Larry L. Dunn


IWVPA Bronze Helmet Top Poet Award of Excellence - July 2005Along the coasts of Vietnam, down murky waterways
Once sailed a group of valiant men deserving of our praise.
All for one and one for all: dauntless sailors standing tall.
One by one they heard the call, all gave some – some gave all.

When freedom is in jeopardy, there are those who choose to fight.
To help their fellow man in the quest to make things right
As dissidents marched through our streets with placards in their hands
These dedicated sailors risked their lives in foreign lands.

Their sleek, trim crafts were common sights wherever danger lay.
With fifties spouting instant death, they rushed into harm’s way.
Their boats were fast; their will was firm, their courage ever strong.
With flawless skill and steadfast strength they faced the dreaded Cong.

From I corps to the Delta, Swifts kept the noose pulled tight.
And often Charlie hid by day and waited for the night.
But night was no protector from these sailors and their skills
And their vengeance was measured by the tally of their kills.

These brave young men pursued their foe, ignoring Charlie’s might
Strong and proud they searched him out, all itching for a fight.
With engines roaring mightily, flags waving in the air
Swifts took the war to Charlie in his hidden jungle lair.

With shrapnel flying all about as cordite filled the air,
The Swifts moved in at point blank range to answer Charlie’s dare.
Uncommon bravery was the norm; for this they were renown
When Charlie chose to stand and fight these sailors put him down.

The quest for freedom takes its toll, and many men were lost
Performing what their country asked, regardless of the cost.
Their deeds are etched in history; their names are on The Wall
To them we owe our highest praise, these heroes one and all.

Brownwater Navy: Vietnam