsey.
On arriving there we saw the two men we had passed earlier.
Although they were tired from the long walk in the hot sun,
it was easy for my party of 200 plus Marines to see that something had happened,
just looking into the faces of these old warriors.
They had created an air of dignity and reverence that was thicker than armor.
At first we would not disembark from the trams and go up the short hill
to the grave because it was obvious that we were intruding on something solemn,
something of great meaning. They had decorated the grave with stones,
feathers and what looked like beads, painted sticks, etc.
Seeing us there they motioned us forward and we reluctantly,
slowly approached; surrounding them and the grave.
What happened next is hard to describe These men spoke English, somewhat imperfectly,
but their meaning was clear.
They knew we were Marines and were pleased that we would join them,
for "it gives great honor to our brother Ira".
Already my eyes were getting that familiar sting and I wasn't alone.
Then for the next 10--20 minutes they went through a prayer ritual
that was so beautiful, so moving and poignant that we stood there
transfixed, speechless. They picked up rocks from the headstone
where they had placed them and gestured toward the sky,
and then other artifacts as well. They swept their arms slowly
around and over the grave while softly,
respectfully incanting their prayers and singing; all in their own language.
The meaning, however, came through profoundly to all of us.
By this time we --all of us-- were sobbing openly, and then the real surprise came.
They began to look directly at us and ever so often we would hear "semper fidelis"
or "Marines", and one one occasion "they look after Ira".
We were all to pieces, and not the least bit ashamed.
Indeed, we were damned honored that they would include us.
Like most of us I have attended more than my share of funerals,
in and out of uniform, and each have been meaningful, dignified and memorable.
But nothing in my entire life was like this, and all of us said so.
We returned to our tram and carried on with the tour, but we were emotional basket cases.
It took me weeks to recover, and the
memory of that quiet, dignified moment on a lovely Arlington hillside
will never leave me.
We belong to a proud Corps.
I have often said that pride is the high octane fuel of the Marine Corps.
If you can't be proud, you can't be a Marine.
I thought about that as I stood there with those humble, respectful warriors,
tears running down my cheeks, my shirt and damn near to my shoes.
Most Americans have no idea of the meaning of pride;
the kind of pride that comes not from what you do, or who you are,
but because you belong to something so much greater than the individual himself -
And it is this Corps that produced such men as Ira Hayes, and the
two lonely warriors that came all the way from Arizona at no small expense
just to pay homage to their fallen brother.
God bless these wonderful Marines.
They gave us Vietnam vets a dose of pride that will last a lifetime.
Semper Fi, Rip John W. Ripley
Col. J.W. Ripley USMC (ret.)
History & Museums Division
United States Marine Corps
I was that which others
did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go,
and did what others failed to do.
I asked for nothing
from those who gave nothing,
and reluctantly accepted the
thought of eternal loneliness...
shoul I fail.
I have seen the face of terror;
felt the stinging cold of fear;
and enjoyed the sweet taste
of a moments love.
I have cried, pained,
and hoped...but most of all,
I havel Lived times
others would say
were best forgotten.
At least someday I
will be able to say that I was
of what I was...
"JUST A COMMON SOLDIER" 18 Oct 1998
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast;
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes, everyone.
And tho' sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away;
And the world's a little poorer, for a Soldier died today.
He'll not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite, uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a Soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
And thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Newspapers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a simple Soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land,
A person who breaks promises and cons his fellow man;
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country and offers up his life?
It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago,
That the "Old Bills" of our country went to battle, but we know.
It was not the politicians, with their compromises and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the Soldier's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles that others often start.
If we can not give him honor, while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps a simple notice in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning,
"Cause a Soldier passed away".
I was in a land called Vietnam,
From home so far away.
I thought I was serving my country,
While some men turned away.
I have lived with persecution
For doing what they say was right.
I was among the;"men of men";,
The men who went to fight .
In the wake of all I'VE SEEN,
I retreat inside myself,
To reinforce the walls of solitude,
To protect God's given wealth.
And in this world the blues
Are shadowed only by the grays;
And the silence of the night
Is much louder than the days.
Yes, I'm a Vietnam Veteran
With memories that won't go away.
My soul still roams in Vietnam
While life passes by, day after day.
I had something fantastic happen to me Th. 11/14/1996 that I feel I must share with all my fellow Vets. Sitting in the Olathe Pizza Shoppe eating dinner with my wife, a young man and his two little girls came to my table and handed me a note hand written on the back of a menu.
The man said I wanted to give you this and thanks.
I unfolded the paper and started reading,
I stopped and looked up and said feebly thanks, with moisture in my eyes.
The man and his girls turned and the littlest girl as she turn said thanks.
Again I said thank you.
As all this is going on my mind was racing thinking of my deceased father and his two deceased brother all three vets of W.W.II one who died in France just three or four days after d-day. My mind raced to all the dead friends that I left in Viet Nam, then to that long black wall in Washington DC. Korea flashed through my thoughts all of the millions who served and those who gave their all for this Country, my chest was full of emotions, pride, guilt, love, pain and more poured through me in just brief seconds.
I wanted to stand up and tell the man and his girls thank you from me and for every person who has ever served, but all I could say was a feeble thanks.
This note was given to me but it belongs to every Vet so for you my brothers here is that note, God Bless you all.
A belated Happy Veteran's Day!
Enjoy Dinner on us!
The Meier Family
Don and Mollie
To each and every one of the Meier family From the bottom of my heart and from all VETS
THANK YOU !!!!
Seabees at Work
More Nam Pics
More Nam Pics 2
More Nam Pics 3
Odds and Ends
Odds and Ends2
Pictures from Friends
Pictures from a Sea Wolf
Khe Sanh Time Line/Poems
Our Baseball Teams
Links & Awards
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IT'S ALL JUST A GAME
BRO.'S AND MY P.T.S.D.
No Title 1/3/93 I Am the American Sailor Veterans
No Title 1/3/93 I Am the American Sailor Veterans