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"The Heart of a Sky Soldier"

The Heart of a Sky Soldier

My name is Jim Simpson.  
I served with "C" 2/503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Bde.
(SEP) in 1967 through 1968.
Sky Soldiers, as we were called,
were great warriors in battle.
As we went into Dakto,
It was then that we were up against
Large North Vietnamese Army regiments -NVA
And:  We were accustomed to fighting the Viet Cong in the Southern regions.
According to historical accounts,
We were in two of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam war.

On June 22, 1967, "A" Company got ambushed
And "C" Company went to their rescue ...
Only to arrive a bit too late.  
In November following,
The hills all around Dakto were covered with NVA -
And Hill 875 was the most infamous of them all.

In my writings on the connecting pages,
I've tried to express the thoughts and feelings
That I've had to deal with over the years -
In particular, my struggle with P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

All units had their battles,
And:  I know that all of them were horrific and took their toll.
It is my hope that all who visit these pages
Can somehow relate to my feelings concerning the war,
What we experienced and the toll it is still taking on us today.
We Vietnam Bets need to become one to remain strong!

Welcome home, my Brothers and Sisters
We served our time in hell over there.
Let us be as one here -
Helping one another.
Back to back, as the saying goes, we survive.

And:  let us never forget the P.O.W.'s and M. I. A.'s ...
For we know that we have not received a satisfactory answer.
I know that I will not rest until all are at home and accounted for. 

© December 27, 1997, by JIM SIMPSON 173RD AIRBORNE BDE. C 2/503 INFANTRY 67-68


Got the call to Vietnam ~
Said good-bye to Dad and mom.
Not knowing what lie ahead ...
Heard of the wounded and all that were dead.
Knew I was going to be in the infantry ~
Got assigned to the 173rd Airborne Infantry
Being 18 and not having a vote,
Went on and did my duty without even a gloat.

The things I had to endure were enough, I assure ~
The thick, hot jungle was bad enough,
But:  The war added the part that was rough.
Recall so much in my mind that haunts me even today ...
All for firefights and battles that came our way.

Nothing can compare to what the eyes had to see ~
Was made to dig up graves and search enemy bodies.
Thought, My God!  What are they doing to me!
The smell was so awful ... haunts me even today ...
Hearing the scream and cries, as some of us died.

Yes, a part of me died then ~
Feel today that I'm dead.
Never will I get over the war that was ~
It's with me everywhere I go.
I numb-out so not to feel ...
My way of protecting me and blocking out what is real.
Have seen first-hand what war does to a young man ~
All I have to do in look at me in the mirror,
And, WHAM!  I'm back in Vietnam.

Oh well, people will say they understand,
But:  I know only those who were there really do.

The bond of all us Vets grew and grew.
Now it's not so new to me and you.
Having to learn a new way to cope
With a sense of hope.

Never will it be the same as it was before the war ~
Just hope that it will never be - no more.
War kills the innocent ones; And:  For What?
To put money in the Big Man's pockets.
Hope they think of the REAL, price that was paid ~
And have the nightmares that WE have to suffer through.
And when we get to Heaven's Gate we won't have to wait ~
Those that profited from our blood will have to answer the call.
Then, my brothers, they will know what REALLY went on in that war.

To all my brothers of the Vietnam War ~ Be well!
We have already been to hell.
If I can be of any help, Feel free to give me a call.
Back to Back, we conquer all!

© December 27, 1997, by JIM SIMPSON 173RD AIRBORNE BDE. C 2/503 INFANTRY 67-68


Was in Vietnam in 76 -68 ...
And here I am - wide awake
Had a bad nightmare that seemed so real ...
I sit here and wonder, "What's the deal?"
P.T.S.D. is what the VA says I have ...
And:  It will always be there -
The nightmares again and again -
That's when I begin to swear.
Some are so vivid and real
That the pain is what I feel.
Dreamed I was fatally wounded on the battlefield,
And:  Before I could breathe my last breath ... I awoke.
Going over what had happened, I had a lump in my throat.
Felt as if I were going to choke.
All the bad dream that awaken me are, Oh-So real ~
Have to make myself know that it was just but a dream.
But at a point in the war, It WAS for real.
Yes, I have even cried ...
And Wondered, "Why"?
Still, after all these years I can still hear the screams and the cries -
And:  Yes, even see the tears.

Even today I hear young people say the things once said,
Long ago upon my arrival home ...
And:  Yes, it still hurts.
Have gone to shelters and talked with brothers -
Said they need no help - "Just don't bother".
I can see why we ride Harleys
And get off to ourselves ...
And:  Isolate to hold back the rage.

I ask God:  "When will the nightmares end?"
Feel like it will end
The day I draw my last breath in.
Know he has a place for those of us who lost the face ...
Yes, the face of a young man that went off to Vietnam.
Until then, brothers, be well ...
For we have been to hell.

Dedicated to all that served,
Especially the 173rd -
"Back-to-back" - "Airborne all the way!" ... and then some!


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