God’s Own Lunatics by Joe Galloway

By | November 19, 2020

[November 19, 2020]  I remember being called a lunatic by several of my commanders.  I was an Infantry Company Commander when it first happened.  My boss at the time, a Lieutenant Colonel, said that I was a “crazy man and lunatic” when it came to battle tactics.  I ran across a poem by Vietnam War correspondent Joe Galloway the other day that reminded me of the phrase God’s own Lunatics!

I have a lot of respect for Joe Galloway.  Not a typical news reporter, and that is a fact.  The man was a brave SOB, having made a name for himself at the Battle of Ia Drang, November 14-18, 1965 (I wrote about the battle here).  Galloway was immortalized in the movie; We Were Soldiers (2002) when he and Lt Col Harold Moore’s battalion of airmobile Infantry soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division fought with multiple North Vietnamese regular army regiments.

Joe Galloway was to later write and narrate a poem to the helicopter soldiers.  This is how it begins:

“I don’t know if there is anybody here today who doesn’t thrill at the sound of those blades.  That familiar whoop whoop whoop is the soundtrack of our war.  The lullaby of our younger days.  To someone who spent his time in Nam with the grunts, I’ve got to tell you that noise was always great comfort.”

This presentation by Joe Galloway was a hero in his own right.  He was also the only civilian to be awarded, from the U.S. Army, the Bronze Star in action.  Never since have I ever heard this happen; a true honor.

“It meant that someone was going to help, Someone was coming to get our wounded, Someone was coming to bring us water and ammo, Someone was coming to take our dead brothers home. And eventually, someone was coming to give us a ride out of hell. Even today when I hear it, I stop, catch my breath, and think back to those days. I love you guys as only an infantryman can.”

Armed only with a camera, Joe Galloway was everywhere on the battlefield.  This battle was the first major battle between the U.S. Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN).  This was also the first use of a new tactic developed at Fort Benning’s Infantry School in Georgia that used helicopters to move troops quickly from one point on the battlefield to another.

“We are the fortunate ones.  We survived when so many better men gave up their precious lives for us.  We owe them a sacred debt, to live each day to it’s fullest.  What they are saying when you listen hard enough is this, “We’re at peace and so should you be… and so should you be.””

To read the poem, go to this link or listen to the soundtrack from The Shadow of the Blade (see link).  Several versions can be found on YouTube and elsewhere.  Thanks to Vietnam Veteran and Marine Robert “Bob” Reilly for sending me the links to this Joe Galloway poem.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “God’s Own Lunatics by Joe Galloway

  1. Greg Heyman

    This is a really good article and focuses in on Vietnam veterans. Those vets did well in their lives but have to deal with negative stereotypes ginned up by Russian communists in order to drag the US down in Vietnam. The useful idiots and cowards in colleges and those who supported them like traitor Jane Fonda are the reason these stereotypes persist to this day. It’s time to drop it and throw the guilt back upon the cowards of the 1960s.

    Reply
  2. Watson Bell

    Hero, family man, Joe Galloway, nuff said.
    I want to also comment about our military veterans. There are many of us, the majority of Americans who love and cherish the honor for our vets. All of them, especially those who have been in combat and those who gave their lives defending freedom around the world. There will always be idiots in politics and the brainwashed diaper babies. Ignore them. They will go down in history as the pimple on the butt of a great society.

    Reply
  3. Emma Archambeau

    Joe Galloway is a true hero for all Americans and those who respect our military.

    Reply
    1. Jake Tapper, Jr.

      Yes, and what a great article that puts out Vietnam Vets in a positive light. I’m so tired of the fake-news media constantly disrespecting our vets.

      Reply
  4. Max Foster

    Wow, once again, you’ve hit it out of the park (I love baseball analogies) with this article, Gen. Satterfield. Joe Galloway is also a hero. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Joe Galloway was presented with the Bronze Star Medal by the US Army for his bravery under fire. And, of course, for keeping his cool and not going down the path of so many of the fake media and lying about what happened. Fake media will last only so long now. Years from now we will look back and praise people like Joe Galloway and our Vietnam vets and look at the pathetic craziness of our so-called news media.

    Reply
    1. Fred Weber

      Max, you certainly capture what many of us think about the media. They are not all “bad.” But they are mostly delusional becuase they work in an echo chamber of hyper liberalism.

      Reply
    2. Martin Shiell

      Thanks Max for a well written piece. I will honor Joe G. just as I honor ALL our veterans, esp. our war veterans.

      Reply
  5. Paul D. Sanders

    A rare moment to hear the effects of war and its impression on a young man (at the time) who honors America and the men and women who fought for her.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Pitts

      Thanks Tomas for the link. The article is his account from the Battle of Ia Drang Valley:

      Reply
  6. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    This is great info, Gen. Satterfield. Thank you for making me aware of it. Now, others have said it in the past that the lies of the media and our politicians about the Vietnam War and the disrespect given to our war vets MUST be constantly hit again and again, in order to destroy these lies once and for all. History will show, by name, those who were traitors to our nation and lied over and over to us about this war.

    Reply
    1. Pink Cloud

      Hanoi Jane Fonda must be at the very top. There is only one thing she can do to prevent herself for forever being labeled a traitor and she knows what it is. But, naturally, she will not denounce the lies and slander of our troops because she got rich over her fame. Hell is what awaits her and I just sit back and smile at her fate.

      Reply
      1. JT Patterson

        OUCH, tell us what you think of Jane “Hanoi” Fonda! Ha Ha Ha….
        I agree she is a traitor and the US doesn’t take traitors seriously anymore so that is what her ultimate fate will be.

        Reply
      2. Willie Shrumburger

        But we know who the traitors are. I will by Jane Fonda and any other traitor a one way first class ticket to anywhere in the world if they never come back to the USA.

        Reply
        1. Greg Heyman

          ….. and I will by her a house there if she promises to keep her mouth shut forever. But we all know that communists like her lie all the time. Even when caught lying, they continue to lie.

          Reply
  7. Army Captain

    Although I have read many articles and books on the Vietnam War and on the Battle of Ia Drang and the role of Joe Galloway, I surprisingly have never heard this before. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for once again expanding my understanding of Joe G. and the Vietnam War, as well.

    Reply
    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Same here. I never ran across this but, I have to say loudly, I LOVE IT. Great poem or whatever it is…. 💖

      Reply
    2. Gil Johnson

      Yes, great presentation by Joe Galloway. This type of ‘action’ about the Vietnam War is needed to help crush the false narrative dreamed up by our Marxist news organizations. That includes the top Marxist of them all, Roger Cronkite. He was a commie red thru and thru.

      Reply
      1. Jonnie the Bart

        Yes, Cronkike was said to be “the most trusted man in America” but he was the Trojan Horse of communism.

        Reply
    1. Yusaf from Texas

      I agree, one of the best I’ve seen from the Vietnam War in a long time.

      Reply

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