Writings Of Boondockers Poetic Justice Members
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Site Awards
Lighter Side Of BPJ
Lighter Side #2
Lighter Side #3
LIGHTER SIDE#4
4TH OF JULY 2003
THE KOREAN WAR REMEMBERED /July 27,1953-July27,2003 50 years

This Is A Place Of Remembrance

davidalexander.jpg

The Cost of Combat

Early morning haze, humid and damp

Any move or noise could be heard for seems like miles.

Clothing damp from the nights dew

An eerie stillness settles in and those awake can feel the danger.

Slowly the sunlight creeps in and the dampness is still around

There isnt a noise, strange, no noises from the jungle

Not a bird nor animal can be heard

Because of the dense foliage and canopy at noon little light will be seen.

Most are now waking up and their combat experiences make them be still

With eyes wide and ears alert all are strangely on edge

We havent seen the enemy in over three days

A time that feels like an eternity after being in the boonies for so long.

How uncomfortable we are

Hungry, damp, our skin feels sticky from the dew and humidity

Knowing that you cant keep a round in the chamber of your M-16 overnight

The round will swell and your rifle will fire only one time, as the round wont eject.

Tense, weary and tired, but we must be oh so careful now

All are combat veterans of at least a month

You learn fast here or you die

You try not to let your mind wonder as you sit and wait for the unknown.

Your mind plays tricks on you

Was that a sound? A stick break, or just a ghost noise?

The longer we wait the worse it gets

How can one explain the anguish of the mind here in this jungle?

Over an hour now and still nothing

Every last man knows that there is something, or someone our there

Putting ones finger on the feeling isnt so easy, just by experience do we know.

We must move, cant live out your life sitting in a jungle afraid, yes afraid.

Again, slowly we gather our things and crawl toward better cover

As we move a round is chambered in each rifle.

Whew, we make it to the dense underbrush where there are several fallen trees.

Still no noise, no sounds from the jungle.

Maybe we are all just tired and over cautious,

Maybe we are just combat weary and in a while we can laugh about our fears.

Maybe but not today, a sudden crack of an AK-47 a noise you cant mistake

And we are engaged with the enemy we knew was there but couldnt see.

The uncomfortable climate, the sticky skin, the damp humidity are forgotten

A bullet hitting a log throwing splinters in your eyes will make you forget.

We all are engaged, we all are fighting, we all are thinking of one thing

Kill the enemy before he kills you.

No longer are we hungry, no longer are we tired, no longer are we afraid

We just dont have the luxury of fear, hunger or being exhausted

We once again have chosen wisely and our vantage point has served us well

For once no deaths, no injuries, but there are causalities, but they are in our mind.

As fast as it started it is over

We have learned long ago not to chase Charlie in his own backyard.

We gather our things and slowly, cautiously move out and find a place to rest and eat.

That is the life of an Infantry Soldier in Viet Nam.

No glory, no glamour, no hero, no romance

No rest, no hot meal, no time to reflect

Maybe if lucky, a can of Cs, and a cigarette

A moment to thank God for your protection, a thought of home and then moving again.

No cost you say, no cost?

Maybe not then, maybe not while in combat

Then again maybe we were too stupid to know

But the cost comes later, when you are safe, free and if lucky you are home.

The Cost?  How about years of sleepless nights?

How about the cost of losing your wife because she just cant put up with you anymore?

How about the cost of ones own sanity?

No, there was no cost I guess, but dont ask a wife, mother, or father about the cost.

ęDavid R. Alexander

November 10, 2003