Saturday, September 24, 2011
A Boy from the Midwest
A young boy listening to stories of war
The likes of which he'd never heard before
From uncles and cousins, of raging battles
Of bullets flying, of brave men dying
This young boy, restless he grew
Wanting to grow up too fast
Wanting to try something new
Yearning to do what grown men do
He hated school, he hated the rules
He wanted to grow too fast
He wanted to pay his dues, like grown men do
He longed to experience something new
He left school, he left those rules
He packed his things, his heart did sing
His mother cried, Dad shook his hand
He went off to help protect this great land
He loved classes in the Army, he loved this school
He'd hated learning before, but now this education had new rules
He found he loved to learn
These new lessons fulfilled a need for which his heart had yearned
A boy from the Midwest
Learning, drilling, doing his best
Some lessons are in a classroom
Some lessons you learn, sometimes from doom
Some lessons were easy, some were hard
Some where you can make mistakes
Some, in battle, must be precise, for bigger stakes
Some lessons not heeded cause you strife
Some lessons not taken, cause you to forfeit your life
He found growing into a man's not always easy
Sometimes, growing pains make one queasy
But grow he did, a man he became
He fought for his country
Even though some may not know his name
(c) S. Weathers all rights reserved 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Now we wear these medals on our chest
A piece of ribbon tied to this pin
We wear them proudly on our uniforms
A Bronze Star, Purple Heart and many more
They tell the story of the things we did
The battles we fought and the wounds we got
The places we've been and the things we seen
We fought our battles with nothing to show
But these damn little medals with ribbons attached
Yet we wear them proudly for all to see
We would gladly trade these medals you see
For peace of mind and our sanity
Because the scars inside will never heal.
(c) Steve Weathers 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In the early 60's drag racing was the thing to do. Every time someone got a new car we wanted to see who had the fastest one. My first car was a 1949 plymouth that I paid $50 for just to have something to drive to school. It was a big bathtub an old family car but I still would run the shit out of it when ever I could. We used to race down the old gravel roads at 60 miles an hour in a cloud of dust. Just crazy teenagers having fun.
Living about an hour from Indianapolis,Indiana where the National Drag races were held was the place to be in the month of August. Just to sit and watch and listen to those engines rev was awesome. The fun was when you could get a pit pass and go down and get up close and personal with the cars.
The fellow beside the dragster is my older brother, I'm standing beside the 59 Chevy in the background. It was lots of fun while it lasted and two years later in 1966 in ended up joining the service going to Okinawa and then off to Vietnam for two years coming home in 1969. I turned 21 the following year so I bought my first brand new car 1 1970 Dodge Super Bee with a 440 6pack with a bright Canary Yellow paint job. it was my pride and joy when I drove it off the lot for the first time in the summer of 1970. Most of my old High School friends were either in College or working so my car was the envy of everyone. Every Friday night hanging out at the old Drive-In waiting for closing time, then everyone would head out of town to drag race on the back roads. One of my friends had bought a Plymouth Road Runner and he thought it was hot so we decided to race one night to see who could have the bragging rights. That was the night I won my first race.
