memorial service

The music playing is "Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream," by Ed McCurdy.

My name is Gary Jacobson. I worked in this beautiful Southeast Asian paradise for my rich uncle, tilling the fields all white and ready for harvest, and pruning his vineyard. The rich uncle was my uncle Sammy, and Vietnam was the beautiful Southeast Asian paradise ... where I served as a combat infantryman with B co 2nd/7th 1st Air cavalry. War was a horribly traumatic enigma for an entire lost generation of boys-next-door. We were the flower of America's youth, who found the toll heavy to bear in body, mind and soul. I was "Gungho Naive" when I arrived "In Country." I returned to my homeland across the pond wounded in body and spirit, disillusioned in many ways that would last a lifetime. I am proud to have served my country, but hope we can learn from the history of this so called "Undeclared War." I sincerely hope we will not doom our children to fight senseless battles as did we, shackling them to similar fates suffered by their fathers. There is no glory in war...only death and misery! Sometimes war is a necessary evil ... sometimes not ... sometimes there's Vietnam! My fervent wish is that there be peace on earth, peace evermore, and war-no-more!

chaplain service
Cay Giep Mtns
Don’t Worry

by Gary Jacobson © June 2008

Lucy’s in the sky with diamonds
To a land where this gung-ho naive boy transcends...
This boy-next-door heading for the glory of war
To adventure doing his patriotic chore
Echoing glorious exploits patriot’s bore...
Exciting with trepidations of what Vietnam has in store.

Don’t worry soldier
Oh my brave stout warrior...
You came over here so brave
A brave young nation to save.
It will be alright...
Just lose yourself in the freedom fight.

So full of gung-ho innocence
So full of the young’s righteous abhorrence
For oppressive warlords holding abomination
Come now in Vietnam to fight that evil minion
Part of a new army coming
Through sweet-and-sour skies to the rescue flying.

Don’t worry young soldier
Mankind’s savior
You’re America’s best
By bounteous life blest
Come to right the world’s grievous wrongs
Singing in your breast liberty songs.

You’ve seen patriotic duty clear
Devoted a short-time year
To renounce the evil you forswear
On broad shoulders democracy bear
Surely you’ll know no fear...
As you bite malefactors in the rear.

But then you see your best buddy die
Horribly. Bloodily. Try not to cry...
As you say goodby to your brother...
Then you kill your first man ... then another
The oppressive fear of death you hide
Under foolish wilting pride.

Soon you learn war’s an ogrish beast
War its killing feast
As all around people die
And you lie...
Whispering, cursing, “It don’t mean nuthin’”
Knowing in reality, it means everything.

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
Real with every breath
So real the specter of death
Where cares of infected day fester in long, lonely nights
This campout with brothers gets us through the frights.

Deny intrepid dread grown weary to the bone
Fear’s specter threatening your very soul to own
Walking the park step-by-step disillusioned
You know, everywhere you go, you’re shadowed
By men covenanted to your death preoccupied
Men dedicated to your obliteration committed.

You’re a veteran now. Dinky Dau!
Where warriors no longer worry about democracy
Nor winning freedom in liberty.
For old warriors fight only for their brothers
Hope only to survive to return to mothers
Hope only to catch that great silver bird across the pond
To escape to the land of the giant PX abscond.

Lucy still fills the sky with diamonds
Where sparkling, withering, blistering heat never ends
Monsoon rain never ends
Humping the park in Vietnam never ends
Repressed fear of death never ends
Till with sharp report or dull thud
Sudden or dreadfully slow in sweat, mud and blood...
It ends!

Hong Kong MTN Duster Hill
OldGlory My black snake

Black Snake in my House

by Gary Jacobson © June 2008

A slithery black snake’s in my house
Shedding scaly skin of woeful complaints to grouse
Fetid memories flailing from fear of death arouse.
My corkscrewed snake eats at family allegiances
Grumbling with insidious grievances
Coiling to strike with inane contrivances
My black snake makes me horrible thoughts think...
Wild Turkey to drink.

My black snake is PTSD, you see, making me paranoid
Leaving a hole in my heart void
Bringing back toxic memories of killing I try to avoid
I struggle to maintain sanity
Sometimes doubt my humanity
Forked-tongue lies corrupt moral integrity...
I wonder why I am not yet free
Why what has war made of me?

My black snake is war's omnipresent manifestation
War's demonic infestation
Traumatic with insatiable degradation
War, a defiant affront to sensibility born in gentility
A manipulative residual of war’s great blasphemy
Bringing carnage to this poor boy’s soul
Perfidious evil will on a warrior dole
Ripping ingenuous hearts and minds.evil to cajole.

My black snake is insidious PTSD buried deep in anger
Striking with venomous bite at a whim of treacherous rancor
Welling up to impact old warrior’s forever
Closeted violence burning in treasonous spite.
War planted this cataclysmic seed in long ago fight
Where I lost absurdity in the American dream
Hissing with malevolent fear borne in primal scream
Splitting forlorn air with deep despair.

My black snake resurrects my deepest fear...
Creeping with venom to my heart sear...
Physical pain of PTSD it will bring
Its forked tongue with splitting discordance sing
Decays within my soul ... destroying me
Mentally, spiritually, socially, abandoning me
Maligned, depressed, this slithering beast procreated
My black snake hates everybody in bestial shadows pall
Myself most of all!

This is a song of peace ... of a time when there is no longer a need for war ... when mankind truly embraces mankind, when God-given peace reigns.

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Words and music by Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I never dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.
I dreamed I saw a mighty room,
The room was filled with men.
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again.

And when the paper was all signed,
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads,
And grateful prayers were made.
And the people in the streets below,
Were dancing round and round.
While swords and guns and and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream,
I’d ever dreamed before.
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

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

VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens of a<BR>
 combat infantryman
Through pictures and story go on a combat patrol in "the park"
humping the boonies with the 1st Air Cavalry. Experience the chilling
reality that will give you the taste of "the Nam" on your tongue, leave
the pungent smells of "the Nam" in your nostrils, and imbed textures
of "the Nam" in your brain as though you walked beside me in combat.