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      Poetry from Vietnam Vets and Loved Ones      


You left your family, friends and all the comforts that you knew,
To take up arms and do your part for the red, white, and the blue.
Like many others who stepped forward to answer our country's call,
You said a prayer, strapped on your gear, and prayed you wouldn't fall.

They shipped you out to a foreign land, a jungle, dense and green,
Of unforgiving vines and swamps, and things you'd never seen.
It was a place so many said, that God for sure forgot,
Vietnam was a name that few had heard, on a map t'was just a dot.

From the moment when your boot first touched the dirt of that strange land,
You knew that God would keep you safe in the shadow of His hand.
It wasn't long before your crisp fatigues, clean and pressed and new,
Were sullied by the mud and flies, and gnats, mosquitoes too.

Everyone had a job to do, small cogwheels in a larger plan
Of a complicated, lumbering machine, that few could understand.
Some did recon, some walked point, and others provided cover;
Some ran to save their fallen brothers, while Hueys above would hover.

Some nights began as a quiet stage, for a cricket symphony,
But before too long, all hell broke loose, as it rained artillery.
Sometimes you'd look hard in the dark, searching for stars above,
And wondered if you'd live to see the truce between hawk and dove.

Some days were quiet, a time for fun, but mail call was the best,
It surely meant the world to not be forgotten by the rest.
So often when we're out of sight, we're out of mind as well,
And nothing could quite mask the sting, since war is truly hell.

So far from home, bonds were formed, of friendships that would last forever,
Relationships forged in the crucible of war, so strong they would never sever.
But those bonds could not restore life to the bodies maimed and shredded,
Or heal the scars left by the bullets who didn't care where they were headed.

You know about Saigon, Hanoi, My Tho, Da Nang, and Tonkin too,
Chu Lai, Khe Sahn, Haiphong, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, also Pleiku;
You tried to forget words like Tet and DMZ, the tunnels of Cu Chi,
The Mekong Delta, River Rats, from them you're finally free.

More than thirty years have passed, but our nation still feels the shame
For the way they greeted those brave men who never dropped the flame.
They paid for freedom with their blood, and sweat and tears and bone,
And after their great sacrifice, some still feel so alone.

We can never forget Vietnam, no matter how hard we try,
Or the more than fifty thousand men that we sent there to die.
We think if we support our troops, who go to war today,
That it will fix the awful wrong we committed yesterday.

The victories of the future will be built upon the past,
So we must recognize our heroes, and not leave them for the last.
When the welcomes and parades are done, and the media goes away,
There will always be a soldier who still fights the war today.

I thank you for your sacrifice and the scars that you still bear,
Your love of country is the badge of courage that you wear.

Written by:
Maureen T. Magras
4/3/03 by Maureen T. Magras

I've never met Maureen, however, after receiving this heart-felt poem she wrote I certainly feel close to this very caring woman.    THANK YOU so much Maureen for such a beautifully written poem.   It's an honor to place your words on this website.