Those were the fun days of my youth Hot cars,Drag Racing and Women.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Nilla Thorn landing in Saigon 1968
The USO Girls of Vietnam
They came to us to bring a smile
Always in danger as they put on there show
Those were the girls of the USO
They all chose to come here
To lift our spirits and make us smile
Each one brought there special gift
If you weren't able to see them
The Radio waves would spread the news
That the girls were here to take away your blues
If only for a little while, they would make you smile
If you were lucky enough to see the show
Two hours of happiness
Was worth two years in the Nam
They would bring a short reprieve
The sight of a beautiful girl from the USA
Raquel Welch, Connie Stevens and Suzanne Pleshette
We remembered fondly what they wore
Just to put a smile on a weary sole
With a heart of Gold and jokes galore
Theye entertained us one and all
But now those years have passed us on by
And your faces still linger on in my mind
You have left us now in Gods grace
So accept my thanks for the memories
Thanks for all the memories
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Lonely Dirt Road
On a lonely dirt road in the middle of a war
I was only 18 a mere kid new to this game
This game we call war, I hadn’t learned the score
This game adults play, using their kids as pawns from shore to shore
I transported pilots from Saigon to the ports
I got my first call in the summer of 68
I had not yet learned about war
Had not learned of this thing called hate
It was in the middle of a rice paddy
Just a young soldier and his pilot
Headed down that long dusty road
The pilot was my only load
We were ten miles out and no one around
It was a beautiful day, it was quiet, not a sound
Down by the river, so far out of town, it seemed like a short ride
Only a fool would venture out this far all alone
A bend in the road and a forest ahead, pretty trees all around
A shot rings out piercing the quiet, what a blood curdling sound
A hole in the windshield and a hole in his head
I looked the pilots way, was he dead?
Young soldier grabs his weapon as he looks all around
His heart is pounding, as he stays close to the ground
With his weapon in hand, would he be killed in this strange land?
He calls on his radio for help, he and a sniper the only ones around
Was this sniper alone, would others join him soon?
Was the sniper alone or an entire platoon?
Soldier checks his ammo, only one clip in his hand
Would help get there before he spilled his blood on the sand?
The radio crackled, help was on the way
But when faced with death, an hour becomes a day
He listened he waited, didn't dare breath
Would this enemy hunt him, or would he leave?
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the sound of a chopper
A gun ship this soldier hoped
This fear was making waiting harder to cope
From his hiding place he dared not raise his scope
The chopper got closer, he heard guns blazing
The bullets cut the trees the smoke looked like a hazing
Five men jumped from the chopper with guns
He wondered; so this is how it's all done?
The soldier felt something warm on his cheek
On his cheek there was blood, flesh cut by the glass
He had not noticed any pain
He was busy concentrating so his very life he could gain
The jeep windshield had been shattered
In the frantic hail of bullets, it had not mattered
But the pilot was dead, shot through the head
The soldier thought, it could have been me instead
Young man never had never been shot at before
This experience changed him to the core
Some experiences can change you so they say
Some experiences can change your whole DNA
Monday, September 12, 2011
A War is still a War
Whether it is to Vietnam or to the Middle East
Soldiers pack their bags to heed the call
Some will survive the tour, while some will fall
It doesn't matter where the call is from
Soldiers take heed when America says: "Come"
A war is still a war
We had a war to 'end all wars'
When will countries stop trying to even the score?
The Big One didn't do the trick to make them cease
Countries still have a problem living at peace
Whether it takes place in a jungle or a desert
A war still calls to its men in arms
Good men will show up to help keep the peace
To stand up for those who cannot protect themselves
Good men will assist those who need their help
Men are saying they don't want to come home just yet
When you feel the job's not done, it's hard for it to set
A job not done, gets inside your bones my Son
In Vietnam we knew, we went home yet there was still no calm
It plays on your mind
You feel you let down the memories of those left behind
You come home, but not alone
You bring ghosts of a war, you seen things you never seen before
That kind of thing, the sights, the smells, the people are in your core
Your civilian loved ones don't understand
Don't understand what you gave up to become a man
You gave up your youth and rose colored glasses
You gave it all up to kick some enemy asses
Loved ones will never fully get how you feel
They ask: "What's wrong, whats the deal?"
You can never fully explain
In the area of war, you're on a different plane
Some people will even peg you as insane
But you know you cannot just return to the mundane
Bless you my Comrades
What you saw, what you will always feel, they don't get;
Friday, September 9, 2011
It was December 1966 shortly after I finished basic and AIT, I was only 17 and to young to be sent to Vietnam so when I got my orders they said I was going to Okinawa. As a young boy growing up my uncle who was in Okinawa in WWII use to tell stories about this island. So the first thing that came to mind when I read my orders was that I would now get to see this place that haunted my uncle.
