I Was in Nam

I was in Nam.

America! You shipped me to Nam
Right after I finished boot camp
You ordered me to say bye
To the girl I really liked.

Telling her the hardest goodbye
While she’s due at any time
Going to Nam will wreck our lives
How am I gonna survive?

Don’t you see me on my knees?
How much more can I plead?
”I’ll go after seeing my baby.”
“Sorry son, Uncle Sam won’t be pleased.”

America! You rushed me out of West Point
To make my sweaty bunk bed
Ready for a green cadet
The boot camp he’d never forget.

You gave me a hasty toast
“Be proud and be brave!”
Lieutenant, the platoon’s on their way
Thank you, Sir. I can hardly wait.

Lieutenant, I don’t see no VC,
Only farmers… one, two, maybe three
Keep watching! Tell me when you see
I can’t wait to kill those f***in’ Charlies.

War is the most dreadful word
Where humanity and evil can mask its face
Humane today but tomorrow could be savage
My Lai massacre had shown such a face.

Search and Destroy missions were to smoke out Charlies
While B-52 bombing campaign sought to break Hanoi’s knees
But Ho Chi Minh’s Trails had kept Charlies alive
To make Khe Sanh Hill… the bloodiest fight.

Whenever Walter Cronkite appeared on TV
America seemed to freeze, hoping no casualty
Dear God, please protect our family
On our knees, we pray to thee.

America! I know you did not expect me
To come back in one piece
Like tens of thousands of body bags
Coming home in coffins with draping flags.

But for the grace of God
I made it home on two feet
Though my world of America
Was shattered to pieces.

My girlfriend had a new man
And my son didn’t want to speak
So, did the whole nation
Shun me… for what I did?

People took to the streets
Only to call us names
I was saddened and could not tell them
That I too was in Nam.

Only my parents said
“Welcome home son!
America needs the time
To heal while they try.”

Welcome home soldier! At ease…

Jim Huynh

“It is our duty to remember”