Well hello there. I'm SP4 Gary Jacobson, and we just broke for five. I'm a ground pounder in this man's army, combat infantry with B co 2nd of the 7th, 1st Air Cavalry. I would like to tell you about the...

Dawn Patrol
by Gary Jacobson

Lock and load!
We’re goin’ for a walk in the park
Where things tend to explode.
Be humping till dark,
Out in the killing zone.
No, there’s no time to phone home.
So saddle up girls!
We’re only gonna walk twenty klicks...
Maybe thirty,
Gonna get our kicks
And Charley sure don’t have no choir girls
So be ready...
Be ready...
Keep it steady...
Be alert!
Every minute...
Your very life depends on it!
You don’t want to live forever, do you?

Death may be waiting for you
Behind the next bend in the trail
Watching for you
Just you
And there’s nowhere to bail.
You have to face it
Prepare for it
Every day
Every way...
Are you ready
To bite the bullet with your name on it?
Be steady
In this fevered pit
So far from home
And so all alone...
You don’t want to live forever, do you?

Watch every step!
I mean, every step...
Or it could be your last one.
Move it out with a little pep!
If you want to see “The World” again, son?
But you can't think about "THE BULLET" too much
What’s that moving in the treeline?
Did that bush move?
Just keep movin’ it down the line.
Hug that beautiful
M-16 so fine
Good eyes, good luck, and a good weapon must combine.
For the warrior his M-16's his best friend,
Cause the other guy to his grave it'll send.
But if it don't...
You really don’t want to live forever, do you?

Just keep doing what your rich uncle...
Uncle Sammy, pays you the big bucks for.
This combat infantry chore...
No time to worry now ‘bout your moral decline
With the “boy scouts” divine...
So don’t let the fear get to you,
Around your heart entwine
Or you could go crazy.
You lose it now
Before you know it you'll be kickin' up a daisy.
Just watch your step!
Look at the ground where you’re gonna step...
Does it look like somebody’s been digging there?
Does it look like somebody packed somethin’ in there?
We gotta keep humping til night falls
So keep an eye out,
Or Charlies surprise package tamped in the ground
Gonna jump up and grab you in the ba.., uh, neck!
You don’t want to live forever, do you?

Death may be waiting for you underground
So don’t look up....
Death may be waiting for you behind that bush
So don’t look down...
Troop, you got two eyes haven’t you?
You can see everywhere at once can’t you?
Good thing
Or you would surely die...
What’s that, a sigh...
Sure you’ll live to see, “The World.”
Just pray to God
It's not when the flag over you is unfurled.
Sure it’s a messy chore!
But somebody’s gotta do it,
And you answered the call
You know, all gave some,
Some gave all...
Besides, You don’t expect to live forever, do you?

Travel light,
Cause everything you girls take
Will be carried on your back every blessed klick
But I wanna see every swingin’ Di.., uh, er, grunt
Just put one foot in front of the other
Every klick...
Do the two-step shuffle brother,
Just one foot after the other
Till you get wherever you're headin'
Where that is I don't know...
The army operates on a need to know basis,
An I guess I just don't need to know...
Nobody tells me a thing cause I'm just a grunt
Mine is just to do or...well, you know!
You didn’t expect to live forever, did you?

Do you have everything you need?
Let’s see.
First aid kit for when you bleed...
And you will bleed.
Dynamite...good ole TNT with which to play,
Always makes for a festive day.!
Three fragmentation grenades!
A percussion grenade!
A white phosphorous grenade!
A smoke grenade!
A pound of C-4 exposive!
Sixteen full ammo clips!
Entrenching tool!
Claymore mine!
Trip flare!
Three canteens!
Mosquito repellant!
Pancho liner bedding!
C-rations for three days!
Extra socks!
Extra socks?
Yea, you got everything you need...
Ready to go out in the bush
And do this killing deed!
Make your Uncle Sammy proud
Just don't walk too loud
Or you might wake up the dead...
Then you'll be dead.
Just make sure nobody lags!
Army only moves as fast as its slowest man.
I wonder who carries the body bags?
Hope we have enough,
Could get pretty rough...
You don’t want to live forever, do you?

Wanna hump the radio
Be the platoon RTO?
You still have to carry all that other stuff
Do you want to walk the point
Way out front of all those other jerks.
Think of all the perks...
You get to be the first
To see where the Vietcong lurks
You get to be up where the action is!
See firsthand
Where the bullet with your name on it is!
Just pray Charley doesn’t see you first...
Might ruin your whole day
With an AK-47 burst...
That would take all the fun out of this little fray
This Vietnam passion play
That we offer our lives for...
That we pound the jungle floor for,
Sicken our very souls for...
But what ya gonna do,
You don’t want to live forever, do you?

Can you believe it,
Some rear echelon dudes across the pond
Are badmouthing this war for which we’re so fond.
In that faraway place known as “The World,”
They even say they abhor
Can You believe it?
That’s bull sh.., uh, hockey,
What they wanna do, live forever?



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

VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens of a combat infantryman