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Veteran's Voices



I forgive you for spending more time caring about the enemy, than you did for our men in uniform. I forgive you for burying our dead without honor. I forgive you for not welcoming us after all the wrong you sent us to do for you. I forgive you for spitting on my uniform. I forgive you for trampling and burning my Flag. I forgive you for hating me. I forgive you for all the names you called me. I forgive you for putting all the blame on me, and telling me I'd lost a war. I forgive you for running off to Canada, Mexico, England, and even as far off as Russia. I forgive you for not forgiving me. I forgive you for turning my parents against me. I forgive you for not writing to me when I stood my post. I forgive you for all the things you did trying to prove that we were wrong and you were right.

Now I ask you to forgive me, because I still cannot forget.

Ernesto Gomez mos-6320


It seems to rain a lot over here in Nam. This country gets more than it's share.
I watched the people working their land.
Stooped over, water to their knees, as they talked and found reason for laughter. Hard to believe they've been at war so many years.

They were so friendly and bowed to us at first, gave us their trust, it was more than I could bare. My grandmother acted much like them. She would fold her hands when speaking to a stranger, look into the eyes, smile and gently bow her head as if accepting. She was an old lady with many years of wear and tear.

She taught me her manners and I tried hard to use those manners until the rains and the mud eroded them bare. I was taught to love mankind, but having sworn allegiance, to fight for my country, I now had learned the opposite. As a young man I learned it all too well. You don't have to agree.

The men around me did the same, slowly at first, it grows and gains momentum.
Don't allow them near your bird. You don't have to give them candy."
I thought we were on their side. These were the people from the south.
Yes I treated them unkindly. Even cheated some most likely.

Twenty Piasters for a wash of clothes, so much less for a whole lot more.
They came around the camps loaded down with cokes and ice.
Peanuts, elephant wallets the girls would try and sell.

But that wasn't enough. We asked about "boom boom" as young girls turned or cried. "You numba ten GI , ineba boom boom."

I'd like to turn the clock back, but it's too late for this gray head.
My country dearest I beg you're learning. Can you see there's a storm in sight?
There must be rules before we bomb. There has to be a lesson learned.
For a country half submerged in rains, with sunny children playing lively.

And yes they shot back. They tortured and maimed.
What would you have done, to a man who had hurt your sister?
I couldn't imagine a soldier in my land, not without my gun in hand.
I know I'd be killed but I'll wait for the rains to wash my hate away.

Ernesto Gomez USMC 65-70, Vietnam 66-69, MOS-6320


There is nothing shameful about fear. 
Sometimes we falter when it comes near.
We try not to show it, to some how disguise it.
Some actually love and will thrive on it.

How we chose to deal with it is another story.
To want to do ones best perhaps revel
in it's glory.
Some look it in the eye, and dare it do it's worst.
Still others accomplish the job, and let others be the judge.

You acted in a moments notice, and no one saw you do it.
You save another mans life and he couldn't even thank you for it.
I saw a Corpsman do it in a moment with skilled hands.
He stopped the blood, and moved to another his skills in hi demand.

I have to remember as in a dream, this is happened so long ago.
But to forget it would be disastrous because I love this country so.
A medal is how this country remembers to say it's thanks to some.
But as I look around the VA hospitals I tell you in truth, 
it is the smile on a GI whose come home, that is the highest praise of all.

Ernesto Gomez- USMC L/Cpl.


Interview with a Psyc. 

I cannot handle this Doc. I don't want to see the whole picture. What is that which I seek for? Why do I constantly seek? What is it I need to hear?

It's not about life or death, the meaning or the answer to something important.

I've forgotten. Something I once owned but lost. Something that I just can't regain.

It nags at me so hard at times that I think of myself as less than. I'm about to blow a fuse.

I've thought of retaliation but I know if I fail, I would also hurt those who still count on me. I've loved them for so long.

A doctor I've admired for years now once asked me. "Explain it to me, Gooie. Perhaps I can help."

And so I explain it simply, in the manner that I thought he might see clearly, as to a child.

I said, "Doctor my time in Vietnam is of importance to me. However there are times, when I could have done much better but I chose instead to simply not survive."

I had a girl I loved. When I returned, after doing my duty, she asked me to leave her alone.

Her name you ask? She was America Doc. She called herself America The Beautiful

Ernesto Gomez USMC 65-70
Rep of Vietnam 66-69
MOS-6320 Crew Chief CH-46

Support Choppers

To support the 0311 in the field.
Doesn't sound like much to handle.

Ones heart goes out to the ground troops.
So much at stake. So much to loose.

