By Bob "Jungle Vet" Baird

Young and foolish, which road to take?
Four with the Corps, have I made a mistake?
At college I was taught to question, "Just why?"
No questioning now, no debate, just do it or die.

To boot camp I went, become a man, so they say.
I look back at it now, was it really the way?
Training and obedience, to dull my young mind.
"You're going to Nam", NOW what would I find?

Ignorance and prejudice and a foe seldom seen.
"Defeat the ENEMY!" But WHOM did they mean?
"The one threatening our country," they said, "of COURSE!"
But a threat to the individual ebbed from a different source.

Back from Nam in a flash, my mind not yet clear.
The very price that you pay, Oh GOD! how dear.
I've earned three letters of a four letter word
U - S - E - D, and THAT'S not absurd.

Yes, sensitivity and feeling, I'm not quite dead yet,
Individuality, that I still have, but I really regret
What was lost to that complex military machine.
Ignorant animal; it's synonymous with Marine.

I'm beginning to live,I'm happier with life
My only set back--the death of my wife.
I've endured the trial of these three endless long years
And I paid for it MYSELF! With sweat, blood and tears.

In less than a year, I shall once more be free,
No more suppression nor harassment for me.
Enlightenment and education, a future sure, quite bright,
With application, any goal I choose can come into sight.

The dying is over, it's time now to just live,
And I feel that I have a lot more to give
Of myself, to the WORLD! And now I know more,
It won't be with the aid of the U. S. Marine Corps

copyright 1970 Bob Baird, all rights reserved