ENGAGE ME. I AM ONE OF YOU.

I’d meant to publish this in it’s musical format in memory of my Brothers, but I’m just not there yet.  My voice is still shot, my guitar work is shaky, so, I decided to let it go as is for today and I’ll get back to the musical version as I can.  They wont mind as long as I didn’t forget.

RIP Santi.  I know you’re watching.  I miss you Brother.  Hi to Prince and Rex.

Engage Me

What was the price I was supposed to pay?

What quest did I fail, to whom should I pray?

Did I come back too whole to warrant your greetings?

Was my soul not enough, or were your graces too fleeting?

Best friends dying, some gone in the head

Others are drowning in poisons instead

No one back home cares a damn for this mess

They wish it was over they do confess

 

Engage me

I’m not a name on a wall

Engage me

Just one little call

Engage me

Why do you stall

Engage me

This will end in a fall

 

If you live through the chaos and make it back home

They’ll think you’ve been brainwashed, a killer drone

If you don’t conform and act just like them

You’ll be banished for life, scorned and condemned

People will leave you without recourse

No one will show one bit of remorse

They’re done with you now, you’ve outlived your need

Move along soldier, we’ve got a new breed

 

Engage me

There’s a price on my head

Engage me

I’ve made mistakes that I dread

Engage me

I’ve been so scared that I fled

Engage me

Give me some purpose instead

 

Once you were golden, the cream of the crop

The best of the best that no one could stop

Your buds had your six, they kept you alive

Twenty-four seven, three sixty-five

Now you’re a nothing, you’re on your own

Left for dead in the VA zone.

Nothing can be done, there’s nothing we can do

Just roll over there, boy, join the twenty-two.

 

Engage me

I cannot live in this place

Engage me

So, I don’t fall on my face

Engage me

My choices end in disgrace

Engage me

Give me a chance in this race

 

Nobody warned us how you would turn

That in a moment you could burn

All that we gave, and all that we saved

You’d be happy to lend us an early grave.

What if we didn’t answer the call

What if we turned away from the brawl

How would your towers still stand tall

What good would be done if we all fall

 

Engage me

I don’t want to be through

Engage me

I am one of you

Engage me

Can’t you see that it’s true

Engage me

I bleed red, white, and blue

 

I am just like you

end

Last Days (Written on the 18th)

Most of you know I struggle with remembering “those bad days“.  Today I had another revelation.  It so happens that this is the anniversary of my injury date.  As has happened the last three years on or around this date, memories jump out at me.  Sometimes they come at me in droves.  Sometimes just one.  This year, so far, just the one today, but it’s a big one…and it’s early.

45 years ago, today (about right now, I think.  I was either injured on the 18th at 0300 and transported to Saigon later that morning, or I was injured at 0300 on the 17th and managed to suffer through an additional day in Saigon before shipping out.  I think that last is unlikely.

3rdFieldHospital

Welcome to U S Army 3rd Field Hospital. I read the sign sideways and realized I wasn’t on Bien Hoa anymore.  I’m on a gurney entering 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon.  I didn’t know it was Saigon at the time. I was still trying to sort out the ringing in my ears.  I’ve been in and out of it since cracking my head on the Tarmac at the 11th Cav’s Heliport on Bien Hoa earlier this morning, so I don’t remember a lot, but I remember rolling past that sign.

I’m lying on my right side, holding my damaged left one.  There’s a group of young Vietnamese women (girls, maybe) sitting under a large tree, in the shade, sipping tea no doubt.  It seemed like they were inside the Hospital compound.  I smiled when one caught my eye.  She smiled back, drawing her hand across her throat, the smile turning into a death’s head grimace.  I laugh and flip her off.  She feigns disgust and turns away.  An NCO is in my face screaming at me for messing with the locals.  I laugh and flip him off too.  Fuck it, I feel gooo-oood!

