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In Some Valley...In Some Place
A Poetry Tale...of the "Hardships" of Battle:
Dedicate this "Manly" Poem to our American Veterans who fought in Vietnam and Korea.
In Some Valley...In Some Place
In Some Valley...In Some Place,
We Lost the Edge...We fell from Grace.
With Mortar rounds and bullets flying all around,
No Time to Dig in...We just have to Hug the Ground.
I Move to a Clump of Elephant Grass...To Hide my Head,
I Reach Out to Signal My Buddy...But He is Dead.
I hear Bullets Zinging By...My Eyes are Stinging With Sweat,
Bullets splat near me in the Mud...This Ground is Soaking Wet.
I Swing My Rifle Off My Back....and Pull Back It's Bolt,
An Explosion Goes Off Right Next to Me...I Feel the Earth Jolt.
I Pull the Cover Off My Scope...and Begin to Take Aim,
That is When I First Begin to feel the Pain.
I Look Into the Treeline...On A Far Away Ridge from Here,
A Silhouette Speaks to Me...As A Stalking Shadow Becomes Clear.
I Lock and Load My M21 Sniper Rifle...With It's First Round,
After Acquiring My New First Target...Which has Now been Found.
An Easy Mark...Just Inside the Trees a Bit,
I Gently Squeezed the Trigger...It was a Clean Hit.
A Forward Observer for the Enemy? I Could Only Pray,
Time for Them to Get Some Pay Back...Time for Them to Pay.
I Lowered the Barrel...Then Loaded the Next Round Into My Rifle Chamber,
Aware I had Just Given Out My Position...And was Now in Even More Danger.
I Slid Silently Along on My Belly...To Another...and Better Spot,
That is When I Started to feel that My Arm and Face were Burning Hot.
I had No Time To Think About Being Hurt...I Found A New Position to Hide,
I Had Found A Spot Where I Could See Through the Woods...To a Hill On the Other Side.
I Knew What I was Looking For...I had Seen it Once Before,
If My Faith and Luck Hold Out...I Think I can Even the Score.
Still Pinned Down by Heavy Machine Gun Fire,
I'll get My Head Shot Off...Should I Raise it Higher.
Yet I Promise You...In This Wet and Stinking Mire,
That One of their Mortar Crews Are About to Retire.
My Gunstock Hurts...As I Put it Back Up Into My Cheek,
Of the Thousands of Times I've Done This...I Never felt so Weak.
With Knowledge...Plus Patience...And an Experienced Eye,
I Search Through the Distant Woods...and Onto the Hill that Lies Nearby.
And on that Hill...At A Distance of over 700 Yards Away,
I Spot One of their Mortar Crews...That is Helping to Ruin Our Day.
I Check the Wind Around...There Seems to be a Strong Breeze,
I Set My Windage...According to the Sway of the Branches on the Trees.
I Double Check My Range...And Further Adjust My Sight,
It's Time For One More From Their Side...To say "Good Night".
Another Round Squeezed Off...One More Gets Shot Backwards Flying,
That Means That From This Point On...We Won't Be the Only Ones Dying.
I Load the Next Round Real Quick...And With Even More Determination,
'Cause I Have A New Fix...And Now It Is On the Mortar Loader's Location.
I Pull the Slack out of My Trigger...And Set My Crosshairs Right on His Chest,
I Then Lightly Feather the Trigger...And Then Do What I Do Best.
With 3 Down And Many More to Go...I Scout the Field for Another Target with All My Skill,
That's When I Hear My Lt.'s Voice Through My Radio Say: "Set Coordinates for that Hill".
He Said, "Our Point Sniper found their Mortar Firing Position... And Not a Moment too Soon,"
"I'm Calling In an Air Strike On that Position...And Blast Those Poor Little Devils to the Moon."
Then He Cried Out Loud Across Our Frequency Band: "Get Ready To Cover Your _ss!"
"Some Flyboys are Coming In Low and Fast...To Burn Down that Hill...Down Below the Grass."
"So...Dig In A Little Deeper Boys...Get Down In the Dirt...As Deep As You Can,"
"The Air Strike Team is Under Orders to Blow that Hilltop...Right Out of this Land!"
Two Minutes later...Came the Loud Shriek of Jet Engines from Way Up High,
As F4 Phantoms Streaked High Above Us...And Then They Flew Right On By.
