One day, out of the nowhere, my daughter asked me, "I know it was a war dad, but did you have to kill a lot of people?"  I had no answer for her that day, we never talked about Nam.  At that time I could not answer her, the memories still tear at my heart, so I wrote her this poem...


They Called...


They called me to serve and trained me to kill...
They called me to war and I went on my own free will...
They gave me a rifle along with my medics bag...
They gave me bullets and grenades to frag...
They pointed and said the enemy was out there...
They gave me a camouflage uniform to wear...
They gave me a ruck-sack to carry on my back...
They said we'll see you when you get back...

What they did not tell me was how I would feel...
While looking in to the enemies eyes only 25 yards heel to heel...
What they did not tell me was how long 2 seconds could be...
While waiting to pull the trigger, would it be me or he...

They called me home and put a medal on my chest...
They erected a wall for all that rest...
They told me my country was proud...
They never told me about the rest of the crowd...

They never told me about the nightmares that would come...
They never told me that I could never hide or run...
They never told me how long the memories would last...
But I will tell you... until I breathe my last...

They called me to serve and trained me to kill...
what more can I say... I did their will...

John C. Bumbul
Copyright © October 19, 1998






The Shallow Hole

The march is over, the day is done
Time to get some rest before the morning sun...

I lay in a shallow hole, bullets ring past my ears
I pray for morning to quickly come to end my fears...

I lay in this shallow hole, dug for my life to save
Others lay in shallow holes that soon would be their graves...

Morning has come, c-rats for breakfast, ham and eggs in a can
Medivac choppers called to pickup bodies of each boy become man...

Time to move on, destination unknown
Surrounded by men, but still alone...

The Day is long but now has come to an end
Time to lay in a shallow hole again.

John C. Bumbul
Copyright © February 19, 1999



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