The Hump
                                       By SGT. HJ. Brooks

Saddle up the word goes round,
First we’ll hump up then we we’II hump down.

60 pounds and more that's what we tote, Humping the mountains just like goats.

We've humped just an hour and we feel the heat, More than 100 and we're already beat.

You can’t drink much water cause it's hard to find, So you don’t think about it, it's a test for the mind.

Your helmets heavy, your flack jackets hot,
But you've got to wear them you might get shot.

We've humped half a day when the rain starts to fall, It helps with the heat, But that's not all.

It adds 10 pounds to the load we bear,
And the trail is slick, so we must move with care.

We top a tall hill as evening draws near, So we’ll drop our packs and dig in here.

But the days not over for you nor me, For tonight we must watch for the enemy.

We won’t get much sleep not near enough,
Cause tomorrow we’II hump again, and we’II have to be

SGT. HJ. Brooks,  U.S.M.C.
Semper Fl


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                                          The Brotherhood

We're deep in the jungle, search and destroy is our mission, When we take five for a break, and to give our position.

The point smells a scent that he's smelled before, So he moves to have a look, it's part of his chore.

With just a few steps he's in the killing zone, The fire's real heavy, he's out there alone.

You know if it were you he'd help if he could, You know it because of the brotherhood.

The brotherhood of battle it lies so deep, The feelings we've shared, hardship, danger, and heat.

The platoon forms up and moves out on line, We're on our way, can we reach him in time.

We're putting out fire, the enemy shoots back, We can't stop now we have to attack.

We see our friend lying there ahead, He's alive, just pretending he's dead.
So once again we've fought for each other, We've fought for our friend, we fought for our brother.

We gave it our all and did what we could, The weary members of the brotherhood.

SGT. H.J. Brooks, U.S.M.C.
For the Brotherhood

                                         Corpsman up!

Corpsman up, what do these words mean ? Corpsman up means a wounded Marine.
They start out wearing navy blue, But they become Marines like me and you.

And if hit in battle you should fall, They'll always come just give them a call.

I’ve seen them move forward when others stayed low, And I’ll never forget the courage they showed.

They serve with Marines the fighting elite,
And if devotion were measured they a stand 10 feet.

They might be called squids in moments of jest, But Marines will tell you they're some of the best.

SGT. HJ. Brooks, U.S.M.C.
For the Doc's
©   1990

                                      1/3 Down

Were humping the bush one company strong, But were 1/3 down from disease and the Cong.

We leave the tall grass and enter the trees, And before long it's triple canopy.
The enemy starts shooting, But they’re hard to see, I’m counting on you, and you’ re counting on me.

Tnere's help on the way if we can hold on,
But were 1/3 down from disease and the Cong.

The enemy is tough, but were tough too,
We’ve fought them before and always come through.

Were fighting hard when the jets roar past, So now we know that helps come at last.

The jets give us strength and make us feel strong, But were 1/3 down from disease and the Cong.

We rise to our feet and then fight through, We’ve paid a high price and made them pay too.

Another day in the Nam and so we move on, 1/3 down from disease and the Cong.

SGT. HJ.Brooks, U.S.M.C
For the Grunts

The Author / Poet 2nd from the left
email me
War wages around us savage and cruel.
Life is cheaply sold.

While ideals and desires, countries duel.
Listen, while life's bitter story here is told.

Spring is her with beauty vast and hills are vibrant green,

Winter's dreary dormance past and flowers from the buds are seen.

With gentle hands God has blessed
The bonds of winter thrown but so many youths this day do rest.

In the arms of death they lie alone,A man with hopes, joys and dreams, Struck down by fate's violent thrust,

While a cry of virtue Sorrowfully dims one  right mind, life to dust.
By James E. (Rusty) West
KIA 31 May 1968 Hill 881
Submitted by survivor
member sister June Austin
I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.

I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.

I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrade’s drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand.

As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades...such good men.

From "These Good Men" by Michael Norman