I think I spent at least two days here, though I can’t be sure.  It could have been one overnight and then across the street to Tan Son Nhut and home.  I just don’t know and there’s no fekkin records, of course.  I lost the Army when I left the 34th in Bien Hoa and they didn’t find me again, it seemed, until they discharged me 2 months later.  Things were so messed up, they paid me twice for my last 4 months, then took it all back before they discharged me…all that in about 45 minutes while processing out at Fort Devens, MA.

I do remember snippets at the hospital.  I remember looking out my window, I think it was my window or a window near my bunk in the hospital, though I don’t think I was able to get up then.  I was on the second floor.  The view was of the roof of a portico that stuck out from the hospital below me.  There was a sandbagged fighting position there.  I was suddenly thrust back into reality and fear gripped me.  I had neither Prince, nor any of my weapons.

I remember moaning.  Mine perhaps until I wake, but often, it comes from the fellow next to me who has no feet.  They must change the bandages every few hours.  He’s out cold and he screams through the entire process anyway.  I catch myself screaming with him more than once.  He doesn’t realize it, he just reaches out.  I reach out and grab his hand.  It’s a mistake.  He crushes my hand and there’s no getting it back until he finally gasps one last gasp and surrenders to what counts for his respite…an unconscious, raging, nightmare that never ends…and never will.

I look up from my bunk and someone is turning away from me, saying something about “sleepy heads”.  I feel a weight on my chest.  This man says something and my next-door neighbor moans, loudly.

“Hey! Can’t you keep this guy calm? I can’t hear myself think. Come on, now!”

“Yes, sir. He’s just very uncomfortable, sir. We keep him sedated but the pain still leaks through and his nightmares are horrendous, sir. He’s struggling.”

“I see, yes…”

My neighbor screams as his bunk is bumped with all the traffic.  There’s people all around.  WTF, over?

“Oh, hell.  That’s it.  I’m done with this.  Let’s go.”  The man turns from my neighbor to walk away.

“Sir?”

“I said, I’M DONE!  LET’S GO!”

I grab what’s on my chest and pitch it at the back of the jerk.  It connects.  The gent freezes.  Starts to turn, then freezes again.  He continues out of the ward with his entourage in tow.  Questions flying.  I’m disappointed the ass didn’t confront me.  I’m still feeling great.

Someone’s in my face in a minute.

“You better hope we can get you out of here, NOW, you idiot?  Do you know who that was?”

I’m not having any of it.  This was fun.  I laughed.  Whoever it was turned and walked away muttering.

I turn on my right side.  My neighbor is looking at me through drug crazed eyes.

“Fuck it, man. It don’t mean nuthin!” He was warning me.  I didn’t hear him.

————

My next memory is of sometime after that incident in the hospital ward. It could have been hours and it could have been days.  I’m back on a gurney being wheeled somewhere outside.  It’s blistering hot and sunny, I can smell diesel and Jet fuel.  I think I was headed for my Freedom Bird, a Medivac flight on Tan Son Nhut AFB.

I remember croaking something and trying to sit up.  Someone plants me back down and says, “Easy PFC, easy.  Don’t want another knock on the noggin, do you?”

“Where…” was all I could manage.

“Home, you lucky bastard, home that’s where.  Now, sit still and let me…”

I seemed to fade out for a while again then.  My next continuous spell of consciousness (lasting more than a few hours) occurred five days after I was injured, possibly 2 or 3 days after the incident in the hospital ward.  I was on a C5A Galaxy headed for Guam.  I had supposedly already been to Japan for a refuel and spent 2 days on Clark AFB in the Philippines.  I don’t remember anything but snippets of those times, if anything, but when I woke on that jet to Guam and had no Prince and no weapons, again, I went nuts.  I remember that because when the guy approached me with the needle to knock me out again, I begged.  He did anyway.

This is a bit of a breakthrough for me.  I hadn’t remembered much about the hospital until now. Tomorrow is the day I will have left Vietnam in 1972.  On this day, back then, I am trying to help my neighbor whose name and fate, I never will know while condemning myself to a difficult path out.  I wonder who that officer was and if he had awarded me some commendation????  No matter, I…ahem…promptly gave it back to him.  Lol!  The memory is worth twenty.  He was a shit!

Now to sleep

“Now,  listen up.  I’m not having you arrested because anyone would be out of sorts after the night you’ve had.  But don’t push me, soldier.

“This incident is being dealt with this way for a reason.  Unless you would like to join Lt. Calley in confinement?” He paused for effect.  The Major liked hearing himself, I thought.

“The thing is,  you won’t be under house arrest in quarters at Fort Benning like Lt. Calley is.  You’ll be in LBJ.  Do you think, PFC Hurder, for one minute, that you’d survive in there?”

I don’t remember my reaction much beyond an open-mouthed stare.  I started out this meeting with flames in my eyes, ready to rock.  Hours earlier I had challenged this guy when he told me that I should just forget we killed nine kids.  He steamed for a half a second, collected himself and said he’d be back to deal with this later.  He had every reason to nail me with at least an Article 15.  You don’t say to an officer, “Sure thing,  sir.  Anytime you need me to kill some kids,  just gimme a call. ..SIR!”  So,  at the minimum,  I deserved the warning.   He was being a good guy giving me time to cool down before, going further.

The mere mention of LBJ would melt the hardest of hearts.  Long Binh Jail, three of the most terrifying words having nothing to do with the boonies.  LBJ, were the roaches were only slightly smaller than the rats and the rats could carry a GI under each arm.  Nobody wanted to mess up that bad.  So, instead of further confronting another of these starched green pukes, I shut up while Donnie herded me out of Top’s office before I could regroup.

“Shut up, Shorty.  Just shut the fuck up, goddammit!” Joe told me back in our hooch.  “You got eight lousy months left.  Shut up before you really do stick your foot in it.”

I rallied, “Joe, he said,  ‘Forget about it son, it’s an ARVN issue.  It’s like it never happened!’ He said that to me,  Joe.   Are you shitting me?  Forget about it?  How do you forget nine slaughtered fucking kids?  Tell me that, Joe.  How?  Tell me!  Because I don’t fucking see it.”  As an afterthoguth I added, “SON.  He called me, son.  If he’s two years older than me I’ll eat his starched fucking shorts!”

I was in Joe’s face by then.  Well, as close as I could get with him being 6 inches taller. Still,  I was in his space and he wasn’t comfortable.  Joe was senior enlisted in our platoon after the Top and another Spec4.  I was pushing the limits.  The tears in my eyes and Jeff probably saved me.

Jeff grabbed my arm from behind and hauled me back, spun me around and said, “You maybe wanna fuck with me instead?  Joe be scraping you off his shoes in another minute.”  Jeff’s Pittsburgh accent and snarky smirk could pull me out of the worst funks.  It was no different this time.  Think of Cap’n America…before the injection.  That’s Jeff.  As I visibly relaxed and collapsed onto my bunk, the tension in the room dropped to near nil.

Joe was a compassionate Philadelphian.  He was still a bit miffed but he was more miffed at the callous attitude that seemed to permeate the ranks there.  Often what was of extreme importance to us, seemingly meant very little to others.  We should have become inured to it I suppose when no one wanted to help the old man Ì’d injured the week before,  and then were pretty much “ho-hum” about it when he died in our ambulance.  The longer one spent in-country, the harder hearted they became.

There was nothing to be done about it, though.  Nine children died because no one would do the right thing and keep that crazy Lieutenant from returning to the field. That I could have been hung out to dry because of my involvement in another incident involving an American and an atrocity perpetrated on the natives, children no less, was way more than any of us could process.  We got well and truly drunkified that night.

I was never right in the head after that.  I don’t know if I ever would have gotten my shit back together again.  I didn’t have enough time in-country left to find out.  I was hurt for the last time, five days later and it was more because I just wasn’t all there in the head than anything else.  Thank God Prince was with me.  Four legs never walked a harder path keeping a two leg upright.

