Twin Cities, MINNESOTA

W. A. Mack S1c

      Thanks to Eileen Locke
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Filling a hole in a bridge in Iraq 2004

Gather round a little closer,
While I relate to you
'Bout the 25th Special Battalion,
So help me God, it's true.

We don't claim to be heroes,
Or ever hope to be.
We're not actually fighting,
To keep America free.

We left a pier at Frisco,
Going where, God only knew.
Wondering when we'd be home again
Whether we'd be many...or few.

It was a sorrowful voyage,
One I hope we'll never repeat.
Our quarters were crowded and musty,
Two meals a day we'd eat.

Of course we were allowed on deck,
Exactly four hours a day.
Then back to our holes, six decks beneath,
In our berths we'd quietly lay.

For 21 days we went thru hell,
Before landing on foreign soil,
We didn't take a beachhead,
But were in for plenty of toil.

Of course they called us "Seabees"
With a motto called "Can Do."
And just one look at the ships in the bay,
Was a task that everyone knew.

A bottleneck was at our door,
Keeping supplies from our battlefronts.
So we pitched to load these ships
We labored many months.

The rainy season was at hand
To make the matter worse,
We were soaked for 30 days and nights
It all seemed like a curse.

And then the dry spell came at last,
The mercury rose by the inch,
But the cargo hook kept dancing,
To the music of the winch.

One by one the ships left port,
And headed for open sea.
With their million dollar cargoes,
For the torch of liberty.

The bottleneck was broken,
Our job was nearly done.
We had passed the ammunition
To the man behind the gun.

These first few months we did all right,
None of us felt ill,
Then, from our ever-tempting blood,
The mosquito drank his fill.

Malaria and ungle rot
Was common to us all.
But the corpsmen in our sick bay
Kept us on the ball.

It's not our fault we didn't fight.
"They" didn't want us to.
Someone had to do this job,
It didn't matter who.

A year has passed and we're still here,
What else must we achieve?
Must we all become demented
Before this gruesome place we leave?

Oh well! I can't tell all the things
We've done or seen out here.
God only knows just where we'll be,
Before this time next year.

Just one more thing I'd like to add
To the above verse of this poem,
I speak for all the Battalion
When I say "I wish it's....home."


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revised 17 January, 2019