By Ronald C. Haines
Exactly ten years ago today,
On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day,
It was on that bloody battlefield,
We found the lord our only shield.
Nobody so much as gets to choose,
Only the man above knows who we'll loose.
Through that night and all that day,
Incoming rounds were falling our way.
As I climbed upon my tank,
I wished I never had my rank.
We hit a ditch, which threw our track,
We prayed the lord to put it back.
If we had stopped right there and then,
We would have lost most all our men.
The man above must have heard our prayer,
Although he gave us quite a scare.
When we got back into our camp,
Our throats were dry, our clothes were damp.
This man's words I will try,
He said that men should never cry.
The sergeant, as he tried to speak,
Had a tear roll down his cheek.
"Men" he said, we've had a helluv a fight,
So Merry Christmas, and to all good night".
These few words were really meant,
I know ... I was that sergeant.
By the way, this was my first day in Vietnam. December 24, 1968
I wrote this poem and I know it's true, Ionly wish that I never knew . . .
Sgt. RONALD C. HAINES WAS WITH F TROOP 2/11 FROM DEC 24,1968 TO DEC 1969. HE WAS A SGT AND DRIVER OF A MORTAR TRACK. HE WROTE THIS POEM 10 YEARS AFTER HE CAME HOME AND IT WAS PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE IN NEW JERSEY.