by Don Johnson
Memorial Day, 1999
The Siege began in Khe Sanh Valley
surrounded by hills filled with haze,
when the fighting and killing ceased
we had held out for 70 days.
Our darkest hours had darkened yet more
and the worst of the battle soon found us;
we dug our trenches and readied ourselves,
the huge enemy force was around us.
We didn't despair but we soon realized
we were clinging to hope by our fingers but
we knew we could count on the bombs and supplies
courtesy of our Marine Corps Wingers.
As rockets and mortars rained from above
and many fellow Grunts were dying,
fighter-bombers and choppers en masse
were already prepped and flying.
Our forces outnumbered near 4 to 1,
we struggled to keep morale high but
odds were soon evened and our butts saved
by angels who came from the sky.
Wingers were pilots and crews overhead
and ground support with duties where
they tended those birds for hours on end,
making sure they could take to the air.
Most of us survived the Siege of Khe Sanh
and, I think, looking back at it all
I'm living to tell you this tale of the Wing
and not taking a place on The Wall.
* * *
Don Johnson ("Bugle")
Echo Co./2nd Battalion
Memoir by Bugle: