We Cleared the Way

We Cleared the Way
By Terry T. Brown

Drifting back in time to yesterday
where war and fate had changed our way
with hardened memories of lessons learned
while the rumble of Rome Plows had tactics turned

The Engineers were in the woods and along the roads
in South Vietnam where 'Charlie' lay for convoys and their loads
having his way with them for far too long
until Land Clearing methods deterred the Viet Cong

The plows charged in, they cut and slashed at will
against heavy jungle, as if to kill
to clear along the roadways true
and keep all safe who rolled on through

Cutting down trees and churning clay
the dozers pressed the work each day
leveling acre after acre of jungle lair
while changing and reshaping the landscape there

Enduring humidity, dust, high heat and long monsoon
while spacemen landed on the moon
the plows continued on the move
from cut to cut with much to prove

While also feeling Charlie's wrath
with land mines laid along our path
by night with mortar and rocket fire
to shake us up and draw our ire

Sadly, we lost some brothers along the way
and more over time who could not stay
to be sent off with our eternal thanks
for a job well done while in our ranks

Through it all, for each beleaguered day
we toiled, we bled, but did not break
we had our tasks and more at stake
to clear safe passage along roadways there
and know the lives that it would spare

Now, we recall that they are us and we were they
much younger men than seen today
brash and bold and full of dare
they drove the plows or worked repair
or cooked the meals that kept us there
while others did their part as well
to make our efforts truly jell

While called 'elite' we did not boast
‘though we accomplished more than most
and for all of that, the best that we can say
for how we earned our combat pay...

"We cleared the way"