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By Eugene Lee Neese, Jr.
For many years I wondered if I would ever like
The color green, or even olive drab.
For once upon a time
That's all I ever saw or wore.
I was issued a green uniform
With a nice green hat
And socks to match of course.
Later came the green helmet with camouflaged cover
That could be reversed, depending on what
Green things were around you.
Then came Vietnam and things only got worse.
The rice paddies were green
And so was the jungle.
The enemy wore green occasionally augmented with black.
At least they had a change of colors once in awhile.
The water was green.
And when the sweat poured through your uniform
The spots they made were green.
The tanks were green and even the packs.
Sometimes when I looked close at my skin
I noticed a slight pallor of, you guessed it, green.
Even the food started turning green after awhile.
With all of this green, my mind would wander.
After all, I was only a lean, green fighting machine
Called Gene, who once hated the color green.
—Eugene Lee Neese, Jr.
3d Marine, 2nd Bt. 12th Marines