Harold E. Keim

Harold E. Keim: circa January 1970
Photograph circa January 1970

Harold E. Keim
Photograph: Cambodia, May 1970
Hal served on active duty with the U.S. Army for the period 1968 – 1971, including a tour of duty as a medic (MOS 91C) in Vietnam/Cambodia (‘69-‘70) mostly with 2nd Battalion (Mech. Inf.), 47 Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division. In about 1972 Hal enlisted in the Active Reserve and served 15 additional years, mostly training new medics. His final rank was SFC (E7)


I’ve fought.
I’ve killed.
I’ve done my best
But now a crimson tide ebbs from my chest
To wet the grass and stain the ground
While stinging flies swarm all around
And man-made Hell tears at the sky
Heedlessly, while I lay and die
And alone
Half a world away from home.

Oh God. The pain. The Pain! The PAIN!!
Twists my body. Sears my brain.
Gasping breath through gnashing teeth;
The hand I long to hold is out of reach.

Now the loneliness, the chaos, the pain
All begin to fade
And I find to my surprise
That I am not afraid.
Now the darkness gathers,
I can no longer see.
My God. My Country
Remem… remember…

Author’s Note: Written for SP5 Harry Suttler – KIA: September 17, 1970 near Camp Bearcat RSVN