March 7th 1969
by Bill Delaney
March 7th 1969
Maybe it's the full moon,
Maybe it's the constant snow
Maybe it's the stench from Washington
where the truth and morals no longer go?
But deep within me
where the memories don't grow old
March 7th 1969 chews upon my soul.
The Generals staff checked the reconnaissance
The Fourth Division complied
The Third Brigade moved the chess pieces
The Cacti Battalions were notified.
Bravo 2/35 was assigned to search the Kontum Mountains
They checked and rechecked the weapons
ammo, claymores, grenades.
They were seasoned
They were ready
They humped in alone
Canarys in a coal mine
No noise no song.
It was a beautiful morning in the tropic hills
The NVA was waiting
Anxious for a kill.
The enemy unleashed a deadly attack
Many Cacti were cut down
All fought back.
The NVA held the high ground
tunnels and ambush holes
We held our ground in blood and guts
And fought to save our souls.
The battle lasted into the night
We regrouped and dug in deep
The wounded were evacuated while under attack
There would be no sleep.
With ammo low and fewer men the CO called for artillery
The Red Legs of the 2nd and 9th
Rained in a deadly barrage
The FO directed the hell storm close to our position.
The shrapnel zipped around us
Bullets continued to fly
Slowly very slowly
We survived the night.
We hunted down the NVA
And destroyed the killing field.
We patched up our wounds
and moved on.
We lost Three Bravo Soldiers in the Battle
West and Weant and Rivera
Each one an incredible man.
I miss them all
It's hard to understand.
The 2nd Battalion Lost a Total of Six Brave men that day
Henninger from Alpha Company
Mazal and Spence from Delta Company.
But tonight I'm at a birthday party for a Seventy year old Navy Vet.
At the American Legion Hall.
Where my friends point out their service patches on the walls.
The children dance and sing.
Glasses are held on high!
I can't tell them
Im really not there tonight.
My mind is far away
On a distant mountainside
On a bloody day.
2nd Battalion 35th Infantry
Fourth Infantry Division