The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly: Tales from Vietnam
From Vietnam vet, Forrest L. Gomez:
Remembering something that happened many years ago. I was living in a neighboring city, and thinking about running for the city council. A reporter from the local news rag stopped my teenage daughter as she was leaving her high school. This guy asked my daughter if it was true that I was running for the council, and also if it is true that I am a Vietnam veteran. When my daughter said yes to both questions, the reporter then asked how many half-breed children I had left behind in Nam. I never had a chance to corner him for a private discussion, but he knew I was looking for him. I had not been out of the Army for very long, and I was just starting to get an idea of how hateful the left in this country is. God bless you all. – The Sarge
From Bob Collins:
My older brother, Bill, was in the 173rd Airborne he was killed at Bien Hoa. I was in the third grade. Bill was me was everything I wanted to be. Our father was a retired WWII and Korean War veteran . And Bill was also serving our country when he died. It was his second tour and he had just decided to do another. On that day his small patrol was engaged by a large enemy element. Bill was a medic and his patrol started taking casualties. He administered aid to all injured until they were mobile. He also engaged the enemy, drawing fire so the patrol could retreat . He was first hit in the throat with a surface wound . He continued to hold off the enemy until he was hit with a head wound. At that point he went down and his buddies fought to carry out his wounded body. He lived a week and died in a field hospital. He was highly decorated and received several medals for his action in combat . His buddies thought a lot of him as did the officers that he served under. I never thought anything could harm my brother. As a young kid I was shaken to the core. It changed me. After that I became ‘all business,’ I didn’t want to play like other kids . After all these years I still think of my brother Bill everyday.
From Vietnam Swiftboat veteran, Roy Nielsen:
In 2003, I had a flashback and wrote this poem:
A MATE IN NAVY BLUE
Never doubt the Gospel or what I’m about to say to you,
God loves the lads aboard the ships, the boys of Navy blue.
The girls back home who had round eyes were the ones we dreamed about,
Surely they were there a waitin’ for us; of this we had no doubt.
We wrote our letters to these girls back home to say that I love you,
Then we looked upon a foreign land that seemed, to us, a hellish view.
Around the world so far away with our mates aboard a ship,
We took a can to drown the truth and upon it we would sip.
Dear John he got from his gal back home and the news he could not bear,
So he bought the lie, you’re no longer loved, for life he did not care.
On fantail watch standing in the dark I heard these words that still resound,
Man overboard! Can you see him? Where is he now? He’s nowhere to be found.
Watchful eyes and a prayer for him that came from the throne above,
“FATHER, please forgive him, for he knows not what he does”.
It matters not how far from home they are; HIS love is always true,
Like an anchor in a storm, GOD loves those boys, dressed up in Navy Blue.
~Roy Nielsen November 27, 2003~
This poem is an account of an actual event; I had the fantail watch when our Mate jumped into the swift undertow of the Song Ba River; south of Saigon, inland from Vung Tau, up the Delta.
posted by Marjorie Haun 9/18/13