I was with that which others did not want to be,
I went to where others feared to go, and did
what others failed to do.
I asked nothing of those who gave nothing,
and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal
loneliness that I feel. I have seen the face of terror, felt
the stinging cold of fear, And enjoyed the sweet taste of a
moments love. I have cried pain and hope.
But most of all I have lived times others would
say were best forgotten. At least some day I'll be able to
say, That I was proud of what I was, A Soldier.
There Are Two Storms In Our
Life. One Storm is Growing Up.
The Other Storm Is Growing
Old. After You Have Experienced Both
Storms, You Will Understand What
Your Life Has Meant To You And others.
Music Is "Riders On The Storm" By The Doors
I was in the First Cavalry (Airmobile)"A" Co. 229th AHB as a door Gunner. I was in Vietnam from
June 1966 to June 1967. The base camp for the 1st Cav , when I was there, was at AnKhe, in the
Highlands. I am very supportive of the MIA issue. I have adopted an MIA my wife went to high school
with. We prepared for the worst and hope for the best. As I look back now, even though I still hate that war, I
wouldn't change anything, except to not see all those KIA's we picked up. I hated being in Vietnam and
I hated the war, but now as I recall some fond memories, I still think about all those brave soldiers I
would have never come into contact with had I not gone to Vietnam. Even today I still have the
pleasure of meeting Vietnam vets at the VA Hospital. I didn't realize it in Vietnam but we were truly
appreciated by the grunts we worked with. They hated to hear us coming to take them into battle but
they were sure happy to hear us coming to take them out of battle, or bring them a hot breakfast.
I remember feeling that same way every time I went into the field on a patrol. I had an infantry MOS, so all of
us guys that were 11Bravo would go on short patrols. It was a very empty, scary feeling when we got
dropped off and watched that chopper fly off, but it was great hearing them coming to get us. I have never
met a grunt at the VA who said anything to the contrary.
I flew in a Huey in November of 2002 for the first time in over 30 years. It was one of the best days of
my life. See the story "In The Shadow Of The Blade"
As others wish they could have, would have, or glad they didn't, I did, and am proud to say,
"I fought in Vietnam". Keith (Hacksaw) Bodine 1966-1967
My Son Kyle Was Always Proud And
Supportive Of Me. I love and miss you. Pop
“Without Freedom of thought there can be no
such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public
liberty, without freedom of speech.”
― Benjamin Franklin
I was once looked up to, I was a war hero.
Now I walk to where ever I want to, and beg for what ever I can find,
My face is so old and wrinkled, my life has not been kind.
A half century ago, I served when I was called to go,
I was a combat soldier, proud and brave, ready in my soul.
My time in Vietnam made me hate my life,
Drugs and booze were my strength, which led to my strife.
Today I eat whatever I can find, I sleep wherever I can,
I am the people I hate, I am the one they can't stand.
The life I know of using drugs and becoming a boozer,
Has almost, but not quite, helped make me a total loser.
Then one day it happened, I had not thought of Him in years,
I fell to my knees in prayer and shed a half century of tears.
God told me to rise up, go forth, and again become a man,
Now today, I show others like me, what God will do and can.
© Keith Bodine 06/21/2007
Just As Brightly As His Brass
"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I've never expected, or had much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
Sp. 4 John Richard "Rick" Gregoire
"A" Co. 229th AHB/Door Gunner
Rick was killed in a helicopter crash. He was my best friend and I missed him dearly after he was gone. I was fortunate
enough to be in the rescue helicopter to come to his crew's aid. I was broken-hearted to find out the KIA mentioned on the
radio was Rick. I helped load him in the rescue aircraft for his journey to Pleiku and the trip back home. I looked for
Rick's parents for years so I could tell them how brave a soldier he was and exactly how he died. I never found them. I
have tried to maintain his memory by keeping it alive in my web site and any other place I can. I miss you to this day,
Rick. I miss the practical jokes we used to play on each other. I remember the time you got mad at me for putting the
snake in your sleeping bag and the time I short-sheeted you. It was always pay-back time for each of us. I missed the reel
to reel letters we used to send to your mom and the swapping of the goodies we each got from home. After you died, my
personality died with you. I lost my ability to have fun anymore. I sure wish you wouldn't have died. I know it's selfish of
me to feel that way but I just missed you so much. You were my best friend and I lost you to that stinking war.
God Bless you, Rick.
I hope you have rested in peace over these years.
Keith (Bo) Bodine
Rick is on the Virtual Wall. One day I got an E-Mail from a cousin of his. She had found my memorial on the Virtual Wall
We are like family now even though we have never met. We E-Mail each other and she sends me cards on Veteran's Day
and other occasions.
Connie Mack Is Facing Me At Our Reunion
SP- 4 Connie Mack Pearson
Vietnam 5/7th Cavalry 1966-1967
Connie and his wife Sue, drove all the way from Illinois
to Pasadena, Texas. It was a grand reunion and
we enjoyed catching up. It is with much sadness
that I found out tonight Connie died on
24 Feb. 2013. His injuries from Vietnam caught up
with him, and his tired old body was just worn
out. I will miss our phone conversations and our friendship.
Connie, His Wife Sue, My Wife and Grandson, Carson, My Grand Daughter Alexa, Me
Jimmy Pruitt, Father of Mike Pruitt,
Who I Have Met Through Mike Signing My Guestbook,
Then Becoming E-Mail Friends. God Bless You Jimmy.
Your War Is Over.
229th AHB Crest