Goin'  Home


♪♪  Engines burnin’ and chopper blades turnin’...
Cuttin’ ‘round ‘n’ ‘round, such a cyclic sound...
Control ‘stick’  a-shiftin’...
Chinook starts a-liftin’...
Via Vung Tau town...
I’m a-goin’ down! 

New hammock quarters, on ocean waters...
Now silence sounds, from ‘pips’ and ‘crowns’...
No senseless orders...
From prison warders...
No other ‘clowns’ ‘round...
Tryin’ to put me down. 

Yeah! ... I’m bound ...
For my home town ...
Bye bye aero-drome ...
I’m goin’ back home! 
♪♪




♪♪  From this jungle gaol, I’ll be settin’ sail...
From kicks in the arse, by ‘stripes’ and ‘brass’...
No high rank glares...
No more nightmares...
Nothin’ left to fear...
I’m outta here! 

No more R and R, in some ‘girlie’ bar...
Said my last good-byes, to all those ‘almond eyes’…
No more Saigon Teas...
For false fantasies...
No short-term reprieve...
It’s long service leave! 

Yeah! ... I’m bound ...
For my home town ...
I’m goin’ home ...
I’m goin’ back home! 
♪♪




♪♪  There’ll be no more blood, and no more mud...
Nor fireflies, paintin’ ebony skies...
No broken sleep...
In this tropic heat...
No picket at nights...
Nor firefights. 

No more ration packs, nor burdened backs...
No white salty stains, nor monsoon rains...
Oh no, no, no!...
Won’t have to go...
With a gun for hire...
Out beyond the wire! 

Yeah! ... I’m bound ...
For my home town ...
I’m goin’ home ...
I’m goin’ back home! 
♪♪




♪♪  Never have to stare, into black out there...
Or at a fallin’ flare, in a Tigers’ lair...
All left behind...
’Cause I’ve done my time...
With mates by my side...
’Cept those who died. 

No standin’ in line, for some minor crime...
On a trivial charge, by some base wallah ‘sarge’.
No ‘boobies’ nor mines...
Skull ‘n’ crossbones signs...
No muddy streams...
Nor wounded screams. 

Yeah! ... I’m bound ...
For my home town ...
I’m goin’ home …
I’m goin’ back home!
♪♪




♪♪  No tunnels and caves, diggin’ shallow graves…
No more cleanin’ boots, forced homage salutes...
No chasin’ those ‘baddies’...
In ‘rubber’ and paddies...
Out through spiky bamboo...
Up rugged mountains too. 

No more glaring faces, in market places...
No creepy creatures, ‘mossies’ nor leeches...
No ‘stand-to’ at dawn...
’Cause I’ll be gone!...
No phantoms in black...
Ain’t ever comin’ back! 

Yeah! ... I’m bound ...
For Ol’ Sydney Town ...
I’m goin’ home ...
I’m goin’ back home!
 ♪♪




♪♪  Engines burnin’ and chopper blades turnin’...
Cuttin’ ’round ‘n’ ’round, such cyclic sound...
Control ‘stick’  a- shiftin’...
Chinook starts a-liftin’...
Via Vung Tau town...
I’m a-goin’ down! 

I’m goin’ home! ... 

Goin’ home! ... 

Goin’ home! ... 

Goin’ home! ... 

Goin’ home! ...

I’m goin’ home …

I’m goin’ back home!   ♪♪



©




 

B Company 5RAR - Sydney - March 1966

The 3 soldiers leading each of the three ranks in the photo above (Bruce McQualter, John Carruthers and Bruce Green) did not come home.

​     No soldier (particularly a combat soldier) will ever forget the day he left the war zone behind. It was a time that he had often believed would elude him, and yet, when that day did eventuate, he fell silent, as the tape in his mind flashed back over what he had experienced. The realisation that he had done what had been asked of him and had survived the ordeal, was mixed with the anticipation of seeing home once again.
     The soldier in this story, like the majority of Australian Vietnam veterans did back then, is boarding a Chinook helicopter at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province for the last time. In 30 minutes or so he will be dropped onto the deck of the aircraft carrier H.M.A.S. SYDNEY, which is at anchor just off the coast at Vung Tau. He is finally going home.
     This poem was originally written by me (August 2010) as a song.    

                                                 “There is one great fear in the heart of every serviceman
                                              and it is not that he will be killed or maimed, but that when
                                  he is finally allowed to go home and piece together what he can of life,
                     he will be made to feel that he has been a sucker for the sacrifices he has made.”
                                                                         - Anonymous WW2 soldier from The American Soldier by W.S. Stouffer (ed.), 1949.                                                     
                                                                             ♪♪ I wanna go home!
                                                                                 I wanna go home!
                                                   Oh ... how ... I ... wan-na ... go home! ♪♪
                                                                                                                                                                                    - from the song Detroit City by Bobby Bare, 1965.

Chinook leaving Nui Dat

Goin'  Home