My Memoirs:

This will be added to the chapter of my memoirs dealing with that incident.  Now that I’ve opened that curtain, it all came back to me, much like all the other remembrances, even when I don’t want them.  The only thing that really amazes me about this process still, is the incredible clarity with which I now recall those forgotten times.  For instance, I now remember this Major had a tic, the right side of his top lip twitched periodically and it got more pronounced with agitation.  He also had a scar running from behind his left ear down and across his throat almost to the other ear.  He had the deepest green colored eyes I’ve ever seen and they made me wary of him!!!!  I don’t know why.  He had a Mom tat on his right backhand.

Up until now, I was unable to figure out why the guy didn’t bust me.  I remember laying into him right after the incident when he took my report and then told me to forget about it.  But nothing more about him until this memory manifest itself.

This one came to me while stopped at a red light.  It is a notoriously long one that folks purposely avoid.  The beeping horn behind me got me moving to the side of the road while I processed the memory.  It all occurred in my head in just a moment while at the light, but I thought about it for a good half hour before I moved again from the side of the road.

Now, I know another secret!  One more down, about a thousand to go.  No, I really think I’m down to the nitty gritty stuff.  Minutia I think you would call it…the details.  I don’t think there are many more major revelations coming but then, I am still quite unsure about Santi now.  I think I have another revelation coming about my brother.  Sigh!

But, for now, I will sleep the sleep of the dead for a day or two.

Then Ah mayb’ gets back t’ Burtt!

PS:  I just scheduled my final appointments with the Compensation and Pension folks.  Finally, my service connected comp rating will be determined and we can make an educated decision on what to keep and what to unload.  Life will move on again.  YAY!

Write on ye lazy diamonds-in-the-rough!  I read you.  You inspire me to keep on, so keep on yourselves.  Write on!

Two way street

I’ve been thinking about the confirmation process,  executive orders, tweets, the fake media,  et al.  Mostly, though, I’ve been thinking about obstructionist attitudes.  While I don’t remember burning down cities or colleges, I do remember the outrage of the TEA Party movement after 2008.

I was a full fledged member of said outraged group until it was hijacked, first by evangelicals and then skinheads.   When it was about “Taxed Enough Already”, I was in.  I was the most sign-waving, highway overpass USA flag-waving, protester-parading, horn-honking, tea – bagging SOB in California. 

When you get down to brass tacks, minus the anarchy, this obstructionism too is the USA.  This too is a part of the grand experiment.  To be able to stand in the path of what we object to, even if it is our government, is the essence of our freedom.  To deny that right is to deny what so many have died to preserve.

I objected with great gusto to almost all of Obama’s agenda.  I did so with the knowledge of my right to do so.  Though I will continue to wish that those who break the law are caught and duly punished, I can expect no less obstructionist behavior from Trump detractors than what I myself engaged in.  

So,  obstruct away. Very American. Bigly!  Yugely!  #bichinisgood

Speak softly about each other,  loudly about the realm.
Words are what we use

when we need to choose

What least we wish to lose

Barring that,  to bruise. 

Electoral Clout

306 – 232

In most cases, this score would indicate a decisive victory.

In most cases, the argument would be over.

In some cases, the popular vote has more clout.

In this case, that’s not true.

We are a republic.  So,  in this case,  306 – 232 is a fekkin blowout.  This vote was more than a mandate.  It was a clear declaration from the vast majority of America’s electorate that enough was enough.  The interests of the inner cities is not that of the rest of the country, clearly.  So,  the rest of the country spoke up.

The genius of the founders and their clear vision of what greedy and power hungry men (and women) would be capable of if left unchecked,  was never more evident than in this last election.  I cringe at the thought of living through even just four more years of the Obama agenda.  I can’t say for certain there’d be enough of America left to recover it then. As it is,  we have a hell of a row to hoe.

We,  the United States electorate,  the most empowered body of people on planet earth, elected the right man for the job,  though.  Donald J Trump,  duly elected 45th president of these United States of America,  will cause us to become great again.  He’ll do so by putting us to work.

