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Military Memories - Vietnam Veteran  Poetry

A Soldier's Pain

  The pain of a thousand
  Veterans in my ears,
  Paltalk brings me
  To tears----------

  Wanting to share
  Wanting to care

  As if tears can wash
  Away the ravages of war

  Gone to serve
  Gone to say an oath.
  To serve God and Country.

  Not wanting to die
  But suffering worse-
  To live, when close
  Friends died instead.

  Bitter feelings of
  Coming home.
  Of why me not him?
  Then the country
  Turning Treason on Vets
  Who served proudly.

  Wondering
  Wondering
  Confusion!

  Anger with our
  Country and our people
  Who forced us
  To go to war.
  Who drafted us
  Into service, then rejected us
  For serving!

  Confusion!

  What did we do wrong?
  Serve proudly?
  Yes we did!!

  Fight bravely?
  Yes we did!!
  We are the proud.
  We are the ones.

  Our country has broken us
  Even when the enemy
  Could not.
  We were defeated, not by Vietnam
  But by the USA.

  We were defeated
  By our own family,
  Friends,loved ones

  And all those who
  Did not support us
  Like Hanoi Jane Fonda!

  You broke our hearts
  And our minds.
  Our bodies
  And our spirits---
  More than the bullets
  Killed us on the battlefield.
  Your words and actions
  Killed us
  When we returned to you.

  You spat on us!!

  You rejected us!!

  Then accepted with honor
  Those who ran to Canada
  To avoid duty.

  You took our honor
  And gave it to traitors!!
  And
  Gave us shame!!

  Through our depression
  A strange thing happened.

  We awoke---
  This sleepy thing
  Called Veterans

  And we united.
  All Branches of service
  Blended
  Together as one.

  As an armed forces combined.
  To give comfort
  And caring and sharing.

  We will overcome!
  We will be proud!
  We will hold our heads high!

  Through our shame we have arisen!
  And
  As a force of one army
  We shall change
  People!
  We shall change
  Thoughts!

  We shall defeat all those
  Who tried to shame us.

  We stand proud
  And say this to our Country----

  You have stained the flag
  With the blood of our fallen Brothers and Sisters!
  You have made Veterans take their own lives
  After they returned home!

  Their blood is on your hands now.

  Because when you shame us----
  You also shame yourselves Because,
  my friends-
  We are you!!

  We are your Sons and Daughters
  Your Grandsons and Granddaughters
  We are your Aunts and your Uncles
  We are your Cousins
  We are your Brothers and Sisters
  We are your Loved Ones.

  We are in essence
  YOU

  Now who has the shame?
  Now who has the pain?
  Not us!
  We finally hold our heads high
  And say proudly to you---

  Yes we are Vietnam Veterans!!!

  We are the ones
  Who fought the fight!
  We never ran
  We never crawled away----
  Even though, by God,
  sometimes we wanted to
  We tasted fear---
  As all soldiers do
  We overcame our enemies over there
  And now

  We will overcome You.

  Perhaps if only one thing happens
  From this event
  And then we will be proud of America.

  May America never again be ashamed
  Of her Vets who proudly
  Served and Died.

  But more importantly----
  May the Vets who proudly
  Served and Died
  For their Country
  NEVER AGAIN BE ASHAMED OF THEIR OWN COUNTRY AMERICA!!!!

  Rich Young - Aka Guncarver on Paltalk
  Guncarver@cableone.net
  Guncarver@Hotmaiil.com
  Vietnam Veteran ----- Proudly Served USN 1967-68 TET Clarkston, Wa.
20001

  but most of all

  WELCOME HOME !!!!!!!!

  this poem may be freely shared but never for profit except by me.

Thanks,
Rich Young

Families could not understand why they were not the same.
Some wouldn't even listen, when he would try to explain.
No Welcome Home parades, for the town's people turned away.
For him there was not to be a real Homecoming Day.

They went in all directions, and coped the best they could.
Carrying more guilt and shame than any Veteran should.
They built walls and bunkers inside so they could be touched no more.
And each night they dreamed and cried and fought a raging war.

For thirty some odd years have passed and wonder where they are?
Some are walking the homeless streets, some in VA mental wards.
Many have died from illness contracted in the Nam.
Some just quit fighting, some picked up a gun.

But by the Grace of God, some found the courage to step out.
"I am a Vietnam Veteran, I got the right to be proud"
Turn away if you must or listen if you will.
I've bore all you threw at me and I am standing still.

Although my steps are weary and my soul is oh so sore,
You can take your blame and guilt, I won't carry it no more.
I'll reach out to my brothers that are still standing all alone
And by God you can't stop us.. One by One We're Coming home.
***************************************
Dedicated to Jimmie,  Dave and John .. "Welcome Home"
by  Lois Adams


"What this Mural Holds"
Color doesn't matter here
and courage is something that they
all have shared
For upon this mural, are memories
to embrace
and it breaks my heart to have to add
yet, another face
who will sing for them now, who will
be their voice
Mothers, Fathers, and their children
a delegated choice
It will be a song of victory, and
proudly they will speak
smiles will be upon their faces, as
the eyes may weep
This mural may not ever be completed
each day a new one comes
But, in heaven these soldiers, are
rejoicing for their good works are done
Brenda Hill - 4/2005
***************************


The movies give us heroes and very life like gore but they can’t portray

the deep gut horror that actually is war.

 

TV news shows war’s children, all hollow eyed and bones, but it

doesn’t show the soldier’s terror of night watches stood alone.

  

The women, booze, and bravado in films that makes war seem like fun

can’t make the jungle friendly when your best friend is a gun.

 

But if I had it to do over without question I would go, even if I knew

then what now I’ve come to know.

  

That from the trenches to the ovens from Seoul down to Saigon, only

who gets hurt is different but the hurting still goes on.

  

I cherish my country’s freedom and to preserve it I would fight but

that doesn’t mean that I like war and it doesn’t make war right.

submitted by Glenn - 3/2005
************************

A trooper from Minnesota writes:
Outside the city, shivering with dread,
We're Falluja bound.
Can hear the explosions when I raise my head. . . .
Foreign soldiers, invaders from another land;
When I look through the hatred in their eyes,
I almost understand.
R.P.G.'s, mortars, and friends dead on the road.
My youth is gone,
Crushed from sensory overload.
Assaulted yesterday up an Iraqi street.
R.P.G. explosion, a scream,
Seared my face with the heat.
Dragged him through the blood-streaked dust and dirt,
His screams in my ears,
His blood type tagged to his shirt.
Covered with blood, he cried, Don't leave me alone.
Died in my arms;
Now I just want to go home.
Officers yelling, Get out of your holes!
We're Falluja bound;
Please pray for our souls.


A Tribute To Veterans

In Vietnam, Korea and World Wars Past
Our Men Fought Bravely so Freedom Would Last
Conditions Where Not Always Best They Could Be
Fighting a Foe You Could Not Always See:

   From Mountain Highs to Valley Lows
   From Jungle Drops to Desert Patrols

Our Sinewy Sons Were Sent Over Seas
Far From Their Families And Far From Their Dreams
They Never Wrote Letters Of Hardships Despair
Only Of Love, Yearning That One Day Soon:

   They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
   And Carry On With The Rest of Their Lives

The P.O.W.¹S Stood Steadfast
Against the Indignities And Cruelties Of War
They Could Not Have Lasted as Long as They Did
If They Had Relinquished Their Hope That Some Day:

   They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
   And Carry On the Rest Of Their Lives
     
Medics, Nurses, and Chaplains Alike
Did What They Needed To Bring Back Life
They Served Our Forces From Day Into Night
Not Questioning If They Would Survive:

   They Mended Bones And Bodies Too,
   They Soothed the Spirits of Dying Souls

And for Those M.I.A¹S, Who Were Left Behind
We Echo This Message Across the Seas
We Will search For as Long As It Takes
You¹re Not Forgotten And Will Always Be:

    In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers,
    In Our Minds For All Time

A Moment of Silence, a Moment of Summons
Is Their Deliverance of Body And Soul
To a Sacred Place That We All Know
Deep In the Shrines of Our Soul:

   In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers
   In Our Minds For All Time

INTERLUDE:
      GOLD STAR MOTHERS GRIEVE: ENDLESSLY,
      ENDLESSLY, ENDLESSLY.......

These Immortalized Soldiers Whose Bravery Abounds
They¹re Our Husbands, Fathers, and Sons
They Enlisted For the Duty at Hand
To Serve the Cause of Country and Land:

   They Had Honor, They Had Valor,
   They Found Glory That Change Them Forever

Men Standing Tall and Proud They be
A Country Behind Them in a Solemn Sea
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

   In the Sun, In the Rain
   In the Winds Across This Land

Years of Tears Has Brought Us Here
Gathering Around to Hear This Sound
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

   In the Sun, In the Rain,
   In the Winds Across This Land
   
REPEAT:

   In the Sun, In the Rain,
   In the Winds For All Time

Jerry Calow (copyright 2003 )




City Lights
Winfred Richardson
As I look out, at these city lights
My mind races back, to other nights

Nights filled with danger, death and fear
Filled with explosions, far and near

Nights filled with wounded, dead and dying
Nights filled with moaning, screaming and crying

Of sunsets that was beautiful, because they might be your last
And the sigh’s of relief, when a night of hell had past

Yes, as I look out at these city lights
My mind races back to other nights

I wrote this shortly after returning from Vietnam. Since 911 I have been
seeing this again as I look out, but with something added. There is the
amorphous rider and horse galloping across in front of my minds eye and glimpses of scenes of this country as described in Washington’s third dream, as my eyes see the lights. Intermingled with the visions is President Bush with what I perceive as a smirk on his face stating “this is a fight between good and evil” and I wonder if he knows something we don’t. I see and hear people almost joyously proclaiming, “we are going to war”, and I think; no WE are not. Our children and grandchildren are! And I wonder if they are going to be so joyous when they see after the chemical and biological attacks, their families lying with tongues swollen and as black as their lifeless bodies. I wonder how joyous they will be when they or loved ones is rounded up and taken off and the not knowing
whether they will return, alive or dead or if they will ever know. And I
see images of tiger cages. I hear the cold steel doors slamming behind me as I walk into the small cement cell in Huntsville.
I think back to thirty-one years ten months ago when I returned from
Vietnam. I think about the spitting and humiliating remarks, I think
about being told they did not want my type around. I think about the
nightmares that are returning along with the confusion, anger, and
anxiousness. I feel as if I am once again peering through the dark at
tall grass looking for some unknown soldier, the enemy who like me only
wants to go home, that I must kill before I am killed.
I realize how I have never fitted since returning and having this
reinforced by people like the lady on radio who feels the government
should round up all the Vietnam vets, since they are all crazy, homeless
or on welfare and send them to fight this war, as she didn’t think her
sons and the other young men should be sent and messed up as we are, and how I was recently referred to as a welfare nigger.
I am once again looking out at the city lights, with my mind in a turmoil
and tears in my eyes, knowing what the young men who are being sent now will face when they come home…….and regretting it.



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