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Brownwater Sailors of years gone by have become a dying breed.
But these are the men who carried the flag when their country was in need.
From the width and breadth of this great land they flocked to heed the call
And promised God and country that they would give their all.

They came from farms and factories, and mansions by the bay
And in each chest there beat a heart where common virtues lay.
Duty, Honor, Country, these three would stand the test
For America in her wisdom had picked her very best.

In a foreign land with an unknown foe they gathered one and all
The weak and strong, the young and brave with each one standing tall.
With the blood of long dead patriots pulsing strongly through their veins
These strong, brave men stood ready to defend their flag again.

Up murky, winding rivers with uncommon sounding names
By dark of night they plied their crafts and played their deadly games.
The VC grew to hate them as they probed into their lair
For their numbers decreased daily when these sailors ventured there.

Vam Co Dong and Song Ong Doc, Parrot's Beak, Nha Be
With nerves of steel these River Rats would brush their fears away.
Song Long Tao and Soi Rap, An Phu, Vam Co Tay.
God bless these men who pushed their boats directly in harm's way.

Across the land from north to south these sailors showed their might
Inserting SEALSs and LRRPs ashore to even up the fight.
When Charlie dared to test their skills these sailors did excel
And did their best to speed along old Charlie's trip to Hell.

PBRs and Monitors, STABs and ATCs;
All manned by valiant swabbies who handled them with ease.
PCFs and LSTs, ZIPPO boats and MSBs
The bravery of their Navy crews brought Charlie to his knees.

The night belonged to Charlie for many, many years
But the roar of mighty engines let him know his time was near.
No matter where he ventured or how much he liked to fight.
The men in little boats all knew that sailors owned the night.

But sometimes sailors fall in war and some men pay the price
For no war is ever won or lost without that sacrifice.
Just revere his name, praise his deeds and mourn quietly your loss.
For the soul of a sailor will surely reach heaven, regardless of the cost.

©Copyright by Larry L. Dunn

Dedicated to the memory of those Brownwater sailors who made the Supreme Sacrifice while helping the oppressed and who so valiantly and honorably represented this great nation in an unpopular war; and to those who survived that war and live with the physical and mental scars as a result of their involvement.

Welcome home Brothers.

Larry Dunn

Biographical Information: United States Navy (Ret.) Larry's first tour in Vietnam was in 1968-69 at An Thoi on Phu Quoc Island. He worked at the Coastal Surveillance Center and with Coastal Group 42 (Junk Force) running ambush ops with the junks in Duong Dong, Rach Gia and Ha Tien areas. During the last 2 months of this tour he was sent to the USS Hunterdon County (LST-838) on the Ham Luong River supporting PBRs. After returning to the states, he attended a 35 week Vietnamese language school at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Upon graduation, he returned in-country from Jan 72 until March 1973. During this tour he worked as an Advisor with the Naval Advisory Group.