The Night They Gunned Down Santa Claus
by Chet Lynn

There's strange things done 'neath the Vietnamese sun
but the thing that locked my jaws
was the night 'neath the moon, the third platoon
gunned down Santa Claus.
It started off right just another night,
you had to spend in the dirt,
security was out, .360 about
with fifty percent alert.

We had 81s and naval guns
our tanks were track to track,
an ontos or so an arty FO
with barrages back to back.
I froze where I stood 'cause out of the wood
eight horses came charging along,
this may sound scary those mustangs were hairy,
"Oh no," I moaned," mounted Viet Cong."
They were coming our way pulling what looked like a sleigh
you never knew what they'd use,
our flares were tripped our SIDs had flipped
Our tipsy blew a fuse.
We let them close then we yelled "who goes"
like they do in the movie show,
the answer we got, believe it or not,
was a hearty," Ho Ho Ho."
Now these troops of mine have seen some time
they've done some things back-assward,
they may be thick but I'll tell you a trick
they knew that wasn't the password.
The nineties roared, the 81's soared,
the naval guns raised hell,
a bright red flare flew through the air,
as we fired our FPL.

I'll grant him guts but that man was nuts
or I'm a no good liar,
he dropped like a stone in our killing zone
I passed the word, "cease fire".
I went out and took a real good look,
my memory started to race,
my mind plays games when it comes to names
but I never forget a face.
He was dressed in red and he looked well fed
older than most I'd seen,
he looked right weird with that long white beard
and stumps where his legs had been.
He hadn't quite died when I reached his side
but the end was clearly in sight,
I knelt down low and he said real slow,
"Merry Christmas...and to all, a good night..."
Now we should have known our cools were blown
when that light in the East we seen.
I thought it was flares and it had to be theirs
or the damned things would have been green.
I picked up the hook with a voice that shook
said "Gimme the Six and quick."
"Colonel," I said, "hang on to your head,
we just greased old St. Nick."
Now the old man's cool. He's nobody's fool,
right off he knew the word.
If This got out, there'd be no doubt,
he wouldn't be making his bird.
"Just get him up here and we'll play it by ear,
make sure he's got a tag,
dismantle the sleigh, drive those reindeer away
and bury that damned old bag."
Now by and by the kiddies may cry
'cause nothings under the tree,
but the word came back from FMFPac
that Santa had gone VC.
There's strange things done 'neath the Vietnamese sun
but the time that locked my jaws,
was the night 'neath the moon, 'When the third platoon
gunned down Santa Claus.

~*~ And a Merry Christmas to all...~*~

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