BOYS OF WHISKEY TWO
We remember you the boys of Whiskey Two
in padi's dust and jungle rust of Phuoc Tuy's plains,
still smiling at it all in damp green halls
and soaking wet in the monsoon rains -
we remember you the boys of Whiskey Two,
bright courage and the awful strain of yesterday.
Your trenches hard and wet
with long sentry hours in jungle's sleep,
your bodies lean and tough and young
but too soon your young eyes old
in the ambush deadly bright
in hot sun day and black tree's crush.
The claymores' sheeting,
on countless tracks and ridge and field
with tracer pouring low and fast upon the wire
by bamboo burnt on Bien Hoa's rim,
and tripflare light and hot red guns
in crashing noise and mortar fire.
And in the crucible of
the lines were etched upon your face
by shell's high keen above the trees
and cordite's smell upon the wind -
but yet amongst the dust and horror's pall
still you smiled and laughed at the many faces
of untimely and bitter death.
We remember you the boys
of Whiskey Two
at the Badcoe Club for well earned rest,
still full of fun and all life's run
as drunk you staggered through the gates -
and fell and slept exhaustion's dreams
on beds so safe and soft and clean.
The sandbags full of
dropped to you on endless tracks
as for a while you dream of home
and sanity's things in failing dusk -
wanting to hold your wife and kids,
praying for hope and wanting to live.
© John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR