Gary Jacobson

MEKONG DELTA RIVERINE

Gary Jacobson: Mekong Delta RiverineWay down on the Mekong Delta Riverine
Patrol some of the toughest grunts
The Nam’s ever seen
Half man
Half alligator
Chew Vietcong up and spit’m out later

Doing the war’s blazing bullet sashay
I can’t help but wonder…
Is this judgment day?
Thrust into the Delta, a dominant,
Malevolent,
VC haven,
Providing sanctuary for the cowardly craven,
To mount guerrilla attacks on Saigon,
From safe refuge in the muddy Mekong.

Riverine infantrymen slog
Thru the relentless bog
Plowing thru eight foot elephant grass,
Quite a gas.

Treading in the waist deep swamp,
Even Riverine men waist deep in mud
Lose a lot of stateside pomp.
Clinging leeches
On foolish infantrymen feeds,
In rotting vegetation on The Plain Of Reeds:
Humping through the muddy slime,
Trampling where angels fear to tread most of the time.

Trooping thru waist deep mud, like a sponge,
Sucking,
Clamping,
Adhering,
To infantrymen that thru the mire lunge
Where everything smells rancid like grunge.

In the Delta lies the imposing Rung Sat,
The “Everglades of Vietnam,”
Where Riverine men do combat.
In a place so unfriendly with a smell all its own,
An impenetrable Mangrove swamp overgrown.
Rung Sat farmers live on mounds piled high,
VC live in plank houses in trees high and dry.
No dry land in the Rung Sat exists
In the foul perfumed mists.

Every step taken is a battle with elements.
For Riverine grunts
The only dry ground runs beside rice paddy dikes,
But discourteous VC
Malevolent to the core
Booby trap the rice paddy dikes,
Completely discouraging movement
On high ground
So Riverine troops must
In sticky mud pound.

Armored troop carriers and helicopters
Funnel infantrymen into boggy Delta barriers
To attack VC strongholds along tree lined rivers.
Choppers, hovering over the spongy earth bestow
Troops leaping into mucky mire below.

Way down on the Mekong Delta Riverine
Patrol some of the toughest grunts
The Nam’s ever seen
Half man
Half alligator
Chew Vietcong up and spit’m out later

The Riverine built a base camp
On VC infested Delta bog damp
From the Mekong the soldiers dredged
Two million cubic feet of fill pumped
To raise the camp high onto a bar of sand
Ten feet by 600 acres on dry land.

So don’t matter where the Vietcong hide,
Riverine men will find them
Give them an M-16 ride,
Send them hot-footing back up north,
Back where they belong to Hanoi
For all their miserable hides are worth.

Way down on the Mekong Delta Riverine
Patrol some of the toughest grunts
The Nam’s ever seen
Half man
Half alligator
Chew Vietcong up and spit’m out later

Humpin’ through swamp water
Eating stinking delta mud all day
The Delta’s not exactly a nice place to play
Just hurry up and wait
For the Hueys to take us to the war
Gonna bag some Charlies to even the score
And the beat goes on
And on and on and on…