As a youth I left home and family behind
And joined up with a warrior clan
A rite of passage to becoming a man
The bridge between youth and adult I sought to span
Tempting fate through the rigors of a war's deadly grind

Sojurned across the sea with a band of hardy fellows
Strangers we were in a strange and deadly land
Delivered there by fate's uncompromising hand
Customs and tongues of the country an alien brand
Firey coals of deception fanned by a war's great bellows

A cultural clash putting us in a bind
Who was the foe
Was ever hard to know
Mistrust in our hearts did grow
No clear cut lines left us flying blind

Strangers we were in a strange land
Amidst a culture where life had little value
Where e'en the children were sacrificed on cue
Hatred within the mind was stirred like simmering stew
A culture so alien I couldn't understand

But I did my duty, served my tour
Then hung around for a little more
Not seeing the changes taking place at the core
Tripped on the threshold falling flat on my face upon the floor
Thence came the day I was ushered out the door

Returning home I found the land had changed
'Twas not the simple land of my father's but one of chaos
Strident voices and harsh words honed a keen sense of loss
Nerves now raw, trust was a coin toss
With former friends I was now estranged

Yea though I was home, the homeland was gone
All around I heard the littany of criticism and reprimand
The chanting crowds, their phrases canned
A firey wrath in my soul was fanned
Still a stranger in a strange and unfamiliar land
In my mind, for the homeland, I travel ever on

R Hogan
Roger D. (Hoagie) Hogan

57th AHC, Gladiator 929, 70 - 72
An Khe, Kontum, Dak To, Pleiku
1st Avn. Co.(RR)Cam Ranh Bay, 68
144th Avn. Co.(RR) Nha Trang  68