Saturday, September 23, 2006

Drive on, it don't mean nothin'

Every so often frustration and melancholy take me into dark places. Frustration with myself and/or frustration with the world. This song, while not about my war, echoes something told me by Nam vet while I was working on his VA claim. He'd been a tunnel rat with the 25ID around Cu Chi. He was talking about the time one of his buddies was hit. I asked if he stopped, he said "Nah, I called for a medic, stepped over him and drove on." Wasn't callousness at work, just focus on what mattered that day.

In the scheme of things that's pretty good advice. It's so damn easy to get tangled up in the small things that we loose track of things that matter. Not profound, or wise... just reality.

It's one of the tools that works for me when frustration leads to depression. Drive on, it don't mean nothin'.

Well, I got a friend named Whiskey Sam
He was my boonierat buddy for a year in Nam
He said I think my country got a little off track
Took 'em twenty-five years to welcome me back
But, it's better than not coming back at all
Many a good man
I saw fall And even now,
every time I dream I hear the men
and the monkeys in the jungle scream

Drive on, it don't mean nothin'
My children love me , but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, it don't mean nothin', it don't mean nothin', drive on

Well, I remember one night,
Tex and me Rappelled in on a hot L.Z.
We had our 16's on rock and roll
And, with all that fire,
I was scared and cold
I was crazy, I was wild
And I have seen the tiger smile
I spit in a bamboo viper's face
And I'd be dead , but by God's grace

Drive on, it don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, it don't mean nothin', it don't mean nothin', drive on

It was a real slow walk in a sad rain
And nobody tried to be John Wayne
I came home, but Tex did not
And I can't talk about the hit he got
but I got a little limp now when
I walk and I Got a little tremolo when
I talk But my letter read from Whiskey Sam
You're a walkin' talkin' miracle from Vietnam

Drive on, it don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
Drive on, it don't mean nothin', it don't mean nothin', drive on

Johnny Cash

1 Comments:

Anonymous Danielle said...

Nice blog you have here sir, I'll be back to read more. Glad to see you are a supporter of our troops. I'm a junor in high school and I've been supporting our troops through Anysoldier.com. I've got two guys in Iraq right now, one is a 21 yr old Marine and one is a soldier who just turned 20. He chose to stay another yr after his unit returned home--the guts they have.
I am in addition the proud daughter of a Navy Vietnam Vet--Tonkin Gulf,and the proud little sis of a Marine! A long overdue thanks to you for serving our country...God bless!

9:14 PM  

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