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93rd Evacuation Hospital
Ready Now

Poetry & Writings
Submitted By Our Members

by Jim Kramer

It was Tet of '69
just before dawn,
a corpsman said
"you guys are on".

It wasn't just practice
now it was real,
how would I do
how would I feel?

The first one was Thai
a small guy I thought,
he's one of Gods' sons
maybe one others forgot.

The Red Baron began
a real artist was he,
his humor was raw
but it didn't bother me.

The next thing I knew
the gas-passer said,
"forget it Jonesy
he is dead".

I was looking straight down
right into his eyes,
mine were alive
his, what a surprise!

A hand on my shoulder
as I wiped away tears,
Doc said, "the first one's
the hardest, it gets better with years".

There were many others
during those days,
some I remember
some are a haze.

Some we called "gooks"
but mostly GIs,
those I remember
were all nice guys.

Most names I don't remember
'cept for Tom 'n Combs,
I pray they are OK
'n safe in their homes.

Some faces may always
be 'round if I want,
ready too see
ready to haunt.

Today I don't dwell
on the past 'n the mess,
for I have found
peace 'n happiness.

by Jim Kramer, Dental Clinic, February, 1969 - February, 1970

by Jim Kramer

I am the guy that lived down the block
maybe you saw me while taking a walk,
I am the guy that lived 'cross the track
maybe you saw me 'n turned your back.

I am the fellow that living in your neighboring state
you saw me in an airport - waiting the wait,
I am the guy you saw on the news every night
I went to 'Nam to fight the fight.

I am the fellow so eager 'n young
doing my best at a job that needed to be done,
I am the guy who answered the call
my name is on file at "The Wall".

I am the young nurse dedicated 'n true
when you came in wounded I cared for you,
I am the young nurse who was your friend
you didn't see my tears when you life did end.

I am the doctor that treated your wound
though I had no sleep since yesterday's noon,
I am the doctor you never saw cry
I felt so helpless as I watched you die.

I am the grunt that humped the bush 'n valleys
after charlie cong to count body tallies,
I am the grunt that lived like a dog
down in the delta - a hell of a bog.

I am the guy at the fire base
that never saw their hopeful face,
I am the guy that shot the round
I hope it helped them hold their ground.

I am the young pilot of a huey or chinook
I took them in and brought them out,
I am the jet pilot they called for help
I did my best to save their scalp.

I am the sailor workin' off the coast
just doin' my job - I didn't boast,
I am the sailor on the pitching deck
risking my life to save another's neck.

For those who hear these lines of verse
please remember we went for better or worse,
we didn't run North or dodge the draft
we went to 'Nam with our "war craft".

You may know us 'n you may not
but remember we answered when it was hot,
because it was right 'n still is today
our country called 'n we stood to pay.

by Jim Kramer, Dental Clinic, February, 1969 - February, 1970
written 11-2-92

by Jim Kramer

"I thought about you on Veteran's Day
for all you went through", she paused to say,
"it wasn't so bad", I replied
it was my duty".

There are many men just like me
our country called a soldier to be,
to go to war
it was our duty.

It was scary for we knew not what
was in store - the war was hot,
but go we did
it was our duty.

Vietnam was a far off land
we just went to lend our hand,
not for glory
it was our duty.

Some ran north they just wouldn't go
to serve their country 'n face its foe,
I don't respect them
they shirked their duty.

A President pardoned those that didn't go to 'Nam
to those whose lives were on the line - what a slam,
but we don't need to be forgiven
we did our duty.

Today we are Veterans, a title earned
with healer time we have learned,
to stand tall 'n say "we're proud
we did our duty.

To all who served whose body fell
their soul called home by a final bell,
I pray you'll hear this thank you
you did your duty.

To the countless others whose life was changed
your thinking torn - your body by war was rearranged,
"thank you", from my heart
you did your duty.

by Jim Kramer, Dental Clinic, February, 1969 - February, 1970
written 11-21-92

If you have your own personal poetry or other writings you'd like published here, send them in!

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