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Many, many years ago, I found myself in a land I didn’t know,
Sent by people who didn’t care about me, to fight for others’ liberty.
A land so strange and far away, I will remember it till my dying day.
While Viet Nam is a given name, we veterans refer to it the same.
“The Nam” became the call for this land where so many would stand and fall.
To risk our limbs and lives as well, we spent our time in that damn Hell.
I tried hard and did my best, like all the others put to the test.
Some walked, some rode, and other flew, doing a job nobody wanted to do.
We laughed, we cried, and we were scared as well, in the “NAM”, our personal Hell.

Many years have come and gone, but inside of me, the “NAM” lives on.
Memories of the pain and the death are still able to take away my breath.
My buddies lying on the ground, the sight of the blood all around.
Young bodies broken, torn and smashed, dying in the tall elephant grass.
12,000 miles from his home, he cried for his mother, but died alone.
We loaded the body in a bag and placed it on the “chopper” for his last ride.
Silently watching as the chopper flew away, I wanted to cry but couldn’t that day.
For in the jungle, the battle raged on, and I had to go and kill the Viet Cong.

Back home, his mother and father did cry, and asked each other “why, oh why”?
The Honor Guard stood by the flag that draped the casket with his body inside.
The Firing Squad’s volley then did fly, one last tribute to he who has died.
Sadly, they listened to the sound of taps, but nothing they could do could bring him back.
They opened the ground and laid him within, he was now back home with his family again.
Their tears flowed, caused by their grief, but were unable to bring them any relief.
Another day, another death, another soldier laid to rest!

As a young soldier, standing strong, I mistakenly believed that crying was wrong.
I held my pain deep within, awaiting the day that it would rise again.
While my buddy is now dead and gone, my thoughts and love for him lives on.
My buddy and I are never apart, I carry him always deep in my heart.
He’s found his Peace and for that I am glad, for he’s my buddy, the best I have ever had.
The time will come, I just don’t know when, but I, too, will find Peace…..
and be with my buddy again.

 by Sgt James Angelini, on June 18, 1998 –
11th Army Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse)
101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles)
Vietnam March 4, 1970 – July 1971

Submitted by  Jacqueline Rector


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