DO YOU UNDERSTAND…?
There I was in Vietnam,
This God forsaken land.
This is where time would stop
For over here there was no use for a clock.
There was only one way you lived here,
That was day to day in a lot of fear.
You could stay up for two or three days:
What else can I say.
Some of your friends went home early,
It sure was a shame for Ed and Hurley.
For we were young and had god minds,
We were fighting for this, our behinds.
All of us done our jobs,
And I think a lot of us were robbed.
Some of us were hurt and did not say,
For we seen guys that would not see another day.
You had to be smart in this land that time forgot,
For you had to be cold, mean, and have no heart.
You shot your gun and you had your fun,
And hoped you would see another sun.
Thirteen months was the time you spent,
If you were lucky and did not get spent.
It didn’t take you long to catch on,
For if you didn’t you lost your dong.
We did not fight the V.C. you see,
We fought Zappers and N.V.A.
They were good with their firecrackers at night,
But we blowed the shit out of them on sight.
So then we come home to our people to stay,
But most of us thought we were a stray.
Everybody said what we did was wrong,
But it was not us that banged the gong.
It was the President and his clan
That sent us to this dirty land.
I remember Dickey, Frank and Tom;
Two of them were killed by bombs.
But it means nothing to these people back here;
They sat in the taverns safely and drank their beer.
A lot of us were only nineteen when we returned,
And most of us did not know where to turn.
We did not understand what we had done,
For now our lives had just begun.
We watched the shit on T.V. and in the street,
For now the people we were with we had to beat.
We had fought one war and now there were two,
The American people were split in too.
You did not tell anyone you were in Vietnam,
They did not want to be around you.
A lot of us thought we were fighting
for our people and our land,
But nobody just give a damn.
So most of us just built a wall,
And we still stand proud and tall.
It’s been twenty-nine years since I was there,
But it’s still like I was there yesterday.
A guy once told me you would never forget,
For all of us being a Vietnam Vet.
They said this was not a war;
It was just a country store.
Our people called us names and gave us the bird,
And said, “We were nothing but a bunch of turds.”
A lot of us lived, but are still dying inside,
Even though we never got hurt by the shit that was flying.
Everybody I meet tells me I’m crazy,
But to me things still kind of look hazy.
Sometimes I’m here, and sometimes I’m there,
Trying to live down the things I must bare.
I know what I done, and that’s what I did,
For when I was there, I was just a kid.
But, I still love the people of this land,
Because when I came home, I was and old man.
I wake up every day and look at the sun,
And now I’m home, and this is where my life had begun.
I really do not know what to do;
I have tried so hard to see the full view.
I am going so fast, I feel like a top,
Sometimes I wish my mind would just stop.
It seems like no one wants me around in this town,
So I keep my mouth shut and don’t make a sound.
Sometimes I wish I were with the few that had fallen,
Because sometime I can here my God a call’n.
But as days go by and by,
I know I must live until I die.
For now I’m to old to change my ways,
For all I look forward to are sunny days.
For here I am still trying to adjust,
But there’s no one in this world I can trust.
For when they find out I was there,
A new battle begins and it’s not fair.
When will they understand that I am just a man,
Who loves life as it began?
I went down a road that was different for a year,
But I am no different than the people that sat home
and watched T.V. and drank their beer.
For when this battle is going to end,
My mind tells me, I know not when.
Probably never as so I’ve been told,
So I think what I’ll do is just grow old.
©Copyright 1989 by Tim White