Cu Chi
The Other Things We Carry


by: Ron Leonard
B.Co. 25th Aviation Battalion,
25th Infantry Division, Cu Chi Vietnam 1968
Webmaster 25th Aviation Battalion

© Copyright 2005

The Other Things We Carry

      It's been 35 years since a Huey's whine
      And midnight missions in the nick of time

      It's been 35 years since a claymore mine
      And ground attacks so clear in your mind.

      And only yesterday it was 1969

      We carried Ammo, and Rockets, and beer, and mail
      We carried body bags that would make you wail
      We carried friends in our arms, as we turned pale
      We carried buckets of water to wash out blood stale

      We carried medals of valor for feats unbelieved
      We carried purple hearts for wounds we received

      But most of all we carried each other

      Today we carry other things, some real, some imagined

      We carry cancer of every kind known to man
      Agent Orange poisoning,
           and Malaria,
           and Lymphoma,
           and Diabetes,
           and Hepatitis C,
           And many still have PTSD.

      We carry arms with no hands,
           and legs with no feet,
           and scars both mental and real.
      We carry crutches and walkers,
           and wheelchairs and canes,
           with honor it's no big deal.

      We carry horror stories of the Veterans Administration,
           of six months waits,
           and lack of funds,
           and shoddy care,
           of indifferent employees,
           and crummy food,
           and broken promises
           and downright lies.

      But we still carry each other

      We carry memories from the past,
           and pictures of our youth
           and through it all still have our dignity.
      For many it is all we have.

      Now and then, there are times when panic will set in and we have hideous dreams,
      And people squeal,
           they twitch and make moaning sounds,
           and cover their heads and say "Dear God",
           and hug the pillow and cringe and beg for the dreams to stop,
           and make stupid promises to themselves and God and their wives,
           hoping they will all go away,
           but they don't.

      But we still carry each other.

      We carry the weight of shattered dreams,
           and broken marriages,
           and deformed children with insidious wounds,
           and twisted faces,
           and deformed legs,
           and broken spines,
            lost for all time.

      We carry the thoughts of the future,
           of honor and duty,
           and pride,
           and tradition.

      We carry fear for our children in far off lands,
      The outcome can only be in Gods hands

      The midnight runs as the Huey whines,
      The rescue missions in the nick of time,

      The muffled blast of a claymore mine,
      And only yesterday it was 1969.

      But we still carry each other.

Ron Leonard
"Wars don't determine who wins, they only determine who is left" Logo
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