A VIETNAM VETERAN
by Donnie Harucki-Brennan
I watched him limp as he walked my way.
There was sadness in his eyes.
His clothes were ragged and wrinkled
And time seemed to have passed him by.
He seemed like he didn't belong here
And yet he had been a part
Of a time when the turmoil around us
Tugged violently at all of our hearts.
I tried to offer some comfort
But he gave me half-hearted grin.
He said, "No matter how hard I try,
I just can't seem to fit in."
He looked much older than his 50 years.
I thought back to a time long ago
When he was a handsome young soldier.
Oh God! What if we'd only known.
If we had known of the outcome
Would things be different today?
Would we have turned our backs on the world
Or still sent our young men away?
The mental scars were more painful
When the soldiers came home from war.
Our country considered them outcasts
And cast them aside all the more.
The man said I shouldn't be worried
And hoped he wouldn't offend
But if he had it to do all over,
He'd do it all over again.
He'd be willing, again, to shoulder a gun
And put his fears and his hurt aside.
After all, he was defending his country.
His eyes glowed with a young soldier's pride.
It seems like it was just yesterday
When I spoke with this man who'd been brave.
Now with tears mixed with pride and yet sadness,
I kneel praying at my brother's grave.
ALL HE WANTED WAS
by Rick Smith
To be happy, comfortable, and make others smile,
A life partner to stay with him for a while.
A family who cared enough to spend time with him,
Who he could visit on a whim.
To keep the war on foreign soil,
To keep America from becoming a boyle.
To be honest, faithful, caring, and loyal,
And to get home again onto American soil.
His innocence was lost in the war,
Where he was not sure what he was fighting for.
Charlie lurked in the trees and bushes,
Taking away soldiers’ dreams and wishes.
George made it home, safe and alive,
But his mind took a nose dive.
Although he came home all in one piece,
His heart and his mind would never rest in peace.
They call it Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome,
And he could never get completely home,
For the dreams of war would not go away,
Ingrained in his brain, they were there to stay.
Uncle Sam said nothing was wrong
To all these soldiers who sang the same song.
They went through treatment, was given drugs
By VA doctors with shoulder shrugs.
He watched as sibling brothers came to war anew,
Seeing their brothers leaving, tattered, worn, and a few,
Left in body bags, but there was no time to pray in a pew,
To mourn the loss, just hope to live through it, too.
To keep his brother from fighting a war,
Where a man’s sole is tore,
He extended his stay in order to prevent,
Viet Nam for his brother, from being sent.
To see Mom and Dad again some day,
Is all he wanted, as he would pray.
He too I will see again some day,
When it is time, the Lord will say.