FNG's, Newbies, Cherries, Call 'em whatever you like We were all in that category when we first got to Vietnam. We tried the patience of the salty grunts and we learned the hard way. We were left on the outside til we fought our way to the inside. Trial and error, but the sad truth is that error usually ended up maimed or worse...wrapped in a body bag. It paid to listen, many did not.

Dyiní Day:

Hey Sarge, Whut we fightin' for over here anyways?

"Well, Troop, we're fightin' for freedom, tryin' to stop

the spread of communism." Well, Sarge I can understand the fightin'

part, it's the freedom I aint understanding, Don't seem like nuthin's

changed a bit since I got here." I mean, I been here a few days,

jus' take a look round us, it's still a shit hole, it don't seem like

much. It aint hardly worth coming over here if ya ask me. Seems like

a waste a time". The Old Sarge looked down at his boots, his arms hung

straight down with his fists balled up. He clenched his jaw so tight

he broke a tooth. Steam was pourin out his ears as he listened to the

FNG spout off. Slowly he looked up at this cherry and stood nose to

nose with him,growled,and through gritted teeth he said...


"Troop, fighting ain't what freedoms all about

and to you this may seem a waste a time,

But I lost one to many friends to war

Freedoms got more to do with dyin'


Freedoms about sacrifice troop

sumthin' you don't know nuthin about,

Your talkin' Just like the world back home

speakin' what all the hippies spout


Trouble is they aint seen blood spilt

or seen their Brothers fall one by one

with courage and purpose set in their heart

to give whatever it takes to get freedom won


So don't sit there and say it's a shit hole son

Or that you ain't seen nuthin' changed

The lives of families and Mothers Sons

have been tragically re-arranged


Get to your feet troop!

and prepare to lock and load'

Cause your gonna have a life altering experience

somewhere down this blood stained road


If your around In a month or so troop

come look up this old Marine,

see those men layin' side by side in body bags,

That's what freedom means...


The Old Sarge slung his rifle as he glared into the eyes of ignorance.

lit a smoke...

slowly turned and walked away.

Thinking to himself,

"another greenhorn troop,

and tomorrow's another dyin' day."...


© Richard D. Preston



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