Ernie Smiling Hawk


Four strangers who became like brothers
Each placing his life in the hands of the others

Over the mountains and through the jungles we roamed
But always we brother’s four made it back home

Then came the mission where things didn’t go quite right
Our search for the enemy found us in a hell of a firefight

Eight VC came out of the bush on our right
Eight VC just itching for a fight

Though the battle was short, it seemed an eternity
Yet when I looked, there stood my brothers three

This here ain’t da way it’s suppose ta be
One brother remarked half jokingly

As we searched the eight bodies I heard one brother pray
Father, forgive us for the lives we took today

I called for extraction and away we did fly
A look of relief in my brother’s eyes

As the chopper thumped through the hot humid air
I offered up my own silent prayer

Father, I thank you for these men brave and true
I know our bond is a gift from you

The bonds we had formed were like none others
Because we four had become

Author’s Note: Dedicated to the memory of three men who covered my flanks and my six on more war trails than I care to remember; we became closer than brothers. Stand down now my brother’s, and rest in the honored glory you earned many years ago.