Poem by Ron Chapelle

    When I was young I served a term
    as a 203 in the land of Herm.
    I flew the Herk and scribed the take
    and learned that Steinhager will make you ache.
    Burned the bags and scrubbed the floor
    all behind the big green door.
    I scrubbed the floor so doggone clean
    not a speck of dirt could ever be seen.
    Then DuLong told me to pack my kit.
    I was off in the morning for a little trip.
    Det 76 was a different scene.
    And Tom Tennant was truly mean.
    Fang and Blazer scared me to death
    and the barracks smelled like camel's breath.
    But if the birds got off the ground
    we'd look and listen for the tiniest sound.
    Lessons in poker and warm cans of beer
    filled the nights while we were here.
    And then the day would come
    "Balls out for Balzano" and on to home.
    Italy, Iran and Greece we saw, too
    and, off duty, some things that were new.
    But travel wasn't what it was about
    the mission came first - 'til we got out.
    Some left the service but most of us stayed.
    Our youth (and tinnitus) were prices we paid.
    And most of us now are pudgy and grey
    and biding our time 'til judgement day.
    Now and then one makes the big PCS.
    We gather each year with some of the rest.
    So lift up your glass and raise up a toast!
    We did all we could when it mattered the most.

    Ron Chapelle-2007
    USAF 1960-1981

[Silent Warriors Home Page]