Bombs exploding all around me
The roar of planes flying low
Men screaming and yelling
The guy ahead stood on a mine
Poor bastard had only been here a week
Shots fired out of the darkness
It landed at my feet - I screamed grenade
As I dived for cover

My senses returned - I heard a woman crying
Opening my eyes I saw the woman
Tears running down her face
Her eyes filled with fear
I looked around, shocked at the sight
It was my bedroom, she was my wife
The love of my life , shaking and crying
This war in Vietnam killing her too

Too many nights are like this
They are getting worse each year
It's been 35 years since Vietnam
The year that killed my life
After carefree teenage years
Full of school football and girls
I was off to the NFL they all said
Best quarterback the school had seen

All this changed on a hot July day
My number was drawn, I was the army's now
The football dream was over
I'm going to fight for my country
Stop the communists swarming Asia
Taking away rights and freedoms
Slaughtering all before them
They're trying to conquer the world

I left my small town for the first time
Wide eyed and innocent I arrived at the army
Basic training was so darn hard
I thought I was fit when I arrived
I certainly was when I left
Did I look good in my uniform
The girls would flock around us
Life had never been better

In no time we were loaded on a plane
Our adventure in Vietnam was to begin
We landed two days later in Saigon
Unprepared for what was to come
Everyone looked the same, who was the enemy
A man with a gun - do I shoot or wave
Your nerves always on edge
Stay alert or die in this strangest of wars

Day after day we patrolled the jungle
Up hills through rivers and streams
Out in the open, at times as easy target
We would come under fire from the NVA
The shot came from somewhere ahead
We all shot and hoped at the trees
Each week hundreds of Americans died
Out on patrol we could be next

This was their country, they knew it well
Having fought the French for independence
Their methods and tactics suited the countryside
Using booby traps and mines with great effect
Tunnels to hide and live in made them
Hard to locate and very dangerous
You couldn't trust anyone, they all looked the same
This war really was mental torture

We tried something reasonably new to wars
Orange striped barrels were loaded on planes
It's going to level the jungle
Level the playing field for us
Little did we know it was 100 times the toxic limit
For a weed killer allowed in the United States
Little did we know it poisoned the soil
The drinking water and our brains

Napalm, once an incendiary used against buildings
Introduced brutality and horror to the war
We used it against people - this fire bomb
Watching and listening to people scream
As their clothing, skin and flesh peeled off them
A sound you can't forget, which haunts your nights
This is a reason the locals hated us
We killed villages without reason it seemed

The stress of being there took a heavy toll
Everyday a couple of servicemen took their lives
It was a cruel time, screams never ending
Soldiers without legs, arms, or sight
Many found relief in a bottle or drugs
Bourbon would help you sleep at night
Marijuana took away the horror for a time
Nothing could removed the memories of horror

My 12 months in Vietnam seemed slow
Full of death, pain, horrors and suffering
We had R&R twice . It eased the pain
For the time I was in Sydney Australia
Those sheilas really loved us yanks
Beer and broads a great way to relax
Then back to 'nam and it's damn war
Only a month left until I leave

My tour came to an abrupt end
Courtesy of a bullet in the shoulder
They got me, we turned them into sieves
The pain was incredible, A joint eased it
I was addicted now, made my life nearly bearable
Marijuana was the crutch I Lent on for six months

No longer the innocent kid of 12 months ago
I left Vietnam a harder man with death on his hands
Having seen women and children suffer brutality
A buddy lose his legs and take his life
Nothing good is going to come out of this war
Nothing to be proud of - nothing gained
I was in for a bigger shock stateside
I wasn't a hero, No-one wanted to know me

I have a couple of medals, I served bravely
Proudly I left the plane - chest out
World War Two had parades, real heroes
I was expecting a warm welcome, friendly smiles
No-one smiled, no eye contact, no well done or thank you
I had been fighting for freedom - freedom for all
Where ever I went people hated me. How can
this happen in America - I fought for you bastards

My family welcomed me, my mom cried
We had a BBQ with all the relatives around
It was my first relaxed night in 12 months
Cousin Joe took me out the back, we shared a joint
It was good to be around friendly faces again
We all got drunk, they wanted to hear about Vietnam
I couldn't tell them, memories hurt too much
They didn't understand, John Wayne made it look easy

I let my hair grow. Didn't mention Vietnam
Marijuana helped me through the hard times
Tried to go to college. My mind was shot
Couldn't concentrate Couldn't learn
Applied for a few jobs, became a mailman
Life was getting back on track again
Began dating Jenny, a beautiful blonde girl
We were married a year later

Then it happened. I was at work one day
Had an argument with a co-worker about Vietnam
Before I knew it he was laying in a pool of blood
I was handcuffed in the back of a cop car
My postal career was over. The first of many
I changed jobs often in the next few years
It ruined my marriage - ending after five years
I would lose my temper and explode

The rest of my life was like that
Two wives and five kids - all hate me
Going from job to job, a stint in jail
My life wasn't meant to be like this
Before Vietnam I was easy going, very likable
Never had a fight, was in the church choir
Now if I hear fireworks or a car backfire
I hit the ground and take cover

Homeless for the last few years
Living under bridges, even in a tree
Waking up at night yelling and screaming
They call me mad sending me away
The demons in my head are taking over
Walking up the street arguing with myself
Yelling and screaming I approached a train line
In a lucid moment I stepped in front of the train