Just A Little Walk In The Woods

with the Delta Raiders

Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)


"The Same Star"

You see a single star,
twinkling in a darkened sky,
gazing...remembering...hoping,
holding back the fear,
alone with your rifle, silence...
broken only by sporadic gunfire,
off in the distance,
another life...a world away,
warmth there...love there...
sadness here...sadness you can taste,
and despair!
A star shines there and here,
there, it's lovers talking softly,
here, it's danger from the light,
the same star...twinkling there...
dimming here...the same star,
radiating it's serene message there
and sending slivers of fear,
raining down here,
the same star...
the folly of men...the glory of war,
you close your eyes...
the star has faded,
you guard your post, you cry...
and die a little inside...

Sgt. Larry McEntee
USMC 1963-67
Member...V V A Chapter 53
  


Wisperin Bill

So yer takin' the census, eh Mister.
Lemme tell ye about my son.
He was a soldier thet fought fer the North
Until the war wuz won.

This dooryard's now his battlefield.
Lesee, he wuz nigh sixteen
When Sumpter fell and as likely a boy
As this world's ever seen
And what with the news of battles lost
And shoutin' and all the noise
Ah giss every farm in the neighborhood
Lost a part of it's crop of boys.

‘Twas harvest time when Bill left home 
Every stalk in the field of rye
Seemed to stand tip toe to see him off
And wave him a fond goodbye.
His momma used to tell him
When she knowed he wuz goin' away
That God’d surely take care of him 
If'n he didn't fergit to pray.

And on the bloodiest battlefields
When bullets whizzed through the air
And Bill wuz a-fightin' desprit
He used to whisper a prayer.
His comrads has often tol' me
That Bill never flinched a bit
When every second a gap in the ranks
Showed where a ball had hit.

Then one night when the field wuz covered
With the awful harvest of war,
They found my boy 'mongst the martyrs
Of the cause he wuz fightin' for.
His fingers wuz clutched in the dewy grass,
Oh no Sir, he wasn't dead.
He just lay there sort of helpless and crazy
With a rifle ball in his head.
And if Bill had only died that night
I'd give all I got worth givin'
'Cause ya see that bullet killed his mind
But left his body livin’.
An officer he wrote and told us
How the boy'd been hurt in a fight
But he said that the doctors reckoned
They could bring him 'round alright.
Well, we waited and watched fer a month or more.
The summer wuz almost past
When we got a letter one day that said
Bill had started fer home at last.

I'll ne'er fergit when Bill come home,
"Twas harvest time again.
The air blowing o’er the yaller fields 
Was sweet with the smell of grain.
The dooryard wuz full of neighbors
That come to share our joy
And we all set out a rousin' cheer
At the sight of that solier boy.

Then all of a sudden some-one said,
"My God, don't that boy know his mother?"
And Bill stood a-whisperin' fearful like
And starin' from one to another.
"Don't be afraid Bill." said he to himself
As he stood in his coat of blue.
"God'll take care of you, Bill
God'll take care of you."

Bill seemed to keep loadin' and firin' a gun
And actin' like a man who hears
The awful sounds of the battlefield
A-poundin' in his ears.
Ten thousand ghosts from that bloody day
Was a-marchin' through his brain
And his feet they kind of picked their way
As if they could feel the slain.

He ain’t never knowed us since that day 
Nor his sweetheart and never will.
Mother and father and sweetheart,
We all the same to Bill.
And he groans like a wounded soldier
Sometimes the whole night through
And we just smooth his head and say, "Yes Bill,
God'll take care of you."

Irving Batchelder (written in the 1860's during civil war)


TOMMY

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;    
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool -- you bet that Tommy sees !

Rudyard Kipling


THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER

When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

Rudyard Kipling


If you hold a real weapon in your hand,
you will feel its character strongly.
It begs to be used. It is fearsome.
Its only purpose is death,
and its power is not just in the material
from which it is made,
but also from the intention of its maker.

It is regrettable that weapons must be used,
but occasionally, survival demands it.
The wise go forth with weapons
only as a last resort.

They never rejoice in the skill of weapons,
nor do they glorify war. When death,
pain and destruction are visited
upon what you hold to be most sacred,
the spiritual price is devastating.
What hurts more than one's own suffering
is bearing witness to the suffering of others.

The regret of seeing
human beings at their worst
and sheer pain of not
being able to help the victims
can never be redeemed. If you go personally to war,
you cross the line yourself.
You sacrifice ideals for survival and fury of killing.

That alters you forever.
That is why no one rushes to be a soldier.
Think before you want to change so unalterably.
The stakes are not merely one's life,
but one's very own humanity.

"Thought on War"
Deng-Ming Dao, a taoist monk  several thousand years before Christ


 

quote from one of the Duke of Wellington's troops


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