BTW: That’s the way it was meant to be.  That’s the way America became great in the first place.  We didn’t become great with 45 million on food stamps and half the country paying so the other half can have free stuff.  We didn’t become great pissing on our allies.  We didn’t become great by choosing to care for illegal immigrants or refugees either before we ever gave a thought to veterans.  We didn’t become great making deals with regimes that propagate terror.  We didn’t become great with repeated chicken heart resets or creating red lines we didn’t intend to stand on.  We didn’t become great being afraid of the NRA and we’ve never demonized gun ownership while we were great.  We surely didn’t become great teaching our children to cower in safe spaces.  WTF, over?

This is the United States of America.  We are a Republic.  The vast majority of the electorate,  the only count that counts,  chose President Donald J Trump to be our leader…

IN A SLAM-DUNK, LANDSLIDE ELECTORATE VICTORY!

Thank God, in whom we trust.  Long live the Republic.

Oh,  one more thing,  take the fekkin gloves off and start shooting these anarchist bastards.  If you can’t bring yourself to do it;  I know where to find a couple million fed up Vets.  Where do I sign up?

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Love Yates’ hates

I am reading with delight about the downfall of poor miss “I’m better than thou”, formerly known as the attorney general of the United States of America.  This brain envious dolt can’t speak for herself,  so the peons of mediocrity known as the mainscream media are interviewing folks with names like,  “a person familiar with her thinking” and also,  “a person familiar with the situation but not authorised to discuss it by name”.  I remember those two guys.  I think they had something to do with deflated footballs.  As you must know by now,  this is false-speak.  A common tool used by the lefty media when they have nothing else.  It’s also called, “LYING THROUGH THEIR FEKKIN TEETH”.  It has become the only method of communication that works with their idiot masses.

Back to our buddy, Sally.  So,  the person who is familiar with her thinking, says Sally refused her lawful orders because she was afraid it would disadvantage Muslims and favour Christians. My question: Does this person know if Sally actually said this,  or does the person think Sally thinks this?  It’s a very important distinction.  It will determine whether or not Sally thinks. You see the importance, right?  Sally might actually be a recording.  Aha! Bet you never considered that, huh?  I know,  I know,  that’s why I get the big bucks. 😕

Sally Yates apparently also didn’t feel comfortable encouraging this policy within the agency. So, she decided on her own that she didn’t have to do her job.   Somehow, defiance of a direct order from her supreme commander doesn’t add up to insubordination, though.  Mean, mean President Trump for firing her.

The person who knew about the situation but. .., oh never mind.  The other liar tells us Yates figured she’d get fired but wouldn’t resign. Ho-hum, yes please, let’s have some more waste in government.  After all, what’s a little mutiny compared to the ten trillion in additional debt incurred by these people?

An old Obama drone, Bill Baer, bemoans the loss of the department’s independence.  Well, since the last regime turned the department into its own private cesspool of lefties supporting Obama’s progressive socialist agenda, yeah, they ought not just be reined in for a while, they should be purged, purified, pureed, and plain ole punched in the nose until they go home and STFU, preferably forever.

Obama brought this on and apparently the has-been hasn’t had enough yet.  It appears, however, that President Trump is a willing player and he plays well.  Bring it on Barry.  Let’s complete the debunking of your legacy so that we never make this mistake again.  Bring it.  Become the loser you’ve been itching to be these past fifty or so years. Please!

Obstruct away lefties. YOU’RE NOT AS STRONG AS YOU THINK.  More Americans are coming over to our way of thinking every day as you show your true treasonous, anarchist colours. Americans are for America first.  It’s time for even the Obuttheads to get on board…or get the fuck off, or come mid-terms, the Democrats will no longer be a viable counter to the Republicans. They will have been made defunct by themselves onward into obscurity.  I’m not sure I’ll miss them.

