Small Town Veteran

Baby boomer, nerdy kid, Viet Nam veteran, engineer, daddy, grandpa.
Politically incorrect.  Proud anti-idiotarian

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know."

"May no soldier
go unloved."

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(I first published this timeless piece from Russ Vaughn on the now-defunct mBlog version of Small Town Veteran on  2004.10.09.)

Russ Vaughn emailed to let me know about his latest work and mentioned that it was inspired by something he saw on Blackfive .


This just kind of popped out of me after reading Blackfive's post of Col. Dave Grossman's piece. If you haven't read it you should do so ASAP.

If you decide to use this poem, an accompanying link to Blackfive might be appropriate.

BTW, got your new site in sight.



[The new poem, "Sheepdogs," followed]

I won't delude myself I could handle the situation better than Matt has, so I'm going to simply copy his post and mention, as I'm sure I have before, that Blackfive should be on your daily reading list.

A Paratrooper Responds to Sheepdogs

Fellow paratrooper Russ Vaughn responds to the article On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves by LTC (ret) Dave Grossman. You've read a lot of Russ Vaughn's poetry here before.

The Sheepdogs

Most humans truly are like sheep
Wanting nothing more than peace to keep
To graze, grow fat and raise their young,
Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.
Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,
They sense no threat nor fear no harm.
On verdant meadows, they forage free
With naught to fear, with naught to flee.
They pay their sheepdogs little heed
For there is no threat; there is no need.

To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,
Roaming watchful round the peripheries.
These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar
With the fetid reek of the carnivore,
Too like the wolf of legends told,
To be amongst our docile fold.
Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?
They have no use, not in this day.
Lock them away, out of our sight
We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast
Has come to kill, has come to feast
The wolves attack; they give no warning
Upon that calm September morning
They slash and kill with frenzied glee
Their passive helpless enemy
Who had no clue the wolves were there
Far roaming from their Eastern lair.
Then from the carnage, from the rout,
Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”

Thus is our nature but too our plight
To keep our dogs on leashes tight
And live a life of illusive bliss
Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.
Until he has us by the throat,
We pay no heed; we take no note.
Not until he strikes us at our core
Will we unleash the Dogs of War
Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath
Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;
We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

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

Well said, Russ, well said...

Well said, Matt and Russ.

Click here to see my entire Russ Vaughn Collection.

Posted by Bill Faith on December 1, 2004 at 04:45 AM in Poetry, Russ_Vaughn | Permalink


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Ahh, the Sheepdog. What many people do not know about the sheepdog, is that he does not actually protect the sheep. The sheepdog's job is to warn the master of the danger, and move the sheep away from the possible predator. It is the master, who is human, who actually protects the flock. The sheepdog depends on his master to house him and feed him. If the master fails at his job, then the sheepdog turns on his master. I to can speak in metaphors, but my metaphors are more likely to resemble reality.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | Mar 12, 2007 9:17:02 PM

Just as there are all variety of fighting men so with dogs and a dozen breeds that work as sheepdogs - nothing wrong with a border collie today in wolf-free scotland to do the job of herding sheep - but a thousand years ago you wanted a dog that looked like a sheep but was up to the poem - and with a track/kill record Go KOMONDER (they look like sheep from a distance buT as the wolf or coyote learns - WITH FANGS) ================================================= "King of the Hungarian guarding dogs, the Komondor is a heavy-coated white dog descended from a Russian dog of the steppes called Aftscharka. Today's Komondor is “characterized by imposing strength, courageous demeanor, and pleasing conformation” according to the breed standard — the same traits that made him a herd guardian without equal in his native land. "The Komondor has a white, corded coat that gives him a unique appearance. Puppies are born with a regular coat that tends to fall into cords; adults have a double coat in which the coarse hairs of the outer coat and the soft hairs of the undercoat become entangled and fall into mop-like strands. In other words, the Komondor generally looks rather unkempt, an appearance that added to his mystique as a protector of flocks from predators and thieves. "In 1997, only 123 Komondor dogs and 40 litters were registered with AKC, putting the breed well into the realm of rare. In the US, most Komondors are show dogs and a few are livestock guardians, for this up-to-30 inch, 125-pound dog makes a difficult-to-handle pet. Powerful, dominant, and independent, he can become aggressive if not properly socialized and handled. Kuvasz"

Posted by: Richard Larratt | Mar 17, 2007 7:27:10 AM

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