By Russ Vaughn, May 27th, 2006

As a boy of four in ’44 I missed out on his style;
But at thirty-six in ’76 I learned more of Ernie Pyle.
To read his tributes to our troops always brought the question why,
That my own war’s correspondents didn’t hold our troops as high.

I’d witnessed acts of bravery as great as World War Two,
But press accounts of those same acts were seldom, they were few;
More likely to be displayed in morning print or evening news,
Were American acts of cruelty to prop up protestors’ views.

Ernie placed himself in battle’s midst, not seeking safer shelter;
He sought the trenches sought the fight, sought out the helter-skelter.
He told the folks back in the States grim truths about their brave,
Providing families insights they could reread, they could save.

Ol’ Ernie gave the folks back home proud memories they could treasure,
Unlike sly Walter Cronkite feeding enemies evening pleasure.
Nope, Ernie wrote of men he loved up until his final deadline,
Unlike Arnett and other creeps seeking only a bigger headline.

Where did they go those of the press who believed America good?
The ones who’d write about our troops and for the things they stood?
What madness does possess them that they now extol our losses,
Finding fault in all we try to do, debasing all our causes?

We serve, we fight so that they might have freedom to convey,
The good things that we’re doing, the good we do each day.
But instead they undermine us in their sniping, gloating style;
I’d swap every damned one of ‘em for just one old Ernie Pyle.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66