Definition of “Obuttheads”: all those suffering from

  • gimme free stuff syndrome
  • only one color lives matter syndrome
  • hopey-changey syndrome
  • Deplorables are the minority syndrome
  • Killery is good syndrome
  • health care is for someone else to pay syndrome
  • Radical Islam will love us if we give them free stuff syndrome
  • Radical Islam will not cut off your head when you show up with your gay lover syndrome
  • it’s okay to kill cops syndrome
  • it’s  okay to weaken our defences so we can have more free stuff syndrome
  • it’s  okay to piss on our allies syndrome
  • it’s okay to be a useless drone, acquire a go nowhere college degree and then continue sucking our society dry syndrome from our safe space closet.

you get the idea. ..

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Save

The hopes we have…

What Trump could do.

What I see in my mind’s eye, when I think about the results of a Trump presidency, partially described by Ron Paul.

I do NOT see Trump reforming the nation so much that we revert back to any of the boogeyman fears being thrown about.  I DO see a change from the previous mentality in several other respects.

  • I believe Veterans will see a YUGE bump in care and competence at the VA, or heads WILL roll.
  • I believe the war on the Police will soon be OVER!  The gloves should come off at least.
  • I believe SCOTUS will be returned to being a bastion of strict constitutional justices, thus preserving the union, as it was meant to be, for years to come.
  • I believe we will reestablish our credentials with our true allies, Britain and Israel prominent among those.
  • I believe education will return to an emphasis on the three Rs to begin with and then Science.  The only thing common about education will be the good ole “common denominator”.  Charter and non-secular schools will show the way and public schools will catch on or catch fire.  A&E may take a hit, but it is just A&E, after all.  We are saving a nation here and we already know Hollyhood doesn’t care.
  • I believe religion will once again be an okay thing, all religion, and that the myth of a predominantly anti-Muslim right, will be dispelled through kindness, even as we eradicate the real threat of radical Islam.  Note that there are millions of Muslims involved in that struggle, on our side, already.  This is not new.
  • I believe we will win that war too, but NOT without the help of those millions of Muslims.
  • I believe a newly deregulated industry and energy independence, both accomplished without burning down the barn environmentally, will lead the USA through the present malaise in  our business might.  We are not as well off as these inflated economic figures we are shown today seem to infer.  One day the TRUE numbers of unemployed will be known, to include the millions taken off the work force altogether when their benefits ran out and they still had no job.  One day the true nature of the theft of our nations wealth which was transferred to trillions in debt instead, will be revealed.  BUT WE WILL RECOVER!
  • I believe the IRS, the FED, the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, the NSA and all the other myriad alphabet bureaucracies that make up our convoluted form of government, will begin to function as designed again.  I don’t know if the recovery will be total.  It would seem that eight years might be needed.
  • I believe, sadly, that the rift between right and left will continue through a midterm that will, thankfully however, have brought more Americans to our side, and thus result in a senatorial majority too, enabling some real USA friendly legislation contributing greatly to our then growing wealth.
  • I believe that government and ultimately business in general will once again be focused on the USA first.
  • I believe we’ll all look back four years from now and say, “Wow.  What a great trip this has been.”  Those of us smart enough to get on board, that is.
  • I believe a renewed Military will quieten the recently amplified drumbeat of oppression heard across the earth.  When the USA draws red lines and the world knows that we NOW stand firmly on those red lines, the bad actors will stand down.  They always have.  They only stood up recently when we retreated into a pseudo-safe space sanction mentality that our adversaries laughed at as they took whatever the hell they wanted to take…and we backed up a little more each time, casting the most egregious verbiage at the Iranians, Russians, Syrians, North Koreans, Chinese…etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.  Retreating is not winning.
  • I believe there will be a reckoning of health care issues that will leave us all in agreement if not all completely satisfied.
  • I believe the same will come true in regards to Social Security and Medicare.
  • I believe that even the most hateful of anarchistic lefties will come around, because they also like their Calvin Klein undies, and that sixty dollar an hour job they just got on January 20 only lasts for a week or so, if that.
  • I believe freedom will ring and the flag will fly.