I left from St Louis,MO and our first stop was Hawaii, then Guam before landing in Kadina, Okinawa. Once getting settled in to my new duty station as a clerk in the Missile command center I discovered that Okinawa was a Paradise waiting to be discovered. I had it made on this island I worked from 8am till 5pm with an hour off for lunch with the weekends off so I had plenty of free time to explore this place. The Island is 60 miles long and 12 miles wide with a nice tropical breeze year round making it feel like you are in a Paradise.
My unit was stationed near the town of Naha which was a quaint little town with many shops and stores to check out. Nearly everyone here spoke English so communication was no problem. Naha was filled with strip bars , brothels and massage parlors which I did ,manage to visit a few times. Here is a picture looking downtown Naha.
On the weekends when the tide was low I loved to walk way out in the ocean just to see what I could find. I had discovered lots of treasures buried in the sand left over from a generation before during there landing on this Island. But on this particular day I found a piece of metal sticking up out of the sand so I started digging it out to my surprise what I had found was an old bomb from WWII, I got a picture of it with me and left it where it was. Here is a picture of me showing off what I had discovered.
Some of the other enjoyable things I like to do was go downtown and listen to the girls play the Oriental music. Here is a picture of the girls I took.
This next picture is of Suicide Cliff, this cliff is where hundreds of Okinawan people jumped to there deaths Rather than being captured by the Americans.
This picture is of the entrance to the Okinawan College .
This is the Pinnacle on the Island of Ie Shema just off the coast of Okinawa. This picture is what it looked like after the battle in 1945. The battle for this hill was long fought and hard with over 200 American lives lost taking this hill. The Japanese had this hill highly protected , see picture below.
Below is a picture of me standing on top of this Pinnacle with what remains of one of the gun implacements taken in 1967.
The top of the Peak
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Bad Boys of Company B
We are the heart breakers
And the beer drinkers
The trouble makers
And the life takers
We bust our ass all day
We like to fight all night
We hail from everywhere
From the east coast to the west coast
We might take a toke
But it's no joke
When the enemy is in sight, we don't hesitate
We squeeze the trigger to our delight
Tracers ripping into the night
It must be a huge fire fight
The overwhelming urge to break and run
The paralyzing instinct to freeze or hide
The flares are popping overhead
The shadows are dancing on the ground
As we ramble on down the trail
The bullets streaking through the air
In the distance sickening sounds
The deadened thump of mortar rounds
Shouts of in-coming and everyone running
Nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide
You just might live to see another day
For this time it's do or die
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I was cleaning out my big stack of CD's and I found some more pictures of my old 47. She was a beauty and fun car to drive, she would turn a lot of heads when you drove down the street. The first time we took it to the car show we came home with a trophy. She left me a lot of memories of cruising on a hot summers night. Though she didn't have a big engine it sure was fun watching the heads turn as you drove by.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
We called it our Vietnam
I called it my Vietnam
We all called it our Vietnam
We felt it was, as a war quite versed
As versed as any psalms
When we first arrived, as kids
We'd have sworn we had her in our very palms
Wasn't long until before our very eyes
This War would soon cut us down to size
Too big for our britches we were
But we never forget how to say 'sir'
We thought as young whips, we were cunning
We soon discovered Vietnam wasn't just funning
Oh yes, Boys, she meant business and knew her stuff
When asked back home 'did She win?'
We'd knock back a drink and say 'sure enough'
We felt kind of whipped
We had felt ill equipped
But back home older veterans shook their heads
"We could have attested to that fact, nough said"
Why didn't ya tell us fellas, we asked
We could say till the cows came home
But we knew our warnings don't last
One generation whipped, and ill equipped
The next generation, same thing
Each generation, having a new war song to sing
Would you have believed us then?
No, you'd have said: "Come again?"
Just as when we were young, we are different we said
We all say the same to those before us in time
We say the same thing until war makes us count our dead
(c) S. Weathers 2011