There was No Sound for A Slight Second...Then Orange Flames Shot Across the Sky,
Beyond a Doubt...The Table had Turned...It Was Now The Enemies Turn To Die.
When the Noise from the Explosion Lifted...and the Smoke...and Dirt Finally Cleared,
I Pulled My Rifle Back-up...Checked through My Scope...As Across the Valley I Peered.
My Squad to the Rear Opened Up On that Hill with a Machine Gun Blast,
Just To Make Sure We Had Finished Them Down to their Last.
As I Scanned Around towards the End of the Battlefield,
I Knew that Anyone that was "There"... had been Killed.
Nothing was Moving Anywhere...And What was Once a Green Hillside...was Now Black,
I Radio'd Back After I Completed My Scan..."Command: There's No One Left That Can Attack!"
"Stand By On Point, Feather Duster...Prepare for a Chopper Evac in Five," Came A Reply,
I Started to Crawl Back to Where My Buddie's Body Lay...Thinking About Him...I Began to Cry.
When You Go Out to Do A Mission...You Never Think About Which One of You Will Die,
I Will Never Forget The Last Look of His Face...No Matter How Many Times...I Try.
We Never Leave One Behind...Especially Goes For My Friend...Though I'm Weak,
Before Dragging Him to the LZ...I Re-Checked through My Scope...For One More Peek.
Spotted One Lone Enemy...Far Away From the Carnage...Who was Trying to Get Away,
A Great Shot At Over 1000 Yards...But Not Done For The Record Books That Day,
"There Will Be One Less To Come Back to Kill Us!" I Looked Down to My Friend to Say.
Something Inside Me Snapped...This Last Enemy Standing...Was Now Going to Pay!
That One was Wobbling Way Too Much,
Made My Shot Require a Special Touch.
Then...With Maximum Range Sighted In...I Targeted that One With a Grin,
Put Him in My Sights and Fired...And Said, "That One's For You, My Friend!"
His Head Split Just Like A Melon With An Axe,
After Seeing This...I Began to Finally Relax.
I had Survived Yet...Another Mission for Another Day,
And Unlike My Good Friend...I was Ok...Which is Sad to Say.
As I Dragged My Friend Towards the Clearing...I Found,
For Some Reason...I Couldn't Cover a Whole Lot of Ground.
I Looked Down at My Boots Caked With Mud...
And Saw One Foot which was Oozing Out...Lots of Blood.
That was When...I Started to feel very Weak,
All the Sudden...Making it to the Choppers...was looking Bleak.
My Head Grew Faint...and Then I Fell,
In the Last of My Consciousness...I gave Out a Yell.
I Awoke to the Noise Of a Spinning Helicopter Blade,
At that Point I Finally Realized...that for now...I had it Made.
At an Altitude of 2,500 feet above Ground Level...Up in the Air,
A Medic was Looking Down at Me...Cleaning the Side of My Face with Great Care.
The One Guy who was Sitting Near My Side,
He Turned his Face away from Mine...to Hide.
So I asked the Medic If there was Something Wrong that I Should Know,
That's When the Medic Cleaning My Face...Held his Head Down Low.
He Looked into my Face with Horror...Even He...Couldn't Fake it,
That's When I Panicked for the First Time...And said "Am I Going to Make It !"
He Said, "I Don't Know How to Tell You This...So I Won't Even Hint...
I'm Looking at You Right Now...And We Don't Know Where 1/2 Your Face Went !
You See It was a Miracle...That You Could Shoot at All the Way You Look...
I Bet It was Mighty Painful to Put That Scope Up to Your Cheek...Don't Know What that Took !
We Found Your Rifle...and Your Scope had a Chunk of Your Flesh Stuck to It...
It was Hard and Dry...and Covered with Mud...Over Every Bit."
So That is My Story...For Me...That was the End of My War,
Once They Sewed My Face Back Together...I Could'nt Aim My Rifle Through A Scope...Any More.
This is How it goes in Combat and in War...All the Time...
One Moment...You're in the Thick of Things...And The Next...You're Back Home...Away From The Frontline.
In that Battle Out There...Some Lost their Lives, Arms, and Legs...Me...I Lost A Good Friend...and 1/2 My Face,
To this Day...I Can't Tell You Where It Happened...Just ...In Some Valley...In Some Place.
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