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memories of a Green Beret

Frederick Moore Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled memories of a Green Beret which was written by poet Frederick Moore. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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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......

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  1. Date: 6/18/2014 11:58:00 AM
    A mighty and moving poem Frederick, , Stopping by with a nice, sweet Welcome to Poetry Soup. I will get much delight, in reading and in time become familiar with your verse. As for now, I will greet you with the same smile, others passed, when I first join the soup 4 years ago. I wish you the best when it comes to your compositions. I hope you get to meet all the nice poets around here. Starting with me. SKAT :-) Please drop a hello and tell me a little about yourself if you wish. I would like to be your newest poetry soup "FRIEND" Hugs* SKAT

  1. Date: 6/18/2014 5:43:00 AM
    Hi, Frederick, this is by far one of the most honorable poems ever posted on this site. Thank you for sharing the tribute, A nice warm WELCOME to poetry soup. I hope you enjoy the community, as I did when I first join, March 2010. You'll find many friendly poets, who are ready to support and give positive feedback. I want to be the first to invite you on over, to the contest page. I OFFER MY CONTEST, in hopes it inspires you to write another poem. I'm looking forward to following you and your poetry ha-ha a special pair:) here's the link to the contest page. http://www.poetrysoup.com/poetry_contests/ <---~Take Care!! From: your new poet friend @-> LINDA <-@"

  1. Date: 6/18/2014 3:58:00 AM
    - Warm welcome to PoetrySoup,Frederick :) - I choose your first very well written poem - Nice to meet you :) - Hope you will be satisfied with our "soup family" - we are many .. but has plenty of room for you too- PoetrySoup Rule1: Be kind and keep PoetrySoup a haven. PoetrySoup is a drama free zone(Comment on the poetry of others and they will comment on yours.) Thank you posted your words and thoughts here, I want to come back to read more another day. - oxox // Anne-Lise :)

  1. Date: 6/18/2014 12:21:00 AM
    Hi Fred, Welcome to PS I believe you will have a wonderful experience here as we enjoy all your poetic art and all the secrets of your heart, You are now part of a great family that i believe will be a great blessing because that is what PS members are to me.... As for your first poem i love it, i cant wait to read more of your wonderful work..Your new PS friend RRC

  1. Date: 6/17/2014 12:15:00 PM
    Welcome to Poetry Soup, Frederick. Thank you for this powerful poem; so sorry you and your comrades gave so much with so little thanks. I am glad you discovered this nice community of writers and hope you enjoy the site. Read the work of other poet's and comment if you find something you like; many poets will return the favor. Over time you will get to "know" some of us. Enjoy!