24 December 2015


Well, fans, that's a wrap.  As the judges deliberate, here's a little ditty, an oldie but goodie, that some will appreciate more than others.

Merry Christmas to the guys for whom Christmas Eve memories will always include An Hoa, and Go Noi Island, The Arizona and The Yellow Brick Road, Antenna Valley and Sherwood Forest.  Hat's off to those who were in Hue City, the A Shau Valley, Khe Sanh, Mutter's Ridge, and "The Hill of Angels"--Con Thien.  To our Doggie mates in Pleiku and the Central Highlands, The Parrots Beak and Ia Drang Valley.  Hey, shipmates who were Brown Water Grunts in the Delta or spent Christmas after Christmas on Yankee Station:  BZ, gents, BZ. And who could forget the guys who flew Linebacker I and II and Arc Light and The 12 Days of Christmas--and those who never lost faith in places like The Zoo and The Hanoi Hilton.  Merry Christmas, brothers.  Welcome Home.

Christmas Eve Sitrep
5th Marines TAOR

(Translations available upon request)

Oh, there's strange things done 'neath the Vietnam sun
But the one that really jacked my jaws
Was the night 'neath the moon, when the third platoon
Gunned down Ol’ Santa Claus.

We’re the Marines, winter nights we’ve seen,
From Wake to the frozen Chosin,
Our lines were tight, pre-planned fires were right
And ready to be called real close in.

We had 81s and naval guns.
60 mortars were ready to crack.
We had an Ontos or so, and an arty FO'
With H&Is back to back.

T’was a Silent Night, and nary a light
broke the Arizona’s black mantle,
Except for a flare, o’er Hill 200’s air—
Recon’s Christmas candle.

No Yuletide logs, in paddy bogs,
But the ceasefire was holding well.
‘Course after Tet, you could pretty well bet
Uncle Ho just might still raise some hell.

Then I froze where I stood, 'cause out of the wood,
Eight horses came charging along.
This may sound corny, but those mustangs looked horny,
“My God,” I thought, “cavalry Cong.”

They were coming our way pulling a . . . sleigh?
Damn, you never know what they will use.
Our LP’s twice clicked and our flares all were tripped,
And our claymores blew a fuse.

We let him get close, then I yelled, "Who goes?"
Like they do in the movie show.
The answer we got, believe it or not,
Was a hearty, "Ho, Ho, Ho".

Now these troops of mine had seen some time,
They'd done lots of things back-assward.
They may be thick, but I'll tell you a trick,
They knew that wasn't the password.

The "foo gas" roared, the 81s soared,
The ‘bloopers” sure raised hell.
A bright red flare flew through the air,
So we fired our FPL.

I'll give him guts, yep, that man was nuts,
Or I'm a no good liar,
But he dropped like a stone in our killing zone.
'Til I passed the word, "Cease fire".

I went out and took a real good look,
My memory started to race;
My mind plays games when it comes to names,
But I never forget a face.

He was dressed all in red, and he looked well fed,
Older than most I'd seen.
He looked right weird with that long white beard,
And stumps where his legs had been.

He hadn't quite died when I reached his side,
But the end was clearly in sight,
I knelt down low and he said real slow,
"Merry Christmas, and to all a good night."

So, I picked up the hook and with a voice that shook,
Said, "Gimme the six, rikki-tick."
"Skipper", I said, "Hang onto your head,
Well…we just sorta greased Saint Nick."

Now the Skipper's cool, he's nobody's fool,
Right off he knew the word.
If this got out, there'd be no doubt,
We’d have no “Freedom Bird.”

"Just get him up here and we'll play it by ear,
Make sure he's got a S-2 tag;
Bust up that the sleigh; drive those reindeer away,
And fer gosh sakes bury that bag."

Now back in the World, little kids are curled
in their beds awaiting first light.
Then their folks they’ll wake, and for the tree they’ll break
Expecting a glorious sight.

Instead, by and by, those kids will cry,
“Huh, nothing's under the tree!”
'Cause, the word just came back, from FMFPAC,
That Santa has gone VC.

Oh, there's strange things done 'neath the Vietnam sun
But the one that really jacked my jaws
Was the night 'neath the moon, when the third platoon
Gunned down Ol’ Santa Claus.

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