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More Listening Post
10/6/2006 6:47:51 PM

As I was boarding the plane to go home after my tour in Vietnam, I looked back at the village and the countryside behind me.  At that time I had the fleeting thought almost as an audible voice saying "Someday, I will return".  That thought and what it might mean has haunted me over the years.  This poem addresses what if I were to return, what would I see and what does it mean.

The Listening Post - Revisited


It was on a bright November day,

To board the plane for home, my heart did yearn.

There was then a voice it seemed to say

some day to this place you will return.


Now as days have turned to years

it seems that thought, that fleeting thought

will never be fulfilled, as I oft shed tears

for that land for whose freedom I fought.


Why did I sense that feeling, that need, 

that I would return someday to this land.

Was it God’s plan to heal, for me to heed,

or his plan to offer you his redeeming hand?


Now it seems I see you only in my dream.

As I  reflect upon what I might see,

if to your land I would return, would it seem

a better place, a better life, but for me?


Up Highway 9, remembering the mud, the dust,

from Dong Ha through the village of Cam Lo,

still littered with trucks and the guns left to rust.

Now cars speed by, where wagons then did go.


Years ago, I saw you walking along that road

I sensed your fears, not knowing your plight.

I said a prayer for you in words yet untold

Wishing, hoping that you would be all right.


Did you know that I was here?

or do you care, do you even care?

For I did what seemed right that year,

but now not knowing is hard to bear


I saw you in your dress so pure, so white,

I heard my comrades laugh with glee

I felt the shame, as the truck veered right

and your dress was muddied for all to see.


Today you seem so happy in your fields of rice

as I turn  to the left to go up the hill,

then called Carroll.  It seemed quite nice,

beautiful, but for the scars of  war, visible still.




I see the remains of sand bag hill,

now a fruit  tree farm with grass grazed by sheep

but then the bunker to protect us from ill,

safe from harm for our mission to keep.


I see the hole in the ground beneath the hill

where I found refuge for my duty in the quest

to direct the devastating fire of our guns for the “kill”.

But the once proud standard lay crumbled with the rest.


We, my comrades, did our best, our utmost best,

to do what then had seemed so right.

while sounds unknown disturbed our rest

as doubts and questions and fear haunted the night.


Did I do right?  I did it for you

I know that I may have caused you pain.

But that year I spent, the goal I did pursue

I did it all for you, I did it all for your gain.


As then I sensed and now I know,

as I look around at the valleys and the hills

this is a land on which God did truly bestow

a rare beauty, a proud people, a purpose to fulfill.


I hope that you will understand

I did  what seemed so right. I did my best

to bring you peace; and freedom to your land.

Truly it is a beautiful land,  and you are blest.


As now I look around at this land so fair

and see your new family and your smile,

I wonder still if you know, if you care,

that I was here for you, if only for a little while.


Little did I know that voice on that November day

may have been the knowledge, had been the insight,

that even now the doubts, the stress, would not go away

as I wonder, question, pray, did I do right, did I do right?



Charles Robinson

Reflections on what might have been;

on what might be



Thanks for allowing me to share with you.  I have posted some photographs of Vietnam on my website.  It is a private page not open to the public, I would like to share with my friends here at AdLandPro.  Go to and of course check my photographs by scrolling back through the pages,

Your friend, Chuck


Bea Souza

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Re: More Listening Post
10/6/2006 8:10:17 PM

Hello Chuck

That is so fantastic, it brought tears to my eyes, I can almost feel the anguish, thanks for sharing.  God bless you.

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