Far to the South
Where snow doesn't fall
Lies a small troubled country
That's known by all.

There fighting goes on
With bullet and bomb
It's the little big war
of South Viet Nam.

In this land is a warrior
He's a tough salty breed
He knows how to kill
How to sweat, starve and bleed.

With Claymore mine
And magazines
Flak jacket, grenades
And water canteens.

With helmet, full pack
And M-16
He knows what Hell is,
He's a grunt Marine.

He lives in the bush
Where many have died
He may lose his life
But he'll die with his pride.

With the mind of a man
But the age of a boy
He's well trained for combat
To search and destroy.

He's sometimes religious
Though usually he's not
But he knows who will help him
When the action gets hot.

There are tears in his heart
That will never reach his eyes
He falls prey to mosquitoes,
Leeches and flies.

With no shelter or cover
He sleeps in the rain
With sore feet and tired body
He tolerates the pain.

Though sometimes unshaven
And usually unclean
He'll lay down his life
For a fellow Marine.

He hails from the free world
From country and city
He's fought to survive
And has killed without pity.

He can tell of the times
When he couldn't hide his fear
And he could tell of situations
When death came near.

Stay close by his side
And you may hear him cry
Walk in his tracks
And you may watch him die.

He sometimes thinks happy
He sometimes thinks sad
Of the men he's seen die
Or the girl friends he's had.

He's all different colors
Different religions and size
He's humorous, bad tempered
He's dumb and he's wise.

He may be your cousin
Your brother or son
Pray God for his safety
He's an honorable one.

L/Cpl. Raymond Lucky Whipple
India Company, 3/5 Marines
First Marine Division
South Viet Nam
(written in Dodge City, South Viet Nam, 1969)