Dear...Sully,
 
Thank you for your gracious compliments concerning my poem, "It Don't  Mean  Nothin'"  [http://pzzzz.tripod.com/nuthin.html.]

 

I would consider it an honor to have you publish this poem on your website...for indeed,  my greatest motivating desire is to get the message out about things that happened in that war that most Americans have not the foggiest idea of.  My writing is cathartic to me, bringing up memories of a place that was the birthplace of my manhood, twisting and turning my ideals in ways that have sadly stayed with me forever...demons I can more easily deal with when they are out in the open.  Vietnam is the root of many unanswered questions that still tug at me today, coinciding with current events that will not let past horrors die.
 

...I would request you present the poem in its entirety, unedited, with appropriate credit and copyright information...and appreciate your offer to refer readers to my web site.

  Let me introduce myself: My name is Gary Jacobson.  I served with B Co 2nd/7th 1st Air Cavalry '66 - '67, as a combat infantryman, we called ourselves "Grunts," operating out of LZ Betty near beautiful downtown Phan Thiet, Vietnam.  Mine was the same unit as depicted in the movie, "We Were Soldiers," only one year later...and of George Armstrong Custer, earlier still.   Vietnam changed us all indelibly and forever. I'm now on 100% disability rating with an extra hole in my head, covered by a 3X4 inch plate, shrapnel the size of a quarter imbedded three inches into my brain...this all compliments of a trip wire booby trap that triggered a grenade, that in turn detonated an artillery round...and in the process completely ruined my whole day.
 
   A Vietnamese legend says, "'All poets are full of silver threads that rise inside them as the moon grows large.'  So, when I write, it is because these silver threads are words, that are poking at me, and I must let them out."  ...Gary Jacobson
 
Thus I have a site on the web called "Vietnam Picture Tour."  I invite you to peruse my walk in "the park" grunts called Vietnam, with the 1st Air Cavalry on combat patrol.  Experience chilling reality to leave the sweet and sour taste of "the Nam" pungent on your tongue, the smell of "the Nam" acrid in your nostrils, and textures of "the Nam" imbedded in you as though you walked beside me in combat.  http://PZZZZ.tripod.com/namtour.html
 
My Poignant poems index, each with more combat action Pictures,
http://pzzzz.tripod.com/nampoemsNpix.html

  My online novel, "A Walk in the Park, One Soldier's Vietnam,"  pulls no punches, a true story that lets you know up front and personal what it would be like to sit beside me in a foxhole, with men only a few feet away preoccupied and dedicated to your dying...
http://pzzzz.tripod.com/Nam.html
 
Also...Many think I am too serious, but actually my site, "Realm of Poetry" predates my Vietnam writings.  It deals with poems from the heart of love and romance, spirituality and meditation, an Angel's Message, Golden Oldies,  comedy, Quests of the regal knight Richard Lionheart to the crusades and seeking the Holy Grail, dueling dragons, frolicking fairies...tributes to my dear mother, including a treatise on that profane Alzheimer's disease which took her sweet life...and also links to my site when I rode that foul and bestial ogre called war...

http://dreamerzz.tripod.com/SiteMap.html 

I write because this current generation is of prime concern to me, with its apathy and fears of terrorism and hatreds and intolerance's.  Yet how are they to know of life unless we who have walked the valley of the shadow of war tell them of a history that too often repeats itself?   I have had many teachers write to tell me that their students, "Just don't know!" about Vietnam.  The history I try to depict among the horrors of war, is the need for peace,
and brotherly love shared among all the peoples of the world.    I am not a pacifist, for I fought and almost died for my country, but I do believe strongly in the brotherhood of man, abolishing all hatred and war. I believe in peace, though there are men who would not let you have it, hating you just because you are...like the 9/11 terrorists, who showed hatreds and
intolerance that mere words cannot alleviate.   I believe there are madmen in this world who good men must step to the fore to stop, routing them out by whatever means it takes...force if necessary.

"Learn what the warriors learned, for indeed, it is warriors who have first hand seen the evil and devastation of hatred, who first hand know the values of peace, love, compassion and harmony among men."        ...Gary Jacobson


My goal in writing and pictures is not only for remembrance, but to educate people who have not the foggiest idea of the realities of war on "boys next door," sent duty-bound by their friends and neighbors, told that God truly guides our leaders every decision...a myth too many were duped by.  I wish to convey feelings we young men were faced with, the death and destruction, filled with immense horrors that became too commonplace. This trauma affected vets not only physically, but mentally and morally in ways that literally turned our value systems topsy turvy.  War was an all-consuming experience that ingrained itself permanently into the lives of those who served, and still infests the minds and actions of a generation of soldiers even today, 30+ years after the fact.  I wish stories of what happened there in Vietnam to never die.

