David R. “Poppa” Alexander


Leaving the security of the bush
We must find a way out of this place
Three of us are all that is left of this latest push
Our chopper shot down and the VC giving chase.

We only hope that someone has our position
Checked the crew, and all are KIA
Surely someone can help us with our opposition
They better show up without delay.

No radio, no rations, no nothing only the ammo on us
Charlie is closing in on us and the Sergeant can’t walk
Just a cherry run to a cold LZ – enough to make a preacher cuss:
VC too close to even talk.

Finally they have moved away, now to tend to the Sergeant
A simple splint and a comforting word
Thank God he doesn’t need a full time attendant
This whole mission should have never occurred.

Sending too small of a force to a LZ that was supposed to be clear
Again the Headquarters give orders that they don’t have to live with
Coming in for a non hostile landing the chopper took a round and the pilot couldn’t steer
We hit the ground with a terrific force killing all but we LUCKY three, what a myth.

A slight rain is starting to fall and the enemy will double back
No light, no fire, no sound. What the heck are we supposed to do now?
We don’t have the ability to withstand an attack
Man we all wish we had some chow.

The Sergeant is getting worse;
shock I think but what the heck do I know?
Larry is trying to make a short trip to see if there is any activity.
Nothing left to do but stay quiet and low – now is the time for some creativity.

Larry is back and says he has seen nothing so far
Hungry, tired, hurt and without any knowledge of our own abilities
The Sergeant’s wound is beginning to bleed again and the sky doesn’t even have a star.
We sit around and lowly speak of these hostilities.

Suddenly the sky opens up and it starts to pour
Nothing to do but sit still and pray for our buddies to come
The Sarge’s pain is intense but the pain he tries to ignore.
We are now cold and wet and my feet are numb.

We are lucky enough I guess, for with the morning comes the sun
With the sun comes a beautiful day, but also may bring the VC back
We search the skies for choppers but see none
All of us know we cannot withstand an attack.

Suddenly from across the stream we can just make out the images of the Cong
We hold our breath and pray for some help so we won’t end up either POW or dead
Then from the heavens comes a sound as sweet as a song
The sound of choppers – but thin they are spread.

First a pass and then the welcome machine-gun fire
Next a direct hit on the enemy and they begin to run
What a welcome site as one of the choppers sits down in this mire
More brothers from the sky begin to fire and support us on the ground; they are having fun.

As we scramble to get on board, a glance of thanks to the gunner
He acknowledges with a smile and a “You didn’t think we would leave you, did you?”
We lift off and the fight we are leaving is a real barnburner.
Once we are back to our LZ, we try to thank these guys but it won’t do.

Over my home choppers often fly
I’m reminded of the several times if not for these brave guys I wouldn’t have made it back.
Their courage none of us can deny.
They were and are heroes to us ground-pounders. Those Guys Had Our Backs.