Every war breeds its balladeers, and Viet Nam is no exception. Xenophon's Greek mercenaries marched "up country" into the Persian empire 2,300 years ago to the rhythm of harshly sung battle hymns; Wellington's light infantry quick-stepped through the Iberian peninsula to the bugles of Over the Hills and Far Away. Pershing's doughboys remarked the lack of lingerie in Armentieres, while Rommel's Afrika

Korps lusted for Lili Marie ne. In Viet Nam, the anonymous lyricists sing of "the Air Cav" (the 1st Cavalry Division turned Airmobile) and "pees" (South Vietnamese piasters worth roughly a penny); they abbreviate the helicopter gunships that support them...

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