 
   Actually, when I was wounded it was front page news in the major papers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where I was born and bred.  For in Vietnam I had penned 55 articles for "The Oklahoma City Times," as a combat infantryman/part time correspondent.  Many times I wrote articles from the field on cardboard C-rations boxes, or whatever scrap of paper I could find.
    I was on the staff of of my college daily newspaper in Provo, Utah (BYU's Daily Universe) when I was drafted...and after I returned from "the Nam," I became the Associate Sports Editor, graduating from college in journalism. But, like so many others, Nam succinctly ended my dreams and plans, changing the direction of my life indelibly and forever.  Nam
embedded my soul with a new set of senses to still haunt me...forever!

  I feel our story is of extreme importance for the welfare of our country, for as you are well aware, only by learning of history can we hope to prevent it from recurring time and time again.  All the people of the world continually need to understand how important an event war is.  War will always be a determining factor of not only who we are, but will determine
our very futures, as well as generations surrounding us.  War dictates the futures of wives and children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends...as each soldier's circle of influence is irreparably damaged.   I sincerely hope we will not doom our children to fight senseless battles as did we, shackling them to similar fates suffered by their fathers in the latest in a series of "war-to-end-all-wars!"  If we do not learn the history of war and its terrible implications, learning there is no glory in war...only death, destruction of values and misery, then we are doomed to repeat it!  And the next war will inexorably come!  Sometimes there are madmen in this world, war a necessary evil that good men must stand to fight...sometimes not...sometimes there's Vietnam! My fervent wish is that we will come to understand the horrors of war, that we can work for peace evermore, making war-no-more!

  I enjoy telling of the time I worked for my rich Uncle in his southeast Asian tropical garden paradise, tilling the fields white and all ready to harvest...  The rich uncle is of course my Uncle Sam, and  I was a combat infantryman/part time poet and photographer!  The stories of Nam documented on my site are more than just my experiences.  I pay tribute in pictures throughout pages of poetry to brave men of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles, the Americal Division, the Marines, men of the 9th Infantry Mekong Delta Riverine, 25th inf. Div. Wolfhounds, my own First Air Cavalry Division...and others.  I'm always looking for more stories of my brothers of the Nam to tell...and looking for pictures that help tell that story.  If you have either, I would truly appreciate it if you would share them with me.

Though my head wound was rather severe, of the four hospital neurological
wards I was in for 14 months, of all the head injury patients no matter how
small a wound, I, from my perspective, and for some reason unknown to me, retained
more of myself from before the wound than any of them. If Nam was hell, then
my time in the hospital was truly Hell's Hell.  But it did teach me
compassion.

  It's like the parable, "I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man
who had no feet."  During that time in the hospital I couldn't begin to feel
sorry for myself, because I couldn't look around me without seeing scores of
young boys with tarnished futures, so very much worse off than I.  I was one
of the lucky ones...I would recover.  There were so many around me who "had
no feet, and worse, no minds."  These were the fruits of war!

  I saw some real horrors there...both in my neurological ward and next door
in the burn ward. I saw big, strapping, good looking men...relegated for the
rest of their lives to slobbering in a wheel chair with vacant, mindless
expressions.  I saw families tend to their sons strapped to beds, residing in
endless comas...for the rest of their lives never to awaken.  I saw men who
literally looked like creatures from the black lagoon...all flesh charred
permanently like a bubbling black ash, no ears, no nose, no hair, no
features...no face, only a hole for a mouth...thanks to the chemical miracle
napalm!  I empathize with some who feel the ones who died were the lucky
ones.

My poetry is of my memories of that time when,
 "I FELT I'D DIED," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/died.html

   "A Combat Soldier's Prayer," http://PZZZZ.tripod.com/prayer.html

A special poem, a prayer, for those now in harm's way in Iraq:
 "Prayer for the Warriors," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/theprayer.html
 
"My Thousand Yard Stare," http://PZZZZ.tripod.com/stare.html
"PTSD," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/ptsd.html

  "Soldiers Of The Wall," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/wall.html

  "Feel their spirits lingering in the wind," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/spirits.html

"Agent orange," and "Feral Stalking Night,"
http://pzzzz.tripod.com/AgentOrange.html

"Song Of Napalm," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/napalm.html

"Just Marchiní Through The Nam," http://PZZZZ.tripod.com/march.html

"Terrorism," and "A New Awareness," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/terrorism.html

"We The People," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/wethepeople.html

"Roll Up Your Sleeves," http://pzzzz.tripod.com/rollupyoursleeves.html

  And about a hundred more on my website.  It's so hard to pick, for my poems are my children you know...so please treat them kindly.

  Gary Jacobson

 

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