By: Ed Creamer
Frequently I find myself turning the radio to a Golden Oldies station and let the past roll back in. Songs like the Buckingham’s “Kind Of A Drag” explained both my first and second tours of duty in Vietnam.
Most USO shows that came to our camp played a song we never heard on Armed Forces Radio. It was “I’ve Got To Get Out Of This Place. It turns out this song was banded because of it’s possible effect on our forces in combat. Like, having someone shooting at you didn’t???
I’ve often wondered why we never heard any of the Monkey’s songs like “I’m A Believer” and “Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkeys”. Well, the folks down at the Marine Corps League seem to think it’s because we didn’t have any 12-year-old girls in combat to listen to them. Sounds logical.
There were songs that reflected life in a helicopter squadron. The one by Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” comes to mind. However, a crew chief in our squadron, Stan Domino (Fat’s Domino’s nephew), use to go around singing “They’re Comin To Take Me Away, Ha-Ha”. Not sure if that was a wish or what they flight surgeon had told him.
“Light My Fire” by the Doors was one that always came to mind whenever we saw a picture of Ann Margaret on stage at a USO show. So does “Wild Thing”.
One of the metal shop guys got a picture of his girl down on the beach with some of her friends just as the radio played “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone”. Although, the song “Wild Thing” would also have applied here also.
Every time the Operations Officer scheduled us to fly another night mission into a hot zone I could hear “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” playing in the background. He had no heart when it came to selecting personnel for those missions.
When the Doors recorded their version of “Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In” I was reminded of my first days in Nam. Seems like the constant heat rash and the peeling skin from sunburns were never going to end. But, that soon passed and dodging bullets took first place.