Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
Home Up Poems Memorial Song FNG Speech Beauty & the Beach Booby Trap Monsoon Home the Hard Way Here We Come In Country KittyKitty In the Bush Hot LZ The Big One Sea Tiger Rest Camp Hastings


POEMS (14)




December 2, 2003

 Have you ever felt a river running cold with a nations pain?

Have you ever heard the wild wind crying for those so close to death?

Have you ever felt the burning heat of a country put to flame?

Then you my friend have been there, somewhere along the way.


Have you ever felt red hot metal slice across your skin?

Or heard the whistle of hot lead snapping through the dying leaves?

Have you ever felt the sting of blood running across your eyes?

Then you my friend have been there, somewhere along the way.


Have you ever heard the protest cries on campus grounds once silent?

Have you ever felt the spit of hate searing down your face?

Have words like, baby killer or genocide torn your heart to shreds?

Then you my friend have been there, somewhere along the way.


I warn you friends to listen close to the hatred that is calling.

The media once again is playing to new young crowds a growing.

Don�t let the protest destroy proud hearts as they did once so long ago.

Remember friends you�ve been there somewhere along life�s road.


 Robert F. Dumas

Mike 3/5  July 1969-June 1970

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                                    November 28, 2003


There�s a shadow following me

Fearful am I of what it will show me,

Memories now hidden, lost so long ago,

Better they�re forgotten, yet this shadow won�t let go.


This shadow that frightens me, is always near to me,

Early in the morning, late into the evening.

Sometime it�s floating, as I lay there sleeping.

I know just when it�s touching, my soul begins a weeping.


Through my dreams I am passing, as this shadow is grasping.

Horrors that await me, so clearly they are showing.

This shadow pulls me deeper, oh so much deeper,

Into memories that are searing, from that long year of fearing.


Once the shadow grasps me,

The fear, so cold, does fill me.

Its hold so strong, so demanding,

Pulling me back to valleys, that I stood in so long ago.


As the shadow cloaks me, desperately it holds me,

Pulling, tearing, grasping, not wanting to let go.

Choking, squeezing, pulling, not releasing.

Wrapping me in a blanket, that freezes my pour soul.


This shadow pulls me deeper, oh ever so much deeper

Farther down, yet ever, ever so much nearer,

To the smells within my memory, lost a long way ago,

To the sights my eyes have worked hard to keep forever closed.


I fear this shadow more, so much more, than you could know.

I fear its knowledge of my past that now haunts me so.

I fear its strength at bringing me, to places I want to let go.

I fear one day it will draw me in and then not let go.


Robert Dumas

Mike 3/5 July 1969-June 1970

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(Nobody Even Told Us)
Welcome Home

Some of us were volunteers and some of us were drafted, 
They sent us to a place called Vietnam,
They told us we were there to help them fight Communism,
They said twelve months and twenty days and we could go back home,

But little did we know back home the people were against us,
They were playing for themselves another song,
They gave no ticker tape parades, no welcomes for our heroes,
Nobody even told us "Welcome Home"

We were spat upon and ridiculed, they called us baby killers,
They told us everything we'd done was wrong,
But the thing that hurt the worst is no one tried to understand us
And nobody even told us "Welcome Home"

They just don't care about the blood we shed and the fear of not returning,
And the pain of losing comrades we'd known long,
Then to finally fly that freedom bird to the land of milk and honey,
And have nobody tell you "Welcome Home",
No, nobody even told us "Welcome Home"

Hank Oliver, 1999

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Closed Casket

Flash........... Boom!!!
Brown gray cloud.


before my eyes
like the mystical sleight
of some sorcerer’s hand.


Foolish of me to call out
your name.

No mouth.
No face.
No Brain.
No heart, legs, arms
gone beyond all help.

Left behind in the morning
heat, mute angry marines
carried in a green rubber poncho
a spine wet to touch.

I cried for you and the deaf world
as we carried only an assumption
it had to be you..... The only one

Wind and dust left with your remains,
in silence, which has never
said good bye.

( In memory of PFC John W. Kirchner
killed in action, May 27, 1969 )

Paul E. O’Connell

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You come to confess your sins?
Yes Father...I shot and killed a man.
    Yes, go on.
    I killed him.
During the war.
    This man, he was a soldier?
    Yes Father.
An enemy soldier? You were a soldier?
Yes Father, during the war.
    In battle?
    Yes Father.
Those things happen. Do you have other sins to confess
before the lord?
No Father.
    ......No Father.
How are you with yourself?
...I’m not sure I understand.
    Do you touch yourself?
    What Father?
Do you touch, masturbate?
    Let us pray for forgiveness.

Paul E. O’Connell

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John Wayne

Not back then, not back
there, back in the jungle,
in the thick of battle
when I drew a bead
upon your silhouette
centered dead in my sights, but now,

years later
as I walk with my dog
through the forest
autumn colored
peaceful and quiet
I wonder, had you ever heard
of John Wayne? And who did you
want to be when you, (sorry),
if you had grown up?

The moment
I squeezed the trigger
and your silhouette
dropped from sight,
I haven’t forgotten you,
haven’t known who I am, not
since I became
John Wayne.

