combat GI JUST MARCHIN' THRU THE NAM A combat grunt

by Gary Jacobson

Tramp, tramp, tramp,
We’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!
Left far, far behind are home, civility, and mom,
Just tramping, searching for the elusive Cong
People say done freedom wrong!

We’ve hiked twenty klicks today,
Or thirty,
More or less I’d say,
Gettin’ down and dirty
Weary soldiers rock and sway
Too tired to fight
But have to they just might
Eyes peeled for black pajama Charley
Who invited us to join his jungle party...
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

Tramp, tramp, tramp
Marching in jungle dews and damp
Looking for Charlie’s calling card
With our names on it,
His “How do you do” bullet...
That’ll put us in a world of shi_, uh, er, trouble.
Don’t know why that little feller’s
Throwin’ such a hissy fit,
Cause we’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

We’re watching closely every step,
Cause it might be our last step
A mindless,
Slogging one foot after the other lock step
And we don’t want it should be in vain.
Give us undue pain
While we’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!
Who knew under the soil we tramp
Charley’d planted a bomb...

Charlie’s a most finicky little guy
He’d like nothing better than our souls to fry,
To laugh while in death throes we wriggle and die
Wading thru battle’s confusing bedlam.
As we’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

We’re ghostly forms in fatigues humping,
Over the searing ground,
Through fetid jungle lingering round
No one speaking
No one making a sound
Other than the thump, thump, thump,
Weary faces colorless as clay
Facing war’s hell all the way
Every day
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

We’re green clad ghosts
Searching for our jungle hosts
Where evil spirits dwell
Naive “boys next door’s” first taste of hell
Listening intently for death’s final knell
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!
Viet Cong all around
In silence making not a sound
Where you dread to hear that click
Of AK-47’s that make stomachs churn sick.

Yea, we’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!
Not giving a diddly dam
Whether we live or die...
Whether folks at home cry
Or politicians sanctimoniously sigh,
With non-sensible flimflam
Over torn bodies and minds flotsam.
They don’t care,
Cause rifles they don’t gotta bear.

We’re Just marchin’ thru the Nam!
Like soldiers have done since the dawn of time
Boots slogging
In syncopated rhyme
Ready any minute life to shed
To turn this green jungle gory red...
Green, green elephant grass stirs in the breeze,
A mournful, moaning sound death to bereave,
Shaking, quaking, banana palm leaves.
Searching jungled web the Viet Cong weaves.

Come into my jungle parlor,
Young American soldier
Just marchin’ thru my Nam!
I would share with you my secret,
Deep within you plunge my silver bullet
When your evening sun burns low,
When your dying star casts eerie glow.

Let the death I give,
Separate you from us like a sieve.
Let sweet and sour death sultry
Escort you from my country
Give you rest from toil and woes
No more to smell pungent vapors death blows.
For in answering your country’s call you chose
To die in final dark repose.
Just marchin’ thru my Nam!

I have punji stakes to stick you
Dipped in excrement’s of my special brew
Bring my hate home to you in fevered dew.
For trying to make us from our way of life change
Your body from spirit I'll derange...
Booby traps will separate your body parts
Make your mother’s sob with bleeding hearts
I’ll give you reason for your fearing
Leave your life with trauma’s searing
I’ll teach you to come over here with gunfire preaching
Make you pay for hiking,
Just marchin’ thru my Nam!

Why, oh why, do they hate me,
Despise me,
Revile me,
Want in the worst way to kill me,
I’m just a soldier from the land of the free
Who’s traveled far across this heartbreak sea
Just marchin’ thru their Nam!

I can’t help wondering
Mid all this horror traumatizing
Where had we all gone wrong
Singing wars most desolate song
Nam’s hoary specter of death
From its cankered breath...
Filled with hating’s virulent rage
Grayish white and ancient of age...
What am I doing here
In this alien land quaking with fear
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

Where had we gone astray?
Why was my countenance grimly gray?
We’re just “boys next door,”
Doing duties chore,
Finding it hard to fathom,
War’s bloody maelstrom
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

Battle’s brawl sees both good men
Or bad chosen from the cacophonous din
Plucked at random
From this Vietcong feudal fiefdom...
A nations brightest future so young,
Give last dying breath to a generation
Indiscriminately flung
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

Will lives lost to this indiscriminate,
Wanton beast
Satisfy the war God’s rowdy feast?
Who picks he who this day
Shall by chance fall,
Who this day shall give to their country
Their all...
Will bitter war wounds forever gall...
Will evil memories a lifetime pall...

On men...
Just marchin’ thru the Nam!

American dove Vietnam Poems index,
each poem with more action
graphics and Pictures

VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens of a combat infantryman
from the lens of a combat infantryman!