Follow me now and I’ll take you back

through mystical shades of green

to a faraway place where men waged war

in battles few have seen


Down the darkened valleys

and up the misted peaks

through bamboo stands and tiger grass

and muddied jungle streams


They laughed and cried as brothers

no color, no race, just men

they fought alongside together

but died alone in the arms of the wind


As a mother dreams of a son who was lost

to a cause that only he knew

and her heart cries out in the lonely night

Oh, God, my son why you


Then maybe someday when the truth dares be told

no longer the need for a lie

people shall know as their sons did

the reason for which they did die


They tell me at night in the Ia Drang

of a sound that stirs the soul

the mournful voices of soldiers

on a whispered and lonely patrol


They seek not an enemy unit

but friends who’ve long since gone

with eyes that see forever

this ghostly patrol searches on


Oft times at night, those days come back

and I see their faces well

that long dark line of soldiers

who’ve seen the depths of hell


They’re holding out their hands to me

as if for help, I know

but there is no way to reach them

this lonely, lost patrol


Now their names are etched forever

in black granite for all to be seen

but their souls have passed to heaven

through mystical shades of green.



Sp./4 Charles R. Laing

E Co. -4th/39th Infantry

9th Infantry Division

and C Co.

1st/12th –4th Infantry Division

Republic of Vietnam  1967