The Lost Boyscouts
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Sitting in darkened Nam
Not altogether sure of what's going on,
Wondering how long can I hold on,
Hangin', danglin' my feet in a foxhole,
Staring into a Vietnamese jungle without a soul.
Guarding still forms under poncho liners lying
Clustered all around in slumber sleeping,
Fingers of night around them creeping
Still wearing jungle boots in a readiness scene
Soldiers reliving horrors in fitfully tossed dream,
Now at rest from stark horrors this day has seen
Grunts cloistered around the hole in Army green.
Suddenly, I flash back to a time peacefully serene,
Back when I was a kid, a carefree teen...
I was a Boy Scout, camping under the stars
In total innocence of foreign wars.
In men sprawled beside me now, I find
Seem to my beleaguered mind
Boys reminiscent of a different kind
From happier days I recall, lost Boy Scouts,
Sleeping off troubled hue and shouts,
Boy Scout values permeate souls of hardened soldiers
Boy Scouts, become before me strippling warriors...
Aren't we all but products of our upbringing
In living...in serving...in dying
Soldiers must of necessity keep themselves strong
Maintain strength through Nam's day and nights so long
Search for moral strength straight
To see them through dreadful fright.
Lost Boy Scouts truly, become stouthearted men
In far-off Vietnam
Their country more than themselves loving
In the best traditions striving
To at all times their fellow man helping
Truly, in abilities in service shown
Skilled proficiency emerges in fruits of battle's won.
Indeed, is it not honor guiding grunt's hearts
Devotion, above all, duty on a nation's sons imparts
Instilled in youth comes the spirit with which we fight
To do our best defending love of right
For courage and bravery in word and deed
Boy Scouts cultivated in freedom's seed.
For planted in scouting's heritage
Are dedications of a younger age
Harvested now in Vietnam for God and country
Giving the best of all that's in me
Above all else, lost Boy Scouts are thrifty
Trustworthy, a friend in deed, courteous, helpful
Kind, obedient to superiors, ever striving to stay cheerful,
To our trust, brave, clean, reverent, to duty loyal.
Dream now, ye Boy Scouts made men
Cream of our nation's youth in Vietnam
Dream of firefights grimly fighting,
Wrongs of those preoccupied with your death hating
Tossing, sleeping souls searing...
Remembering over hill and dale humping,
For terrible enemies constantly in dreams searching.
Stalking, finding, then killing,
Attendants forlorn to buddies around them dying,
Boys feel so fragile their own blood and death
Death lurking around every corner with bated breath
Grave terrors march beside us in great fearing,
Boys feel intensely the bullet with their name on it
Fingers of death awaiting in this foul forest pit.
Though now they were just boys on a campout,
Full of fun, just playing about
No cares, no worries, no grown-up doubt
Long before affairs of men came
In gentle forest perils of youth, this game.
O how my thoughts go racing to that peaceful past
We never dreamed could never last.
Now in Vietnam's jungles, I'm suddenly yearning,
In imagination's dreaming sent careening,
Lost in thought imagining
Merit badges combat infantrymen
By the fistful must surely be earning.
Sitting in darkened Nam