"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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sayings and Poems: by Michael Lansford

Michael Lansford in Country - Cobra

Here are a few sayings, poems, and verses I've had with me all these years.

Some are my writings, some borrowed, but all are profound thoughts.


The night is setting softly
with the hush of falling leaves;
the light from a street lamp
paints a pattern on the wall;
Like the pieces of a puzzle
or a child's uneven scrawl;
Up a narrow flight of stairs
in a narrow little room;
as I lie upon my bed
in the early evening gloom;
From the moment of my birth
to the instant of my death;
there are patterns I must follow
just as I must breathe each breath;
and the pattern still remains
on the wall where darkness fell;
and it's fitting that  it should be
for in darkness I must dwell;
Impaled there on my Wall,
my eyes can dimly see;
the Patterns of my life
and the puzzle that is me;
Like a rat within a maze;
the path before me lays;
and the pattern never alters;
Until the rat dies.
Like the color of my skin;
or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of Patterns
that can scarcely be controlled.


Take man, put him alone,
put him 12,000 miles from home.
Empty his heart of all but blood,
Make him live in sweat and mud.
This is the life that I too live
and why my soul to the Devil I give.
You Peace Boys,
not in your easy chairs,
but you don't know
what it's like over here.
You have a ball without near trying,
while over here your boys are dying.
You burn your draft cards,
march at dawn, plant your signs
on the White House lawn.
You want to ban the bomb;
There's no war in Vietnam.
Use your drugs, have more fun,
and then refuse to use the guns.
There's nothing else for you to do,
and I'm suppose to die for you?
I'll hate you til the day I die,
You make me hear my buddy cry.
I saw his arm a bloody shred,
I hear them say, "This Man is Dead".
It's a hard price he had to pay
not to live another day.
He had the guts to fight and die.
He paid the price,
but what did he buy?
He bought your life by losing his,
But who cares what a soldier gives?
His wife does, parents, and even sons,
But they're about the only ones.


We want people to remember
we fought for our country.
and never forget it;
We Won't.
When we get out of uniform
we want to go home
to more than nothing,
We don't want sympathy
or charity.
We want a decent job.
We want to be able to get married
and support a family.
We don't expect miracles,
but we won't settle for a broom.
If people think there's nothing
they can do to help
they should think harder.
Because we thought enough
of our people and country
to come over here.
Some don't agree with this war
and our being here,
But the majority are on our side.
Our fathers and forefathers before us
had the courage
to stand up for what was right
and we don't think we're so good
that we don't have to do our part.
We don't ask for glory or praise.
All we want
is to be treated equal
and stand among the bravest men.


People march, picket signs in hand,
Yet Vietnam is not a free land.
They'd rather protest
and march in vain.
instead of stand up and fight
for our country's name.
They'd rather pay the price of a beer,
than spend a year for the price
of freedom which is so dear.
They fight their battles
on campus streets,
while the soldier must fight
in the jungle heat.
The cost of freedom
is ever so high,
but why care a protester,
he doesn't have to die.
War is Hell
as the saying goes,
but burning a draft card
is all he knows.
He marches with sign
from dark til dawn.
But to us over here
the war goes on.
We sit and wonder
day and night,
somewhere back home
someone is right.
We fight the war
so everyone will be shown
that it's hard to be free
and be left alone.
We didn't ask for this war over here
Now we know what freedom is
so why don't you care?
Why condemn what we do,
Be glad we're here in place of you.
We're the ones who fight and die,
and protesters will never know why.
We fought for freedom
this very day
with hopes this war will end soon
so we can go away.

10 July 69.


People of the world talk about this place,
to them it's just a political race.
They laugh and scorn the Viet Cong.
They're not here, what could be wrong?
You read the news from day to day,
and hardly notice
a soldiers life was taken away.
He fought the war and played the game,
but win or lose, he died the same.
Rockets, mortars are still coming down,
they don't care where they hit the ground.
You hear them fall from the sky and pray,
Dear God, don't let me die today.
You dig in the ground for a place to stay
and hope the falling death will pass away.
Peace talks go on but all in vain.
The war only slows for the rain.
Men are still dying in this war,
and you think, "What am I really fighting for?"
To the politicians it's just a game,
but to us Vets here it's war just the same.
You sit and watch your buddies die.
But you're a man now so you can't cry.
No one knows why he was killed.
But who cares, his place will be filled.
So each one that dies over here
gives us more hate and a little less fear.
You learn to kill and never cry,
then you stop to think, "Why, God, Why?
Why should I take his life in my hand,
just because I was put in this mans land?"
But they want to kill us anyway,
they couldn't do it yesterday
so they'll try again today.
He's getting smarter than a Fox.
We want to go home alive,
he wants us in a box.
So you politicians
take notice to this place,
It's no game or political race.
It's war, man, as far as you can see,
that's the way we feel, the enemy and me.
Each day the politicians grow bigger,
they just use us to pull the trigger.
So for now we'll fight
for our so-called government at home.
But all we want is peace and quiet,
and to be left alone.
So laugh at this place
while you still can
and be glad friend this war
isn't in your own land.

18 June 69

Michael "Surfer" Lansford
2nd Batallion
"Bravo" Battery
11th Artillery
155 split trails
101st Airborne
Viet Nam 68-69
Hamburger Hill 10 May-21 May 69.

“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

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  1. Michael, Nice stuff... Thought I might share a story I finally put on paper when I went "through the window" in 1974. Sometimes getting it out in the open does help.
    Al. 199th Inf.


    Just think man. pretty soon we'll be home.
    I mean, what've you got? 30 days? Then all
    this will just be a bad dream. You'll go
    home,see your chick, and pretty soon, all
    will be normal again. Oh, there will still
    be some bad dreams and memories I guess,
    but at least we'll be home. Here man, hold
    my hand. It won't be long now. That wound
    don't look too serious. What? No, hell no,
    of course I won't leave you. We're buddies
    man. We've seen it all. Eleven months worth.
    Getting shot this way ain't really that
    bad. Hell, it's just some sham time at the
    rear for you. Hospitals, pretty nurses, the
    whole bit. What? Oh, don't worry about me.
    You know I'll make it allright. I was born
    under a lucky star I guess.

    And so it was. The scene when they arrived.
    They stood, and watched, and one of them
    slowly shook his head. They led him away.
    Still protesting about having to leave his
    buddy that way. Meanwhile, one of the medics
    sadly covered the sightless eye's, of the

    1. Michael LansfordJuly 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Thanks for sharing Al.199th inf. Know this all too well. Keep the faith my brother. All we have are each other just like back in the Nam. If people really knew our world maybe they would have understood more. If you need someone to talk to just say the word man. I got your back, always will.


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