Whenever a unit of B Company, ,First Air Cavalry, as I recall, went on combat patrol in Vietnam to set up an ambush patrol, nicknamed a GOAT PATROL for the night, They would dig defensive prone foxholes to secure from Charlie's unwanted advances.. A goat patrol consisted of three or four men ordered to go a mile or two from camp. Alongside a trail used by the Vietcong to move men and equipment during the night, they would set up a covert ambush, digging in to lie in wait for our black pajama's friends.
In Vietnamese jungles darkning lush
Seven soldiers from their company thrust
Set up a “goat” ambush under starry twilight
That did the seven bedight
Along a road Vietcong traveled late at night
Moving supplies and fighting men
Along a network trail called Ho Chi Minh
Alongside a trail lying deep and still
O'er rock and o'er rill.
In blackened midnight coat,
Set seven men on ambush goat
Lying in a prone foxhole
Their whole existence in a scooped out bowl.
Feeling the weight of a war full of cares
They set out trip-flares
The seven warriors forlorn
When Charley in fevered night did roam
Journeying into fragrant night far from home.
The soldiers positioned a claymore mine
To cover with blistering hell the trail-line
Then made themselves hidden to wait in the meantime
Setting back, waiting to ruin Charley’s whole day
To shove back at him this hateful fray
This death on soldier’s minds for an eternity will play.
Under paling light of midnight moon
Dreaming sweet thoughts of death and doom
I slept dark and dreary
Till before my eyes weary,
Came an apparition vaguely bleary
Of hateful war passing dimly..
Hazy night swum by ever so slowly,
As I sweat crazily
When suddenly the sleeping night exploded!
Yellow lightning sparkled!
The trip flare set to warn of danger burst
Leaving beleaguered soldiers foreboding worst.
Sparking automatic rifle fire hot and furious
As my sleeping senses recoiled
As thunder in my beleaguered head roiled
As the whole night around me boiled,
The jungle night filled with things moving
Scrabbling quick-time helter-skeltering.
Specters of death riding midnight air
Filling anguished souls with fearing despair.
Malevolence arousing an seeping anger seething
VC like a bee hive madly swarming.
Only half awake I alligator crawled
Past my line like one possessed slithered
Wriggling on my belly like a reptile
My M-16 cradled in crossed arms style,
Yards from my hole,
The devil seeking my soul,
Crawling like a June bug exceeding fast
With determination I had bypassed
Our prone foxhole's security
Straight into the mouth of Hell in a Hurry,
Straight into killing zone's fury
Crawling twenty yards, maybe more,
Into the mouth of VC guns roar.
Straight for the Vietcong I was heading
My frontal assault mounting
At those graciously,
Until a bell sounded in my head, DING DONG!
I still hear that hatefully awful sound
VC bullets pocking ground
Quite suddenly I awoke...
And when I awoke,
I thought someone had played a cruel joke.
My buddies with the sincerest deep felt caring
Started yelling, Started swearing
Get your a__, uh, er, newby self back
What you doing you sad sack,
At the Vietcong making a frontal attack?
Boy, you're not where you belong!
Unless you want to sing death's discordant song!
Well of that night I lived to laugh and tell,
How I almost tripped to hell
Tho still when I listen soft for a spell,
I can hear the devil’s fevered knell.
Next time... You'll be mine...
For Me and the Vietcong
Are just waiting for you to again step wrong...
So I'll get you yet!
On that Sky Trooper, your bottom dollar bet!