Gary Jacobson

Gary Jacobson: Full Circle
(l-r) Carl Schmechpeper, Charles Powell, Lt Dexter Judd, Castulo Camarillo, Fred Schaaf, Gary Jacobson


There in the twilight dim
I saw them…
Snyder, Schmeckpeper, Camarillo, Powell, Schaaff, Judd,
Old war eagles I’d shared a foxhole with in time’s absurd
These old warriors grim of countenance
Troopers from history’s shadowed moments godless
Had together faced the specter of death with single purpose
With lingering fear of death’s enfolding night anomalous.

I see them through tear-streaked eyes of joyous elation
My Brothers-in-arms, the cream of the crop of our generation
Embracing them, the best and finest men in American creation.
Men who fought the good fight with steely nerve
Who simply stepped forward when called to serve
Foregoing fanfare or accolade, from youth’s carefree grace
To tough out horrible war in that bloodstained place.
These courageous men know well the words, bravery, honor, duty
For every day they lived them, in Herculean dignity.

These old soldiers now come full circle
Since that incursion on youthful innocence by war’s debacle
Since fighting with good chance of dying for our rich uncle
Battling through vicious times with warrior brawn and muscle
Princes torn from the flower of youth’s essence
Painfully dealing with vile war’s arrogance
Who rode the cusp of hatred on demon beasts of steel egregious
Now escaped from long ago violence held in war’s iron grasp tedious.

It’s a miracle! We have come full circle!
Now these smiling olden warriors ingenuous
Comrades still held in the wake of cruel war, bore gentleness
Old troopers calmly beaming with smiling warmth of reuniting
Peaceful moments shining in their eyes from reunion’s healing.
Our duty now but to share with the world what we’ve learned
Times when the school of war our very future turned
Tell this generation of the fruits of war which in our heart once burned.

Oh yes, we have come full circle
Back-to-back yet again in life’s great cycle
Torn once from the naïveté of youth, become war-hardened men
Men who still remember too well where they’ve been
What they’ve done with gung-ho hate to quell the wily foe
Walking the rim twixt life and death klick-by-klick did go
Sweat coursing down faces in dirty rivulets
Dodging snipers, booby traps, agent orange, napalm, wicked bullets.

We old soldiers had come full circle
Our welcome-home rendezvous so surreal, yet so natural
Mid troubled minds, peace had came to stay
So right ~ traumatic stresses of forty years melting away…
Giving remembrance always with honored reverence,
To those who in times sparked with war’s ambivalence
Gave their all in honored devotion of sacrifice
Men who for the country loved more than life… gave that life.

We old soldiers had come full circle
Galled fears and guilt still clinging to souls like a barnacle
Still riding those horses of steel every morning…
We laughed and talked into wee hours of a new morning
Once again finding in each other’s closeness a healing
Tears dismissing, laughter prevailing
Our old infantry hearts filling
Shucking clinging demon’s from cruel war in our souls biding.

For we old troopers had come full circle
No more to hide in closeted cubicle
For we stand proud in the light of a new day risen
Having slipped the bonds of war’s dark prison
Torn off the cocoon a weary war veils
Ripped from foggy old battlefields this welcome home yields
Unshackled joy from erstwhile bloody war’s strife
Rejoicing in celebration our present life.

Old soldiers had come full circle
From that time we reaped the whirlwind and torment’s cycle.
I saw the healing with my eyes.
I felt the healing in old soldier’s heartened reprise
Still fresh from times-that-try-men’s-soul
Touched by camaraderie of warrior-brothers that console
Forged once never to be broken… fire-wrought bond
Gaining a measure of peace, as on a golden pond.

Gary Jacobson: Full Circle
Front: Carl Schmeckpeper, Fred Schaaff
Back: Dale Snyder, Gary Jacobson, Castulo Camarillo, Lt. Dexter Judd