I had a talk with some twenty-somethings in an Internet
writing club awhile back...tell it like it is, an
out and out verbal ASSault! They just totally
disrespected me, callin’ me “dude,” “old soldier boy,”
and “old fart.” They also said I made an awful lot of
assumptions, but they had an innovative way
of spelling it...they spelled it ASSumptions!

I told them..."At first I was offended by your remark
about ASSumptions, but the more I thought about it,
the more I last, we’ve found an area
we can agree on. Darn tootin’ those who've served
their country make ASSumptions!"

by Gary Jacobson © 2001
combat decisions...1st Cav Masher 66
Infantrymen patrolling jungle shadows deep
Must right away make judgemental ASSumptions.
If they hope to reach another night’s sleep
ASSumptions must ASSuredly be made
Without compunctions!

ASSess a brother’s fighting ASSets.
Study what his dependability encompASSes.
Will he deal with wars trying conditions ASSertively?
Does a brother warrior ways honor with clASS
Or is he an uptight candyASS
Or a half-ASSed snake in the grASS
Or a buffooning wiseASS
A know-it-all smartASS
Or a real loose cannon badASS
Or just your typical JackASS...

Charly, don’t need no looking glASS...
If a pASSive trooper don’t show some brASS
That ASSaultive black pajama’d ASSASSin
Will for him define the word ASSailant...
He’ll hook’at mother’s son like a bigmouth bASS.

In combat you must lightning quick ASSess
Would a man his ASSigned duties slack?
Would he watch your back ASSiduous
Can you trust him to guard your ASSets.

In battle’s pASSage where the Cong ASSemble?
Will that FNG private first clASS,
AmASS ASSimilated courage under ASSault
In darkning jungle shadows
We’re obliged to canvASS
Or will his candy-ASS shake and tremble
Turning blue at the sight of a gun
Throw down his cards and fighting pASS...
Mount his JackASS and run...
Marching his gungho ASSumptions
Through eye-high elephant grASSes
Where brother Cong ASSimilates
Formidble forces amASSable.

Will the newbie survive...
without ASSurable ASSessment
ASScramble out of “the Nam” alive.

Without his ASSistance my blood'd be ASSimilated
Bloody obliterated ASSuredly
Seeping into Nam's jungled floor morASS...
Charley’d gladly give a bullet coronary bypASS
His bloody tax ASSessment...
Give to the first jackASS
He sees a comin’ through the trees

Now, though you don't want to unduly harrASS
Or disrespectfully sASS...
Life depends on fighting clASSification
ASSigned through observational ASSumption
Through Nams impASSable travail to pASS
For it’s looking pretty grim
To make it home to that pretty lASS
Waiting for me ASSuredly
Across the heartbreak sea ASSumptively...

There’s no embarASSment in ASSumption
Cause sooner or later it’ll come to pASS
No need checkin’ time on an hourglASS
War don’t give no repASS...
But you don’t wanna be pushin’ up swamp grASS
An don’t wanna be sent home economy clASS...
So you gotta make ASSumptions
Right away of course!
There is no recourse!

Is your comrade self-ASSertively self-ASSured
When mASSing Cong start to ASSail
It’s no time to learn your pASSivist buddy
Will from empASSioned battle bail?

Usually a brother’ll all expectations surpASS...
But if the ASSumption's wrong
There is no second chance in deadly battle’s song.
Cause friendly neighborhood Cong
Riled just cause in their country we dared trespASS
Without their due ASSent...
Are ASSiduous killing machines
That just will not relent...

In the worst way that Vietcong badASS
Wants to give you a black mASS
To ASSiduously in diligence his bayonet ASSert
Without the slightest twinge of compunctions
Shoot up your sorry badASS ASSumptions
They’re comin’ after your ASSignations grASShopper
With a sharply pointed bamboo punji cutlASS...
To make a soprano voice out of erstwhile bASS.

War has an entire generation reASSembled
ASSumption passes the torch leading to mASSacre
Naive innocence of a nation does deter.
Know at what point a brother will crack
Or ASSumable future could be shrouded dreary black.
Will your brother pains of war ASSuage?
Will he stand by you as pASSionate battle’s rage
Macho rights of pASSage wage
As the pASSionless killing fray
Becomes so pASSé?

Nam presents a clASSical war’s insidious doom
Where it’s no good just to ASSume...
Life depends on fast judgmental ASSessment
Death comes with such an explosive ASSortment!
Will a brother do his duty ASSigned?
Be ASSertive in a bind?
Can you in infested shadows ASSigned
Be dependant
In that Cong tormented jungle ASSonant?

