Hello...I'm SPecialist 4th class Gary Jacobson, of B Co 2nd/7th 1st Air cavalry. This is my home in Vietnam, landing Zone Betty. Lovely isn't it?
I especially like the sweet and sour scent of lilacs blowing fragrantly in the breezes off the perfumed South China sea, mixed with motor oil, the omnipresent smell of gunpowder, and sand. What...you say you donít see any lilacs? You just have no imagination, do
you young troop! You better get an imagination quick...and a sense of humor to go along with it, or youíre never going to survive this little "Police Action" gambit your rich uncle sent you here to handle. This is as real as it gets! See those mounds at the bottom right? That's a cemetary...quite sobering I thought, and maybe a little too handy. Those mounds make awful good fortifications for an assaulting enemy. You see that line of bunkers stretching from right to left across the middle of the photo? Thatís the Landing Zone perimeter of defense, and my Home Sweet Home!
Photograph courtesy of Jerry Berry, photographer with the 101st Airborne, who inherited the landing zone after the 1st Cavalry established it.
My Home Sweet Home!
by Gary Jacobson
Lock and load...
For a goodly season in combat infantry mode,
My beloved abode,
Patrolling with the 1st Air Cavalry
Living a real life, poignant adventure story
In Vietnam, my home away from home,
Though it is said my home at LZ Betty
Is not quite the affluent life of J Paul Getty.
But I say, ďNay, nay sir,
To that reasoning I must politely defer...
To that position
I must voice opposition.
LZ Betty is a fine old place,
Not at all as they say, a fiendish disgrace,
A sandy waste,
A jumping off point to the killing field
Grievous death to many a poor boy has dealed.
Bettyís my home when Iím not out selling death
To VietCong buying it
And freely giving it
With ill-tempered breath.
LZ Betty is my home,
Far, far from home.
From its proficient fire zone
To the cemetery nestled beside it,
To nearby jungles bloody intemperate,
To banana plantations in the killing zone,
Where hate is readily by VC sown,
To arid lands dry as a proverbial bone,
To rice paddies, Nams breadbasket keystone,
To the rain forests Charley calls his own
To the South China sea,
This land was made for you and me!
So gather round boys,
And listen tight boys,
Memories here are filled with sorrows,
Filled with joys...
Who knows, LZ Betty may be my destiny,
For my rich uncle Sam provides great luxury
A veritable board and room economy.
For this infantry rag tag
Whose esprit De Corps does sometimes flag,
Whose combat spirits sag,
After a hard day humping the boony fields
Seeing what the "walk in the park" yields.
Please CLICK 1st Cavalry patch... to continue LZ Betty poem!