memories of a Green Beret
memories of a Green Beret
Memories of a Green Beret
“Where have all the soldiers gone, Long time passing,
Where have all the soldiers gone, Long long time ago,
Where have all the soldiers gone,
Gone to graveyards, every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?"
(an old anti-war folk song from the 60's)
Ho Chi Mihn Trail....'68
Ten warriors camouflaged in wait
Prepared to deal a grisly fate
Hunkered down in jungled hell
Assured they've set the ambush well.
In silence they lay upon the route
When 'Charles' walks in…. he won't walk out.
A cacophony of fire and screams
Laid down with deadly skills, this team;
With claymore mines and booby traps
Left fifteen fragged and torn or zapped.
A trail once quiet, now instead,
Was piled with black pajama'ed dead
A kill zone full of empty life,
From M16 and combat knives.
Metallic smells of blood and gore….
Back to the bush, fear to the core;
On the run, escape, evade
This area where the trap was laid.
Bust thru brush at breakneck speed
Thru swamp and bramble, cutting reeds.
They're on your ass, their voices near
Being captured is your highest fear.
If you're caught you won't survive.
They'll disembowel you, flayed alive.
Your final screams, heard near and far,
The price you pay for what you are.
In time you finally get away,
But it was the VC's judgment day
Praise God we lived, is what you pray.
Old memories of a Green Beret
As on and on this game of chess,
Your mind starts crumbling with the stress.
More bloody trails and bloody hunts
And soon gone thirteen bloody months.
You pack for home and say a prayer
For those you know that's still back there.
The sights and smells flash on and on
Though fifty years have come and gone.
They steal your brain and steal your calm
Sometimes you think you're back in 'Nam.
And still today played o'er and o'er
Are vivid flashbacks of the war:
Young warrior's lives, gone much too soon
Dying moans and pumping wounds
Flashing guns in hot fire fights
In wet and frigid jungle nights.
Camps attacked in human waves
Death piled high in bulldozed graves
Fear like ice picks in your brain
Comes with horrid scenes and pain
Prisoners tossed from chopper flights
Blood smeared chaplains give last rites
Green bags filled with body parts
Images not for faint of heart
Fear that drives you up the wall
Soothed by weed and alcohol
Village kids all blown apart
Blood and guts served 'a la carte '
Air support with steel and flames
Dog tag heaps with buddies names
Rot gut beer, Saigon whores
Seeping rotten jungle sores
Now, most are gone, long died away.
While others here are silver gray
Their comrades gone, now mostly dead,
They fight the fight still, in their heads
Late of night, in sleep they shout.
"Medic here, he's bleeding out.
Call in support--lay down some fire,
God help us all, they're in the wire."
I pen these words and I decree
They were ten times best what I could be.
My praise and prayers I'll not detract
For the many who never made it back.
From long ago and far away........
These memories of an old Green Beret
Author's Note: to all my old comrades, MANY WHOM never made it back
...De Oppresso Leber....rest in peace old friends-- Sergeant First Class Frederick Moore
, 6th SF, 7th SF, and 46th SF Thailand......
Copyright © Frederick Moore