"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Excuse Me While I Cry: Wayne Hotaling


On 28 July, 1968, our company, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division was conducting a company sweep in the Arizona Territory. 

While sweeping across an open area, the company ran into a very well placed and planned "L" shaped ambush. It was estimated that a heavily armed NVA company estimated at 200 initiated this ambush. 

The result was, Kilo suffered 21 KIA with 7 later dying of their wounds for a total of 28 KIA. We had over 60 wounded and medevaced. Only 33 walked out from that ambush with most of those walking wounded. Our company was decimated. 

After we walked out and returned to our battalion area, one of the survivors sat down that night and wrote this poem. The poem has been shared at our memorial services at our annual reunions.


by Wayne Hotaling
28 July, 1968

I am no more a fighter.
But kill for hate instead.
For I've seen death on faces.
And the battlefield so red.

I know I shouldn't hate Lord.
But try hard as I might,
I can't blot out the memories.
That haunt me so each night.

I hear again the cry for help.
I see a buddy die.
I can't forget the mask of death.
Or a dying friends goodbye.

I think of weeping hearts back home
Because of loved ones lost.
I thank you Lord that I was spared
From wars most horrid cost.

But now there's vengeance on my mind.
My conscience left my head.
Now I want the commies blood
To fill the rivers red.

The say Marines are hard Lord.
But no matter how I try.
My heart just can't be built of stone.
Excuse me while I cry.


[Submitted by Donald "Tack" Tackett]

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale


  1. I was with the MACV Team down at the Dai Loc District HQ below Hill 37 until June 68. I worked with the Bn S-2. Went out to the Special Forces Camp at Thuong Duc (A109) in June. Dwight Z. US Army

  2. I have always had feelings of heartache of all of my brother's and sister's who didn't make it back but am so grateful they didn't have to know about how disrespected all of us came back to a ungrateful nation right or wrong we soldiers should have had a better homecoming than what we got.I try to forgive them but I think it's a little to little too late.


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