Paul E. O’Connell

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Survivor’s Guilt

My neighbor went
to the Wall.
On his return
he said to me,
I should have
gone, could have
gone, wanted to
go, had orders,

See, I went.

Should have
died, could have
died, almost died,

Paul E. O’Connell


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The Third Battalion of the Fifth Marines
Fought bravely in Vietnam.
They held their banner high
Through ambush, bullet, and bomb.

The First Marine Division
Was proud to have them onboard
To uphold a great tradition,
When our Nation turned to the sword.

From '66 to '71
They held that banner high.
And before they'd let it touch the ground
Many of them would die.

A Nation should be grateful,
Whether war is right or wrong,
For the brave young men who offer their lives
To sing America's song.


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You Bet Your Life!
Homegrown boy from Washington
joined the Corps seventeen years young
Jungle training in No Man's Land
they said, Kid you're good, you're going to Nam!
Landed in I Corps with Mike 3/5
fearless fighters, Marine Corps style!

He was just a kid but he became a man
weaned in the jungle of Vietnam
He lost his youth, but he found his pride
Would he do it again?
"You Bet Your Life!"

'67 was tough, spent Christmas in the bush
Enemy geared up for one helluva push
It all started at once, the worst fighting yet,
in the jungles and the streets they called it TET
Hit twice in one day, he went back for more
till a Bouncing Betty bounced him out of that war

The Kid came home, but he's now a man
weaned in the jungles of Vietnam
He lost his youth, but he found his pride
Would he do it again?
"You Bet Your Life!"

Twenty years later VA sends him to school
kids in the class think he's just an old fool
He just shakes his head while they have their fun
they got no respect for their Freedom
Journalism student stops him in the hall
Can I interview you for a paper this Fall?

I was just a Kid, but I became a man
weaned in the jungles of Vietnam
I lost my youth, but I walk with pride
Would I do it again?

For my Mike 3/5 Marine


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My Enemy

Untamed land, primitive
raped and torn
the beautiful South China Sea
scorching heat, violent monsoons
slippery rice paddies
savage jungle
eerie sounds in the night
My Enemy

Poisonous snakes, fist-sized spiders
restless tigers
sucking leeches fat with my blood
beautiful tropical birds
mosquitos buzzing inside my helmet
agitated water buffalos
rock apes bombarding us with stones
My Enemy

Fierce mountain tribesmen
farmers in black pajamas
beautiful schoolgirls on bicycles
houses of straw, easy to ignite
dirt floors, trap doors, hidden tunnels
children begging in the streets
children with homemade hand grenades
My Enemy

Brad Reynolds~

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He lives in alone
In the hills and the trees
He bares his soul
To the cool mountain breeze

He talks to the Spirit
He listens to the wind

They shield him from memories
Buried deep within

He dreams of the jungle
It beckons to him still
It calls to him each evening
And it always will

The world has forgotten
The sacrifice he made
The scars he bears remind him
Of the high price he paid

Our Freedom is not given
But with blood it has been bought
By warriors such as he
And by the wars they fought

We can’t forget our warriors
Or let them die in vain
But respect and honor
We can help to ease their pain

Our Freedom will be taken
If no one will defend
God bless our Forgotten Warriors
Who live to fight again



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I used to think it was the full moon
creating turmoil in your head, casting
ghostly shadows, faces with no names
on our bedroom wall…
Or the driving rain, pelting the roof all night,
                sounding like an M-16 you used to know...

But even on those few glorious, tropical
days we had, I felt the heaviness of your heart.
Sweat poured off your nose and your hands shook
as you lit another cigarette…
I knew you were far away, struggling
            to survive in that infernal jungle heat...

We drove to the ocean, and I prayed the serenity
of the gentle waves would work its magic within
you. You inhaled deeply the salty air, and with
            that inaccessible look on your face…
You spoke of the rare beauty
    of the South China Sea...



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Combat Wife

Here we go again,
no sleep tonight.
You're in the jungle, on patrol,
in another firefight.

You talk of war, I hear your pain,
I'm trying to be strong.
But the tales you tell me in the dark
torment me all night long.

It all comes back so crystal clear,
you scream, you thrash, you turn.
You grip me in an iron hold,
I feel your body burn.

Broken bodies, tortured minds,
faces of the dead.
Friends who died before your eyes,
forever in your head.

Open your eyes, turn on the lights,
it's only you and me!
It's just a chair, no one's there,
How many did you see?

Lay back down, I'm with you now,
I'll share your ugly dreams.
I won't leave, I'm here to ease
the suffering that you've seen.

We have so much to overcome,
but I won't give up, not yet.
I've made my choice to understand
the things you can't forget.

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Wish upon a Star

I sat atop a hill one night thinking about my past when suddenly, a star

appeared. My first thought was to make a wish.
I wished I wasn't here,
I wished I was back home,
I wished for peace,
I wished I could talk to Briggs who lost his life today.

Then as suddenly as the star appeared, it disappeared.
It wasn't a star at all, but a flare,
a signal from a patrol in the middle of nowhere.
-Brad Reynolds