David R. “Poppa” Alexander


Steam rising from the jungle floor
Vegetation rotting as we can hardly walk anymore
Mud, bugs, snakes, and briars taking their toll
As the patrol moves along with a common goal

Rifles, ammo, packs and canteens strapped to each man
To find a safe haven to rest was the only plan
Our bodies tired and sore from days without rest
Even our hearts are heavy in our chest

No place to draw a breath as the heat saps your every muscle fiber
We have but one day to find the lost patrol everyone a fighter
Our resources are thin, as we have been out for five days
Not one complaint do you hear from the men in this steamy haze

Trudging on to an unknown rendezvous
Trying to find men that have long before paid their dues
Penned down for most of two days in a leech infested ditch was their plight
Last word was they couldn’t hold out through the night

Our brothers in need and you didn’t leave them behind
We were all ready to the task; we were all of one mind
A compass reading, a direction sought
All we had to go on was a weak radio signal from where they still fought

No panic in their voice as a call for help was made
Each man here a hero cinched up his pack and through the jungle began to wade
No time to feel neither tired nor angry because our brother’s lives were in their hands
No need to ask them if for what they fought or what they understand

Just another group of brothers in need
And this group some of which may die or at least bleed
In Vietnam was born a brotherhood
And if you weren’t there it can’t be understood

To give one’s own life for another
As no one could, except a brother
Now we are deep in the jungle and not a sound do we hear
So we are getting close and they have to be near

Wait, a moan in the distance is heard,
No more than a single word
We have found them here in this mud and mire
Dead enemy lying all around their courage one must admire

They are all accounted for their sergeant said
Some wounded but not one dead
We tend to the wounded and took a well-deserved rest
But of all my brothers, veterans are the best.