On April 8th 1971,
we landed in Vietnam!
A Base called Cam Ranh Bay,
the sun was really hot that day!
Mortars falling all around,
Sarge yelling: “Hit the ground”!
never before so afraid in my life,
the beginning of a year of strife!
I was assigned to the 11th Cav,
the best Unit the Army had!
Next 2 days was orientation,
Only qualming our fearing sensations!
3 days later I was in Cu Chi,
Hell of an Easter it would be!
We were loaded on Choppers to the Bush,
on arrival off we were pushed!
So hot without cover for your head,
our brains would fry and we’d be dead!
Mosquitoes as big as Dragon Flies,
another way that we could die!
Tanker stew for supper that night,
for desert we had a Firefight!
By morning the fighting did subside,
surprisingly nobody died!
Ambush Patrol the next night,
this time we started the Firefight!
Body count of 11 enemy dead,
the ground was painted red!
Spent 5 more days in the field,
and made it without being killed!
Back to the Rear for a few days,
again to the Field I was on my way!
I’ll never in my life forget my first kill,
the thought alone made me ill!
I still have many nightmares of that man,
I relive that moment time after time again!
I’ll never forget the Nam’s mud,
stunk just like rotten blood!
It rained so much for days at a time,
made it worse to be on the front line!
I lost many friends over that 1 year,
and lived through horrifying fear!
But when it came time to rotate home,
when I arrived I felt so alone!
My own people shunned away from me,
as if I had some sort of disease!
No Hero’s welcome did we receive,
for the enemy they bereaved!
They spat on us and called us names,
for murder of children we were blamed!
These 40 years after the war,
I still experience it’s Horror!
I sleep very little at night,
mostly staying awake until Daylight!
I startle easily from the sounds around,
sometimes still I’ll hit the ground!
I find myself conversing with friends dead,
thinking somethings wrong with my head!
My body no longer in good shape,
sometimes wishing my life God to take!
But I’d go back to war today,
and die for the USA!
Sgt Duke Sherman
Black Horse Soldier