L.C. and L.C.2- Two Gone, Waiting for Number Three

chopper
Credit- echorecon1-5.com

L.C.

“Chicken man is down”

yelled soldier with a grin.

“Hope fucker burns in Hell

places he’s put us in.”

_________________

We had just returned

to gather more supplies.

“L.C.’s chopper is down.”

“The smoke is where it lies.”

_____________________

“Saddle up, move quickly.”

“Catch chopper number one.”

Recon, saddle two through four.”

“Get going guys, have fun.”

_______________________

Up into the midday air

four choppers quickly flew.

Twenty-five of us secured

down chopper and its crew.

_________________________

Pilot with two broken legs.

Co-pilot broken back.

Huey chopper is destroyed

and one L.C. we lack.

Hooray!

(C) John Steinmeyer


L.C.2

Another L.T. Colonel

has come to take the place

of asshole in the chopper

who landed on his face.

___________________________

But this one is so different.

He cares about his men.

He’s got his shit together.

We’re doing good again.

______________________________

Thank God there are no screw ups

like all we had before.

There is no damn distinction

being casualties of war.

________________________________

This L.C.’s a humper.

He comes out in the shit.

But thirty days of humpin’

will get our L.C. hit.

_____________________________________

This time there is sorrow.

We lost a good L.C.

Now we sit and wonder

and wait for number three.

Damn!

(c) John Steinmeyer

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. More to Come

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. This will be the first post of a collection of poems that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.


The Fish

Cpl. W.L Files of Charleston, WV, distributes his candy supply amongst these Vietnamese children who were being evacuated from their village near An Hoa on Dec. 19, 1967 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)
Credit-Replayphotos.com

The Fish

“G.I, G.I., come to me.”

“I have something to show.”

Ten dow for good Seiko watch.”

Don’t let your buddies know.”


The fish goes to his pocket

and the deal is now through.

Mount up on the deuces,

there are other things to do.


G.I. with new wristwatch

can only sit and smile

of the deal he made today

as he looks at its dial.


Shit, there’s something funny!

It’s painted on by hand.

All its jewels are missing

so he throws it in the sand.


Laughter spins upon him.

His buddies tell him so

the trick is but an old one.

And on to war we go.

(C) John Steinmeyer


More of John’s Poem from his collection titled The rain

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. More to Come

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. This will be the first post of a collection of poems that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

 


Poem- Sniffer

German Sheppard Dog
Photo Credit- 336thspk.com

Sniffer

Blood trail with it’s finger

is pointing to the west.

The ambush lasted seconds

and we came out the best.


Charlie’s out there bleeding and

we want to count his hide.

Chopper out a sniffer dog.

On blood trail he is tried.


Through the crap we follow.

But blood trail disappears.

The dog is soon exhausted.

Dog’s life the handler fears.


The L.Z is now covered

and chopper lands by smoke.

Biggest worry is the dog

and it is not a joke.


And most of stare wonder

but little do we say.

They leave us in the jungle

and take the dog away.

(C) John Steinmeyer


More of John’s Poem from his collection titled The rain

  1. Other Side
  2. The Fish
  3. More to Come

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. This will be the first post of a collection of poems that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

The Rain- Vietnam Veteran Sniper Reflects on His Experiences Through Poetry

The Rain- Vietnam Veteran Sniper Reflects on His Experiences Through Poetry
John poem book cover

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. This will be the first post of a collection of poems that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

First Poem:

Other Side

The mixed bag of newbies

now scuttle from the plane.

Welcome to the other side.

The side that is insane.

A side that tears emotion

and pulls it down the drain.

Welcome.

Welcome to the rice bowl

of pits and paddy holes.

Welcome where the numbers

are counted as the goals.

welcome where the living

are walking on their souls.

Welcome.

welcome to the Jungle

where night time brings the fear.

welcome to the rifle

and one hundred pounds of gear.

Welcome to the fighting

that now says you are here.

Welcome to the other side of the world.