For though it may sound crASS,
Though you hope all expectations a buddy'll surpASS
If you don't know what might come to pASS,
If you don’t make the right ASSumptions,
Sure as shootin' your critical mASS is grASS!

by Gary Jacobson © 1999
Marines at Khe Sahn
Tired of body and of mind sore
Sickened to heart’s core by dreadful war
Soldiers of “the Nam” came home
No more in blistering jungles to roam
Of innocence stripped in divestiture
From Nam’s liquidating exposure.

We remember Nam’s cruel hating
Seeking from life
To purge memories embedding
Brought back traumatic horror imbibing
That nations in its son’s invest,
That of men we are the very best
In a loving nation blessed.
Rising in sanctity above the wicked rest,
With power of might propagating,
Divine doctrine convincing,

Boys in Nam were forged into men
Made violent killers in war’s angry din
Through war's gory cost,
Explosive to boy’s who’ve innocence lost
Lost the ingenuous child
Naive once, meek and mild...
Lost for life...
Forevermore to replay memories rife...
These boys once answered the call
At their countries behest
Once by the God of all blest.
Now a man
Fervently seeks peace in “the world,”
Heavy burdens still on his chest
Frightened by what they still behold.
Burdens that give no soul critical rest.

Ghostly apparitions come haunting...
Every night...
Grim reminders forever pain bringing
Blood curdling screams ringing...
Every night...
to wearied souls still hearing jeering
Still warring...
Every night!

Nam's soldiers need blessed closure
To receive the welcome measure
Once to them denied
Valorous service decried
Honor stripped from inside
Forced back to that war souls can’t abide
But veterans found hate here too
People hating war their soldiers eschew
As if the boys were the cause of war
Hear protesters chant they abhor...
An embarrassment to loved ones they adore.

To ease wearied minds
Lo many years have cried,
Forget loathsome government forces
That with disillusionment lied.
Forget those still haunting
Visions of brothers that died
Escape the war inside yet raging,
Still burning,
Still dying
From bloody battlefields tossed
In destruction’s most bitter holocaust.
Still suffering...
Families diseased by Agent Orange

Human minds must vile memories repel
From wars dim hating rebel.
Throw off stifling angers
From that long ago hell.
Seek to rid the soul of guilt's defilement
Divine mortalities grim abasement.
After many years bereavement
Turn away those who say your service
Was no valuable achievement...

A surgical incision
Can't roust this beast of war out.
A simple decision
Embedded demons hue and shout can't rout.
For too deeply into the heart
Is contagion bored,
Too deeply
In a lifetime since that year lost,
To and fro tossed
Over a minds heavy seas of doubt
Guilt's primeval shout...

Immorality lies buried in the pit of the soul
Driven there beyond a man's control.
Oh, drive from me this awesome war beast,
Make inner hostilities, finitely cease.

Give us closure.
Help us find the way back,
From the evil usurper in our hearts pack
As men,
From the "inhumanity to man" attack.
Help the soldiers who once expected
To by a grateful nation be respected...

Soldiers must invoke a final courage
Reach out from a mind bearing witness
To cruel carnage.
Reach out from buttressed fortresses
To those still hiding assuage
Inside sandbagged bastions protecting,
Fostered by war's contentions preserving
Besieged sanity defending...

Plant deep in the pit
A still youthful soul,
The only thing that'll still make us whole.
Only powerful love
Distilled from bowers above
Distilled from the heart of a grateful nation
Can restore some kind of compensation,
Drive shadowed forces from dimming past,
Into future with bright shining cast,
Instill glimmering peace in hearts to last.

We are sons of our nation’s creation.
Do not cast us off with callous consternation
Of embarrassed indignation.
In this clamorous world
Inherited confusions around us swirled
Now the world awaits
To remove erstwhile harms,
My good brothers in arms.

Receive the welcome of good friends...
Friends, God in great wisdom sends...
For love alone breeds benign composure
Overcome for the lost tranquil closure.

Combat Infantry Badge
Click the Combat Infantry Badge
to Visit my Vietnam Poems index,
each poem with more action
graphics and Pictures

VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens of a combat infantryman
Through pictures and poetry take a walk in "the park"
with the 1st Air Cavalry on combat patrol.
Experience the chilling reality
to leave the taste of "the Nam" acrid on your tongue, the
pungent smell of "the Nam" in your nostrils,
imbedding textures of "the Nam" in your brain
as though you were walking beside me in combat.

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