He sits staring into the jungle that has become his home

Darkness his companion, the stars his only light

He sits cold, alone

His comfort, the letter he clutches in his hand throughout the night

Warrior, Soldier or Hero call him what you may

Young, just a boy in a mans body, growed tall

Only eight months to go, then he no longer need stay

His thoughts turn to family and friends back in the world, but a girl most of all

His aspirations, stay alive another day, go on R and R someplace itís warm

The morning light finds him wrapped in his poncho, chilled to the bone

When asked he came to this jungle, but thinks, itís not my war

And the nights here seem as cold as the winters back home

Breakfast, three cans of c-rations, carried in an old wool sock

Ham and lima Beans, heíll mix up a little powered coca mix

Heat it over a chunk of C-4, then share a little with the medic Doc

He smiles to himself, live pretty good out here after you learn the tricks

He feels before he hears the whop of the chopper blades coming near

Morning resupply, water, ammo, c-rations and perhaps a letter from home

No! A lift of ten choppers ( life savers ) hit the LZ, he shivers but not from fear

Sargent Black yells, saddle up, hit that lift or youíll walk back to base alone

Change of orders, three days rest before the next mission starts

Base camp a place with a bed, showers and the mail that to the field never came

The girl, back in the world though, is the closest thing to his heart

Mail call, he stands and listens for his name

He takes his letters and two small packages, and returns to his tent

Each man asks but a moment of privacy to read their words from home

For a moment then they can believe, when asked to go to this jungle, they never went

As he reads he is surrounded by friends and family in the world, he knows heís not alone

The letterís first to open and then the packages

Momís package first, heíll save the best for last

Cookies and a birthday cupcake wrapped in a happy birthday sack

Now the package from the girl back in the world, the one to open slow not fast

Her writing on the address reminds him of her hair

Long flowing and the ends, just the flip of a curl

He opens the box and closes his eyes, the smell, itís her sheís standing there

He reaches in with eyes still closed, itís soft, itís her, heís back in the world

With eyes still closed he lifts this softness and presses her against his face

He looks and finds a sweater, no more cold nights in this jungle land

What could have been more thoughtful that a sweater sent to this forgotten place

A Warrior sits holding Love to his face and wipes a tear away with the back of his hand

I am ever so grateful to James Smith who served in Vietnam for writing this poem. I had told Jim that for Christmas 1969, I sent my fiancť,  Jim, a sweater and I believed it was a stupid thing to do as it surely was too hot in Vietnam for sweaters. Jim assured me that it was not a stupid thing and sent this poem. Thank you Jim - for helping me understand...

Graphic of a Soldier in Vietnam
© James Smith

Music: Green Green Grass of Home
© by J. Curly Putman; originally performed by Tom Jones

Color Scroll Bar Script Courtesy of: