They were called “Old Reliable” and they garnered lots of fame.
Those familiar with their story know they lived up to the name.
From the forests of the Ardennes to the land of Charlie’s birth
“Old Reliable” set the standard; to a man they proved their worth.

Riverine Infantry was a concept that was tested once before
With a group of Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
But the 2nd Brigade went for perfection in the war in Viet Nam
By invading Charlie’s hideouts from its home base in Dong Tam.

Those who sit and count their blessings in this land of liberty
Aren’t aware of hardships suffered in the quest to keep it free.
From the rivers of the delta to the jungles filled with death
Fighting hand-to-hand with Charlie, “Old Reliable” passed the test.

The “Brownwater Navy” and “Old Reliable” formed a solid plan
That would bring the war to Charlie and drive him from the land
The Navy had the boats that would take them to the places
Where the soldiers went ashore and destroyed the VC bases.

Riding Tangos up the rivers proved at times a deadly chore.
Taking mortar rounds and rockets from the bushes on the shore.
Delta canals were so narrow that they couldn’t turn around
So they slugged it out with Charlie as they raced for safer ground.

In his strongholds in the delta, Charlie thought he was secure
But he failed to comprehend the things that soldiers will endure.
Waist deep in delta mud as they struggled through the mire
“Old Reliable” kept on pushing, laying down a deadly fire.

There were many fearsome battles for the men of this brigade
And accolades were common for the roles the soldiers played.
Dinh Thuong, Long An, Song Rach Gai, where so many brave men fell
Strange sounding names from long ago with stories yet to tell.

The soldiers of “Old Reliable,” who played the stakes so high
Rousted Charlie from the delta, by water, land and sky
The records of their bravery are now etched in history
For the 2nd of the 9th was known as Riverine Infantry.

So as you sit and count your blessings in this land of Liberty
Think of all the brave, young soldiers who have died to keep it free.
And rest assured, if ever needed, “Old Reliable” will heed the call.
To fight your wars and shoot your guns and defend you one and all.


For the members of the 2nd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division,3/47th, 4/47th, 3/60th,
and all other members of the U.S. Army who fought so valiantly on the rivers and canals of Vietnam. Thanks.

Larry Dunn