Poetry of Robert L Ridgway (Click to see entire poem) - Donna Ridgway

The Battle's End

Robert was at the battle of Khe Sahn, on hill 861 Alpha. He was a sergeant, a forward observer for 81 Mortars, in the Marines. They were under siege, low on water, low on food and getting hit hard.
A volunteer mission had been called in for bombers to fly over the area, bomb the enemy and give the Marines a hand.
A jet came in, it had to fly sideways because the hills were so close together. When the pilot flew over, and dropped his bombs, he held up the "Stars and Stripes" (a military newspaper) and waved.
Robert saw him through the window of the jet.
Years later, in the states, Robert lived in Kalispell, Mt and he was hauling logs. As Robert visited with the man who owned the logs they visited about the war. Come to find out, this man was the same man who had flown that volunteer mission and held up the newspaper in his window.
The day after Robert visited with this man, he stopped in the cafe where I worked to get a meal. He saw my painting of Mohawk and asked if he could write a poem that went along with what he saw in the painting. Of course I said yes.
This poem tells how Robert felt after the Marines were over run at Khe Sanh on hill 861 Alpha. So many lives lost, so many terrible things happened, then everyone walks off the hill....like nothing happened there.

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