I Push out five gallon cans of water on pallets as we leave with wounded aboard. Red bundles of mail I hand out to waiting hands and tons of c-rations.

Marines returning from R.&R. slowly leave the red cargo seats of my bird. They look under my dark visor. Probably wanting to borrow my m-79 which I clutch with a death grip.

I'm an old marine now at twenty two years of age. I've been here two tours. I'm trying to complete a third. The odds are against me to finish this tour.

I love the corps, so many lives at stake. If they only knew how hard it is to not count the dead. Why is that always so up front in my thoughts. Now in dreams I count day and night.

My little brother Al is in Vietnam now. I hope some crew chief out there is being kind to him. It is a blessing to bring assistance the grunt. These young men in their teens counting days to their date of rotation. GOD be gentle with their spirits their souls they are so tattered.

May it be Thy Will.

Ernesto Gomez USMC mos-6320


They were used. Children walking,
old men and women talking.

The adults were aware.
But they trudged on without care.

They knew they'd die. They had to,
any thing for chairman Ho.

By day they'd shoot at ours.
We'd fill theirs full of holes.

We'd fill ours up with sand again,
they'd go to a village, and recruit again.

Again to serve as sand bags.
To put our men in body bags.

Ernesto Gomez 

Rockets Light Up The Night 

There was a lot of talk of Tet, The grunts are on high alert Jan.22nd of 69, my bird is the emergency med-evac package. Things were quiet . Way too quiet.

The chopper stands ready her guns in place pilots reassured one another looking at maps. I see it before I hear it. It screams as it comes to earth. 

I hear a loud muffled explosion. I feel the vibrations. I fight not to grab my ears. It splashes out red flames. You can hear the metal whizzing by you. I hear people running.

 We run to the chopper. I hear heavy breathing; I bump into a Corpsman he tells me to "move it". I'm pumping hard at the handle of the APP. I have to get 1800 psi before the pilots are seated. 

More rockets hitting. I crouch.  "Damn, these people are trying for the fuel bladders". I think out loud, "How smart they are." "Fucking bastards," someone breaks radio silence. "Easy guys," the pilot takes charge of the radio.

The runway lights twinkled out. The runways slip into darkness.

"Tower come in. Tower come in. This is Swift medevac," Lt. Donnovan tries in vain. "Don't bother to taxi", I tell him. "Lift up sir, get us over the bay." More rockets are hitting. Is that my voice so shrill and loud? "I copy that," says Donnovan "Letís leave this place."  

We quickly climb, I feel safer up here. "Tis better to give than to receive," I recall reading this someplace. I shiver, hot sweat has turned cold my cloths are damp. The emergency frequency is now dialed in.

My chopper will be filled with wounded tonight. We descend, just North of Da Nang, where our Marines are embraced in a struggle with death. They have been over-run.

C + U = X

Dear Jane, I love you so much.
I've put my can on the line for you.

Dear Jane, I just got my Dear John.
We disagree on certain issues, but I still love you.

Dear Jane you don't know the rules.
I see you've met Charlie. 

Dear Jane, Charlie doesn't follow the rules either.
My problem. I signed the paper. I'll finish my duty

Dear Jane, Charlie + you =Bad News
PS. I love you

Charlie Ridge    

A wounded lieutenant was ready to be lifted, 
My chopper was steady and little had she drifted.

My hoist was down below tree tops, he'd soon be flown to safety.
 The Purple Fox were here, he knew, to guarantee his safety. 

My gunners were ready their eye's upon the jungle,
Their thumbs upon their butterflies intense above the rumble. 

I heard my wounded chopper moan as fifty's ripped through her,
I saw my wounded gunners fall and die, still trying to defend her.

Hot oil's on me and fuel from the engines.
Confetti thrown at me from holes made by their fifty's.
Small arms chatter and fifty's thunder, noises louder than my engines.

Sounds of tearing fire eating at my bird. I lay there hurting. I lay there bleeding,

Please God, help my friends, they're lying inside. They're burning. The jungle's cooled. I feel soft rain. The deed was done. The suffering ended.

And now another Purple Fox appears to mourn four dead, and lift out its three wounded. 

Day of shoot down. April-14-69
Day of writing. April-14-98

Thank you Maj. E. Cunningham

Thank you Col. E. Brady  

L/Cpl. Ernesto (Gooie) Gomez - Crewchief Hmm 364       


 Kent M. Herrick, Editor in Chief, 2007 


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Ernesto Gomez USMC 

Cpl. Gomez Passed away October 23, 2007.

We will miss him and we salute him.

Freddy and Kent 

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