J.J. McCloud


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 10, 2005
Awarded: January 10, 2005
Arc Light is on for tomorrow on the trail
Cong and NVA comin’ down the trail

Check your ruck, check your weapons
All must be tight, no sounds can we make

Daylight approaches, aircraft on tarmac
Slow whine of turbines in morning air

Grab your gear, one last check
Down to flight line and into the aircraft

Three on each side, asses on floorboards
Feet’s on skid, have to unass in a hurry no doubt

Blades start to spin, turbines loud whine
Tail up, nose down, spin in place and we go

Climbing for altitude in hot morning air
One slick and two heavies, play leap frog

Arc light has just dropped first load
Three abreast and 25,000 feet they go

Run will be about two miles, first one hits
Then all the rest, 10,000 pounds of hate

Explode ten feet above ground;
Blast will kill everything for a quarter mile around

And so it goes, one after another the fall to the ground
Ends coming up, time for out asses to hit the ground

Done playing hide and seek;
Now it’s the Cong and NVA we seek

Into the LZ, hot and sure, hover five feet above the dirt
Six troopers unass from that bird and make a run

Make a run to the trees, Aircraft increases power
and makes it good its escape, leaving silence in its place

Into the trees and spread-out in single file,
First bomb hit in about a quarter mile

Still in the trees, we can see the bombers trail
Nothing is standing for at least one mile

Bomb craters and uprooted trees, no sign of life
Each crater is inspected for signs that might have been left behind

For a quarter mile, then a half mile and finally a mile
Nothing is living; there is no sign of life in the first mile

Something is wrong, voices we here now hear
Shit, it’s the NVA and they are pissed

Looks like ants coming up from underground,
Looks like they were in bunkers underground

Call into Covey and get a FAC into place
From now on it’s going to be a footrace

We freeze in place and hope that we have
Enough dirt on our face, so that we blend in better

As we wait in the hot sun, we are planning our run
soon overhead, the sounds of more bombs

As they begin to hit, up from the ground we charge
We begin our mad run to the end of this trail

Running and fighting, keeping them at bay
LZ is ahead to we now have two dead

Two dead and one hanging on by a thread
They are right behind us as we break into the clear

We send the wounded ahead with our dead
The aircraft has arrived and dips into the grass

Door gunners, firing as our final run we make
One more down, it’s my one-one now who can’t run

I spray the trees with my last few rounds and begin to run
Towards my one-one, he falls into my arms not able to run

I re-load from his ruck and he grabs onto my neck,
Walking backwards and with him hanging onto my neck

My fire is working as is that of the aircrews
Cong and NVA is staying in the trees

Finally I make it, it feel the skids at my knees
My one-one is grabbed and heaved into the door

One last burst and I spin in place; I grab the door
And heave myself into place, ain’t leavin’ my sorry ass in this place

Aircraft powers-up and spins in place, nose down and full power
It lifts itself up into space, As we clear the trees and begin our flight home

I sit back and wonder why we do that, it doesn’t make sense
We always loose men just to count dead friggin’ trees

It won’t be long of that I have no doubt
One of these days my luck will run out

Two dead, three wounded, myself unscathed
We did better than the last team; they all died.