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Jumping Mustangs - Honor and Courage
Poems by H. Heater & Chapter members
Reunion 22 pictures, page 1 Reunion 22 pictures, page 2 Reunion 22 pictures, page 3 Myrtle Beach SC reunion 23 charlotte nc reunion

The year was very long ago,
1965 to be exact.
So all the men, they packed.

A new unit was being formed to fight,
11th Air Assault was it's name.
And all the men that assembled there,
Knew that this was not a game.

They arrived in 1965.
Vietnam was the place,
They flew into An Khe
And that became a home base.

By this time our name was changed.
We became the 1st of the 8th.
And the task that lay before us now,
Would forever test our Faith.

We completed all our missions.
We did our job with pride.
We did our time in Country.
Now it's time for the homeward ride.

The men that stayed behind,
Are etched upon the Wall.
The ones that made it back alive,
Are gathered in this Hall.

The name 1st of the 8th Cav,
Airmobile, Air Assault, Airborne,
Will live with us forever,
Till the last of us are gone.

(The Real Heroes of Every War)

All the wars are different,
But our job stays the same.
We patch them back together,
Taking care of all their pain.

We carry all the bandages
And needles for all the shots.
We're here for the fighting men,
They gave us the name of Doc.

We competed in all the battle,
We treat the troopers wounds.
We are the combat medics,
Working with company and platoons.

All medics have one motto,
The motto is first rate.
They learn it in Medical School,
Preserve the fighting strength.

The Jumping Mustang Tree in Arlington

Joyce Kilmer wrote a poem,
"There's Nothing Like A Tree".
He was an Army Soldier,
Just like you and me.

And he died that very day.
So let this tree be a symbol,
Of our boys who passed away.

We gathered all this dirt, from our
Homes in all the states,
To make it's roots very strong, and
Never suffer breaks.

We placed our plaque upon the ground,
For the world and all to see.
So no one will ever forget,
They gave their lives for our liberty.

1966 by Jerry Conners
D Co, Recon, 65-66

Face down crawling the pain does not
matter anymore they can not help me,
Don't try he yells to those nearby must
it end the ground is warm, the smell of
the earth, the fallen leaves in hand,
engulfed in the sounds of withering
fire, touched twice again he grimaces
and smiles through gritted teeth alone
without strength must it end, colder
now shaking unable to breathe or tear
the collar too close about his neck,
struggling frantically to hold on numb
now, through squinted eyes some
light, soaked in blood fingers slowly
grasping emptiness, swaying in the
arms of death let there me more.


God and the Soldier, we adore,
In time of danger, not before.
The danger passed and all things
God is forgotten and the Soldier

Bury Me With Soldiers...

I've played a lot of roles in life;
I've met a lot of men.
I've done some things I'd like to think
I wouldn't do again.

And though I'm young, I'm old enough
To know that someday I will die,
And think about what lies beyond,
Beside whom I would lie.

Perhaps it doesn't matter much;
Still, if I had my choice,
I'd want a grave amongst soldiers
At last death quells my voice.

I'm sick of the hypocrisy
Of lectures by the wise.
I'll take the man, with all his flaws,
Who goes, though scared, and dies.

The troops I know were commonplace:
They didn't want the war;
They fought because their fathers had
Their fathers had before.

They cursed and killed and wept God
They're easy to deride,
But bury me with men like these;
They faced the guns and died.

It's funny, when you think of it,
The way we got along.
We'd come from different worlds
To live in one where no one belongs.

I didn't even like them all;
I'm sure they'd all agree.
Yet I would give my life for them,
I hope; some did for me.

So bury me with soldiers, please,
Though much maligned they be.
Yes, bury me with soldiers, for
I miss their company.

We'll not soon see their like again;
We've had our fill of war.
But bury me with men like them
Till someone else does more.

Rev. Charles R. Fink
(Formerly Sgt in the 199th Light
Infantry Brigade, Vietnam 3/69-3/70)

foreign land,
Yet there we were, you and me,
with the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry,
1st Air Cav Troopers, the best of course,
riding a chopper instead of a horse.

Humping our rucksacks,
through the elephant grass,
combing the hills 'round Mang Yang Pass.

Proudly answering our country's call,
never dreaming there'd be a Vietnam Wall.
Steaming jungle and Punji stakes,
booby traps, leeches and bright green snakes.

Suddenly we're in the middle of hell,
with AK fire and mortar shells,
Instinctively we hit the ground,
returning Charlie's fire round for round.

Frantically answering our country's call,
supplying more names to go on the Wall.
With gunships and artillery we beat them back,
then call for resupply and MEDEVAC.

Hate and frustration puts knots in our guts,
so we pull out our Zippos and burn down the huts.
We'll make those dirty bastards pay
for what they did to us today.
Once more we have answered our country's call,
adding to the list on the Wall.

Tell your children of war's true story,
of pain and death, not fame and glory.
Tell them of scars down deep inside,
memories of our tour, and those who died.

We all pray that your daughters,  or your sons,
will never ever be the ones,
Who proudly answer their country's call,
and become another name on another wall.
(28 Jul 00).


There he goes, across the rice patty,
With red mailbag in tow.

He could have stayed in the rear,
But he wanted to go.

A small man in stature,
But a giant one in his heart.

A true warrior in battle,
Earning one purple heart.

He fought in the big one, WW II,
He fought in Korea and Vietnam too.

He walked the "rear" point,
And covered our tail.

He carried the red bag,
so that we'd get our mail.

He reminded me of a brave matador,
In his best laces.

Waving a red mailbag,
right in their faces.

Old Charlie must have thought,
Who's this little man?

Carry a red mailbag,
in his hand.

Even in war he was always happy,
My friend, a warrior, a man named "Pappy".

George M. Goswick 1999


It is the SOLDIER, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the
SOLDIER, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the
SOLDIER, not the campus organizers,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the
SOLDIER, Who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
(General Douglas McCarthur)


He went where others feared to go,
and did what others failed to do.
He cried, pained and hoped--
but most of all he lived times--
never to be forgotten.
Unknown Author

(Author unknown)

The Soldier stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass.

"Step forward you Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The Solider squared his shoulders and said
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just to steep,

And I never passed a cry for help
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
The average age of the Infantryman is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal
circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, but old enough to
die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash
his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport
activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left,
or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or jazz or swing
and 155mm Howitzers. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or
fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use
either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He
can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without
hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens
full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his
own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if
you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He
has learned to use his hands like weapons and his weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life --
or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen
more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood atop mountains of dead
bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat
and is unashamed. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our

Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200
years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for
he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

(25 Oct 2002)


I watched the flag pass by one day, It fluttered in the breeze. A young Marine saluted it, And then he stood at
ease. I looked at him in uniform so young, so tall, so proud, with hair cut square and eyes alert, He'd stand
out in any crowd. I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years. How many died on foreign
soil? How many mothers' tears? How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea? How many
foxholes were soldiers' graves? No, freedom isn't free. I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything
was still, I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill. I wondered just how many times that Taps had
meant "Amen," when a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend. I thought of all the children, of the
mothers and the wives, of fathers, sons and husbands with interrupted lives. I thought about a grave yard at
the bottom of the sea, of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn't free.

Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops
Chief Billy D. McAfee, USNR-Ret