(C) John Steinmeyer


More reflections from John’s collection of poems

  1. Sniffer
  2. The Fish
  3. More to Come

Back of book

Conspiracies and Patriotism

Mike Muller is on the Advisory Board for Thuy Smith International Outreach. He is a Vietnam veteran, has a Ph.D. in psychology, and has counseled veterans for many years.  He writes novels under the pen name of Michael FitzGordon.

Conspiracies and Patriotism

I have been and still am skeptical about most conspiracy theories.  It seems to me that some people want to believe that there are various conspiracies perpetrated by extremely intelligent and powerful people who are controlling and manipulating world events.  I think this is much more comforting to believe than the alternative, which is that the people running the world are not so very intelligent, that they actually have very little control, and world events are largely in uncontrolled chaos.  The world is flying on a wing and a prayer.

In 1971 in Vietnam I briefed the Secretary of the Army one on one, and then listened to him and a three-star general discuss what was going on in Vietnam.  They were both very good men.  And they both had many sources of information.  But they seemed clueless and uncertain.  This undermined any illusion that I had that someone “up there” was in charge and knew what was going on.  They sounded like two privates in the mess.  I suppose that even if they had known exactly what was going on, the President would not have allowed them to do anything about it.  No one wanted to start a larger war with China or Russia.

About ten years later at a conference I asked Walt Rostow, LBJ’s former Assistant for National Security Affairs, what plans they had for averting nuclear war.  He just shrugged and said that they were trying to hang on and hope that future generations would solve this problem.   Here again I was unable to maintain any illusion that someone knew exactly what was going on and was in control.  I was depressed for several days afterward.

I recently watched Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991), which implies that there was a conspiracy of hawks within the government who assassinated JFK because he was soft on communism and was not going to send troops to Vietnam.  I also watched the award-winning documentary, The Fog of War (2003), in which Robert MacNamara, the much reviled former Secretary of Defense, recounts at length his service in the administration before and after the assassination of JFK, as well as his work with Curtis LeMay during WWII.  It has been said that the crazy general in Dr. Strangelove (1964) was based on Curtis LeMay, or at least his ilk of hawks in the military and government.

After watching these films I am no longer so skeptical of Oliver Stone.  He may be exactly right.  People seem to forget that the American war in Vietnam was engineered by “The Greatest Generation.”  The administration and the highest echelons of the military were replete with WWII veterans.  These boys had to be extremely tricky, sneaky, and paranoid to stop Hitler and Tojo, and I’m glad they were.  But if there was a conspiracy of WWII hawks in the administration who assassinated JFK, they must have lived long enough to see what havoc, folly, and stupidity they wreaked in Vietnam.  So much for being in control.  So much for being intelligent.  But they probably went to their graves blaming doves for everything.

As far as I can tell this is still one of the best countries in the world, and has the most freedoms.  But it still leaves much to be desired.  I am patriotic about the Constitution of the United States of America, and the checks and balances to protect against oppression and corruption.  I am patriotic about the flag, and the republic for which it stands.  I am patriotic about men and women who, for the sake of the ideals of freedom, and for others, gave so much.  They gave their lives.  There is no greater love.  They gave their children.  They gave their limbs and their health.  They lived in pain from injuries and shrapnel in their bodies all the days of their lives.  They lived all the days of their lives with PTSD and horror for all the killing and destruction and cruelty they had witnessed and sometimes perpetrated.  But I am not patriotic about conspiracies, greed, stupidity, arrogance, hubris, violence as a national policy instead of a last resort, and wars based on false rationalizations.

Disclaimer: If you are needing more extensive assistance or counseling, we can supply you with a list of available agencies to assist you. No blogs are ever meant to substitute a person seeking help through professional counseling.

Mike Muller:  MACV CORDS operations advisor, Binh Chanh District, 1970.  Briefing officer for DEPCORDS Ambassador Funkhouser to CG & staff, III Corps Vietnam, 1971.  In addition to briefing the staff he briefed visiting officials such as the Secretary of the Army.  He was in Vietnam for one tour.

Michael’s Novel (For Kindle)

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