David R. “Poppa” Alexander


Put the machine gun on the knoll find cover at best
Remember the VC are supposed to be coming from the northwest.
Get the claymores out and the flares on a wire
Make sure you have a field of fire.

O.K., remember we will have the element of surprise
Men just wanted you to know “I’m proud of all you guys”.
Wait quietly and don’t move around
Keep low and close to the ground.

Sarge. This seems like it would be all wrong
You’ve been here longer than me could the brass have been fooled by the Viet Cong?
I guess we’ll know soon now
Set some more guys at the rear anyhow.

The night was hot and humid and full of those pesky mosquitoes
Sarge and I have been together for three months now, our opinion always gets a veto.
I have learned to trust this old man of thirty-one years
And maybe he has learned to respect this kid of twenty, still wet behind the ears.

Here we sit just waiting for what is to come
Not a sound did we make but my legs are getting numb.
We have been here for what seems like days
But not a thing have we seen through this night fog and haze.

When we thought that nothing was about
From our rear, came gunfire and a shout.
We wheeled to face the enemy force
Many more than we thought of course.

The intelligence given was, as Sarge and I feared:
Charlie was coming from just the opposite from where we were told he would appear.
We held our own and put up a good fight
But I lost four brave brothers that night.

Now their names are on a black wall
I’m now hard pressed their names to recall.
But the faces and the things they done
Was worthy of hero’s each and everyone.

Those four were the first to take the hit
The enemy stuck hard and after 30 minutes quit.
Why did I make it home?
When so many died alone.

A question I have ask myself for many years
And the answer has evaded me with many tears.
On June 16 or there about
Four more left us in this one bout.

No one can answer the question for me it seems
But I still see their faces in my dreams.
Surely some good came of that awful war
If only at some point to make sure there are no more.