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Battle Zone  Dat Do.


There was excitement in the market place

It was a buzzing throng

With tales of how the local lads

Had beaten back the Viet Cong


The enemy had come into town

With guns and rockets booming

But little did they realize

The hand of death was looming


The local lads suffered no loses

Although several had been wounded

But the Victor Charlie had left three behind

When the bugles had been sounded


The next day whilst on a mission

We were driving through Dat Do

When our lead track started slowing

For what reason I didn't know


But soon I saw the bodies

Lying just outside the gate

Of the local ARVN depot

They were showing the VC their fate


It was used as a reminder

That they wouldn't hesitate

To ward off any more attacks

That may be launched against their mates


The bodies stayed where they lay

Outside for at least a week

With lime sprinkled around them

And covered with a bamboo sheet


The smell of death was all around

As we drove down that dusty street

And the looks on the faces of the villages

Didn't need any words to speak


Of the fear of reprisals

From the local Viet Cong

As there were many sympathizers

Willing to pass information on


Like the names of the families

Of the soldiers of the day

Because torture and terrorization

Was the North Vietnamese way


To give no one the option

Of a democratic way of life

Because that's the way that Hanoi

Handled any trouble or strife.


Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow.


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I Don't Know.


I don't know where I'm going

But I do know where I've been

And I'll keep going back there

In order not to seen


At times I feel so all alone

It really really hurts

And that's when I travel back

To when I was driving in the dirt


Our team was made up of four

My jockey, me, my gun and my track

And because of the oneness of it all

That's probably why I go back

 

It was a time in my life

When I was completely in control

Whilst crossing paddies and rivers

Or crawling to the top a knoll


The air quite often smelt of death

A smell that still remains

And the only time the air was fresh

Was after the monsoons rain

 

I'm very messed up in the head

Like so many of us VETS are

And the only way to peace I feel

Is to have my ashes in a jar


I know its not the normal way

For a person like me to feel

But I don't know what's normal anymore

When it comes to fantasy or real

 

I guess I am a loner

Without many a friend

But I suppose I'll keep on fighting

Just to make it to the end.


Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow.


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Minh (mine) Day.


We were working in the Long Hais

In the Fire trail as a matter of fact

We had started the land clearing operation

After turning in off a track


It was to be a five-week sortie

From the beginning to the end

And little did we know

How much equipment we would bend

 

The first incident happened on Monday the 9th of March

While the Dozers were out working

On the cut not very fast

When without any warning we heard the mighty blast


The next week went by quite slowly

Amid the sounds of jumping jacks

That would jump up and explode

After being set off by the Dozer tracks


The next blast came in the morning

On the way out to the cut

It was Monday the 16th of March

And it gave an anxious feeling in the gut


Bud and Lou had worn it

Along with the rest of their team

We were heading out from the NDP

To sweat it out in the jungle steam


By now we had started burning the scrub

To help clear the ground

And the fires managed to start

Another series of exploding sounds


The third blast came on Monday the 23rd of March

When 86A and 9G were following on behind

A slowly moving Dozer

That wasn't working very fine


The Dozer was moving down a sandy patch

Followed closely by Bud and Lou

With me following behind

When suddenly it blew


We were tossed and thrown all about

As if we were rag dolls

And when the dust had settled

You could see the car had rolled


On its side it laid there

All broken, buckled and bent

It showed just how the Bad Guys

Could have their anger spent


The next came Easter Monday the 30th of March

We were cutting the last jungle pocket

When we heard the roaring blast

And moved up very slowly hoping it would be the last


We had lost another Dozer

On that fateful day

But nobody had been seriously wounded

All along the way


In all the time we were out there

We never missed a beat

Even though the enemy kept trying

By turning up the heat


To keep us from our mission

And keep the upper hand

Of clearing the Fire trail

In this their jungle land


Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow.


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My Family Thinks I'm Stupid.

 

My family thinks I'm stupid

I guess they must be right

Cause I'm always getting in trouble

No matter what time of the day or night


My family thinks I'm stupid

As stupid as can be

When ever something goes wrong

They always seem to blame me

 

My family thinks I'm stupid

But theres one thing that they can't see

They wouldn't be here at all

If it wasn't for stupid old me.


Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow.


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Survival of a Mate.


My best mate was a passenger

In a Navy Sea King chopper

When suddenly and with out control

It came a nasty cropper


Now every day he suffers the mental scars

As well as the physical ones

But he managers with difficulty

To get the necessary jobs done

 

When he's having a bad stretch

He quite often hears his family say

"We just want to have our old Dad back

Like he was in the good old days"


Its like he's standing on the outside trying to get in

And its these moments that really make him feel

Even though he knows he's welcome

It just doesn't all seem real


His family all still looks the same

As they did before the crash

But really they don't understand

What its like to be in such a smash


Even though he's done the job

Time and time again

It never really occurred to him

That this is how it could end

 

But even though he walked away

The ordeal stays in his head

And he thanks God for the miracle

That he didn't end up dead


His plan for him to continue on

Is one he is unable to explain

But the hardest thing he has left to do

Is to get back on another plane


People who haven't been there

Are unable to fathom it out

But he knows better than all of them

What nearly dying is all about.

 

Copyright 2001 Phil Kadow