Cycle of Life
by Walt Towers
We traveled in by chopper, M-16’s across our knees,
checking weapons one last time, as we flew above the trees.
The Huey’s rotor cut the air, with it’s distinctive thumping sound,
inside we sat, six weary grunts, just staring at the ground.
Lost in thought we didn’t speak, just listened to the blade,
what we stared at we didn’t see, where we were began to fade.
Two nights before we were in town, in search of beer and fun,
we hit the bars and drank too much, they said we were “numbah wun.”
We embraced the lure of those perfumed bars, just wanting to escape,
knowing all too soon the scents would change, as would the landscape.
The Huey neared the LZ, with our feet resting on the skid,
shortly we’d be on the ground, hoping our arrival was well hid.
We knew our roles, we’d been rehearsed, we were ready to perform,
we’d go in search of Charlie, moving through the eye of the storm.
Three days in it all turned bad, we hit a hornet’s nest,
the NVA had found our team, putting our skills to the test.
We called for help and ran like hell, to reach our pick up zone,
we got support the choppers came, the thought, to get us home.
At last we were extracted, the slick climbed through the sky,
and as the ground beneath us fell away, we gave a collective sigh.
Fortune blessed us, we beat the odds, returning in one piece,
but we couldn’t help but wonder, if the odds would now increase.
The cycle of life continued, our fears echoed day by day,
and day by day we faced those fears, keeping them at bay.
Those days are gone, but in our minds the questions still remain,
should we have been there? should men have died? was everything in vain?
A bitter thought I won’t accept, that my brothers died for naught,
it leaves a sour taste in my mouth, with dreams that are horror fraught.
There has to be a reason, something all can understand,
why we bravely sacrificed it all, in that strange and distant land.
There has to be a reason why those young men lost their lives,
cheated out of growing old, raising families, having wives.
I only hope the time will come, when the foolishness will cease,
and instead of politicians sending men to war, we’ll at last have peace.