Golden Bamboo
Garland O' Brothers
Golden Bamboo

Garland of Brothers
by Gary Jacobson © 2002

No greater fear has a young boy found
Than deathís specter of war, Vietnam bound
Men From New York, California, Tuscaloosa
Cowboys from Montana to Texas Odessa
Thrust suddenly into voracious jaws of abject death
Barefaced fear in every breath
Riding into the ravenous maw of flagrant death
Inhumanity before them wolfish, covetous, overambitious
Combined in this world of avarice
Just boys living with unmitigated suffering
Pure hate seen daily in faces malevolently glaring
Gone far and away from "the world," mighty pretty
Back home in Oklahoma City
From Washington, Kansas, Kentucky
Boys from Idaho to Arizona, hoping they're lucky
Students, farmers, iron workers, carpenters
Fishermen, miners, ranchers, brick layers
Gone fighting in jungled pit with hatred's insatiable
To contend with odds formidable
Burdensome acts intensively abominable
Formed this garland of brotherhood
Combatís bond sealed by sweat and blood
Camaraderie with their lives to trust
To make it past warís hazardous lust
Only way to hang-in was with each other
Enduring to the end###undying together
All for one, one for all, just hoping to stay alive
Striving in every way, fated war to survive
Formed a pact by battleís passion
Inspired by mankindís grievous ambition
Goaded by evilís vile intoxication
Brothers together in armed fellowship, terror seeing
Unimaginable horror doing###
Things perilous, graven, life-threatening
Desperate men facing desperate odds
Sowing and reaping whirlwinds of warrior Gods
The best of men facing the worst of men
Full-circle intertwined
Bound with ties that bind
Life and death contracts by flesh and blood signed#

This garland of brothers supersedes all others
Men in kinship with freedomís founding fathers!
Forget them...never!
Remember this fraternal bond...forever!

Golden Bamboo

Golden Bamboo
< A peaceful scene? Snipers and booby traps lie quietly in waiting.
I was Wounded in Action minutes after this picture was taken, patrolling
with the 1st Air Cavalry near Phan Rang, Vietnam. Here in the opening we
moved to form a defensive perimeter as we broke for chow, after a morning
humping the booneys. A sniper had fired at me two separate times that morning,
and I was scouring the treeline rather closely. I did not see the booby trap
wire crossing in front of me at my feet, an almost invisible trip-wire that set off a grenade,
that in turn set off an artillery round. It ruined my whole day. The war
was over for me. This was the end, yet the beginning, of a long odyssey home.

Thanks to Nancy Meek for the beautiful "Garland of Brothers" graphic.

Song playing is, "Mull of Kintyre"

Golden Bamboo

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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 that will give you the taste of "the Nam" on your tongue, leave the pungent smell of "the Nam" in your nostrils, and imbed textures of "the Nam" in your brain as though you were walking beside me in combat#