"Quite simply, the novel about the Vietnam War..."
The Chicago Sun Times

“We call ourselves boonierats,” he said with pride.

“What?” She laughed at the name.

“Boonierats,” he repeated and thought maybe that name does sound silly.
"What's a boonierat?" she asked laughing.
​"Just an infantry soldier." Rufus smiled. "A grunt."
"A grunt?"
"Well, more than a grunt. Marines are grunts. Soldiers from the Big Red One are grunts. We're boonierats. We live in the boonies, we don't just visit. The jungle is our home."

--From Chapter 24: First Lieutenant Rufus Brooks to his wife Lila while on R & R in Hawaii.


​"Boonie Rats"

I landed in this country, With one year of life to give, My only friend a weapon, And my only prayer, to live. I walked away from freedom, The life that I had known, I saw the weary faces Of the others going home. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 300 days more or less Then I'm going home. 

My first few days were busy As they psyched my mind for war, I sometimes got the feeling They're trying to tie the score. I learned to look for danger In the trees and on the ground, I learned to feel with terror When you hear an A-K round. 


Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 300 days more or less Then I'm going home. 

First day in my unit I climbed a two klick hill, To find an enemy soldier, To capture, wound or kill. The air was clear and humid, The sun was hot and dry, Ten times I cursed my rucksack And prayed that I could die. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 200 days more or less Then I'm going home. 

I've humped the hills in sunshine In mud and wind and rain. Some days have passed so quickly, That I thought they never came. My eyes are often weary, My feet are racked with pain, My back is bad and crooked From the loaded rucksack strain. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 200 days more or less Then I'm going home. 

At night I lie back tired And I gaze up at the sky, I hear the mortars thumping, And I see the rockets fly. I hope that Charlie's sleeping, And the last thing that I pray, That the night will pass all quiet, And I'll see another day. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 100 days more or less Then I'm going home. 

"Above The Rest" is our motto, And "Airborne" is our cry, Freedom is our mission, For this we do or die. The Boonie Rat's a legend For now and times to come, Where there there's a soldier He will think of what he's done. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, 50 days, I'm getting SHORT Then I'm going home. 

My tour is almost over, And I slowly count each day, As I leave the field and say goodbye, To friends along the way. They say there'll always be a war, I hope they're very wrong, To the Boonie Rats of Vietnam I dedicate this song. 

Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat, Scared but not alone, Today I see my Freedom Bird, Today, I'm going home.
 

Includes the song "Boonie Rats" as sung by Marcus Leddy