(Who, we were told had died, when in fact they lied)

He'd been my friend for so damned long -
We'd chased the women and sung the song -
Together we'd knocked on Charlie's doors -
We'd made ladies cry and charmed the whores -
In the States we'd hunted and rode on bikes -
We had the same loves and same dislikes -
Seems to me he'd always be here -
That man of action who knew no fear -
We treated the wounded and got the orphan fed -
Then eased through the night and made men dead -
He was invincible, over six foot four -
At play or work he was no bore -
The other day the old "Drop" came -
My life will never be the same -
They listed his medals, his kids and wife -
The places he'd been in his Army life -
It didn't talk about Charlie or shooting in the night -
Didn't mention Hay Street or that bar room fight -
It was all nice and so refined -
He'd never eaten snake, he'd only dined -
They didn't talk about mud, blood and beer -
Only about the medals and the family dear -
So last night Bob Taylor and I got drunk -
We talked about the field and how he stunk -
How he'd walked on a dead Viet Cong's chest -
Just to prove he'd been killed by the best -
How he hated the Red and loved the Asian child -
About the night in Saigon when we went wild -
We laughed about him and the Fayetteville jail -
How a mission or friend he'd never fail -
What they wrote in the "Drop" wasn't wrong -
They just sang it with a gentle song -
But I had to do what he'd do for me -
I got drunk as a monkey and peed on a tree -
I made ladies cry and charmed a whore -
Here we ain't allowed to knock on doors -
But on the river bank at the highest tide -
I launched a bullet to the other side -
Now I probably didn't hit no Lao Red -
I just did it 'cause my friend was dead -
Now we hadn't seen him in a long, long while -
But I have to say we sent him out in style -

Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Smith, Major, USA, Retired

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