The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal
circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer,
but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than
wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives
a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting
when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to
well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds
and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade
launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own
clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the
midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning
desire to' square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an
odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he
is not a boy. He is the "American Fighting Man" that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation
calls us to do so.
As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
Prayer wheel for our military.... Please don't break it please send this on after a short prayer.
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on
ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, Afghanistan and all foreign countries.
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.
There Are Two Storms In Our Life.
One Storm Is While Growing Up.
The Other Storm Is While Growing Old.
After You Have Experienced Both Storms,
You Will Understand What Your Life Has Meant To You And Others.
I was in the First Cavalry (Airmobile)"A" Co. 229th AHB as a door Gunner. I was in Vietnam from
June 1966 to June 1967. The base camp for the 1st Cav , when I was there, was at AnKhe, in the
Highlands. I am very supportive of the MIA issue. I have adopted an MIA my wife went to high school with.
We prepared for the worst and hope for the best. As I look back now, even though I still hate that war, I
wouldn't change anything, except to not see all those KIA's we picked up.
I hated being in Vietnam and I hated the war, but now as I recall some fond memories, I still think about all those
brave soldiers I would have never come into contact with had I not gone to Vietnam. Even today I still have the
pleasure of meeting Vietnam vets at the VA Hospital. I didn't realize it in Vietnam but we were truly
appreciated by the grunts we worked with. They hated to hear us coming to take them into battle but
they were sure happy to hear us coming to take them out of battle, or bring them a hot breakfast.
I remember feeling that same way every time I went into the field on a patrol. I had an infantry MOS, so all of us
guys that were 11Bravo would go on short patrols. It was a very empty, scary feeling when we got dropped off
and watched that chopper fly off, but it was great hearing them coming to get us. I have never met a grunt at the
VA who said anything to the contrary.
I flew in a Huey in November of 2002 for the first time in over 30 years. It was one of the best days of
my life. See the story "In The Shadow Of The Blade"
As others wish they could have, would have, or glad they didn't, I did, and am proud to say,
"I fought in Vietnam". Keith (Hacksaw) Bodine 1966-1967
My Son Kyle Was Always Proud And Supportive Of Me.
I love and miss you. Pop
Where has all the time gone,where the hell did it go
I was once looked up too, I was a war hero
Now I sleep wherever I can, with whatever I can find
My face is so old and wrinkled, life has not been kind
A half century ago, I served when I was called to go
I was a combat soldier, proud and brave, ready for the show.
My time in Vietnam prepared me for the rest of my life
But, drugs and booze were my strength, which led to my strife
Now I beg for cigarettes, I rest wherever I can
I am the people I hate, I am the one they can't stand
The life I knew before drugs, and being a boozer
Has almost, but not quite, made me a loser.
Then one day it happened, I had not thought of Him in years,
I fell to my knees in prayer and shed a half century of tears.
God told me to rise up, go forth, and again become a man,
Now today, I show others like me, what God will do and can.
© Keith Bodine 06/21/2007
"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I've never expected, or had much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
The blue is the emblem for Fort Benning where the battalion was activated as part of the 11th Aviation Group of the 11th Air Assault Division.
The Bayonet is for the infantry and the sky from which the assault will come.
The orange is the color of Army Aviation and it supports the winged spear also symbolic of "Winged Assault".
The Crest Of The 229th Assault Helicopter Bn.
Hand Carved By CWO (Ret.) Robert (Weird) Stanley- Thanks Weird
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