IF it were not for Vietnam
My life might mean so much more
IF I had not seen the sights I saw
Nor been a Corpsman in Our Corps

IF I had not stared death in the eye
And watched as death stared back
IF so many of my buddies had not died
Maybe my life would still be on track

But most days My Life feels worthless
And I think that I know why
For I believe in Nam with my buddies
Is where I should have died

IF I had died there in Nam
Then I would not be here
My Life would have ended long ago
No Confusion, No Remorse, No fear

And although my body survived the war
There is a part of me still there
Now I merely “Go through the Motions”
Doing my best to TRY to care

I have stood firmly in the Past and watched
As the Present came and went
The Future has unfolded
But my “Time Warp” has been bent

For no matter where I try to get
I end up in Yesterday
Back in a war so long ago
In a land so far away

I hear the screams
I hear the cries
I do my best
But My Buddy still dies

I am stuck in the Past
In a land void of life
There is no happiness
Only pain and strife

This is the land of gloom
Which squeezes its' grip on me
I am stuck forever in the Past
With death and misery

I hear the echoes of the many lies
That my Country falsely told
“Go serve and fight in Vietnam
Stop Communism before it takes hold”

IF I had not believed every word
IF I had only questioned what was said
IF I had realized then what I realized now
Maybe “My Soul” would not seem dead

I trusted My Country
I did not want to let her down
So I served and did the best I could
But it was My Country who let me down

Written by PFC Loyde P. “Snake” Arender, USMC on July 01, 2000, this poem “IF” was co-written, inspired by and is dedicated to one of the best friends a Marine can have “My Corpsman” HM2 R. Keith “Rocky” Miller who “patched me up” on 3 of the 5 times that I was WIA in Vietnam while serving with Kilo Company 3rd Battalion 26th Marines in 1969.
Semper Fidelis
Loyde P. “Snake” Arender
©July 1, 2000

Page created: Monday, 03 July 2000

~ Music ~
Born To Lose

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