|Our flag in front of our house on Veterans' Day, 2014. Photo by J. Berta|
Today is Veterans' Day. Here's a poem I put together. I'd like to dedicate this to all the Veterans out there who came home and still coming to grips with their service and especially our Veterans of the Vietnam War. You did what was asked of you and a whole lot more. The poor treatment you received was wrong, plain and simple. If your one of these Veterans, please accept this small, yet sincere gesture of gratitude for your service.
It might have been a few years back,
Or perhaps a lifetime ago.
You found yourself under attack,
From bullets above or IED blasts below.
You made a pledge, raised your hand,
To selflessly serve the homeland.
You kept word, did your part.
Returning home for a new start.
But for some there was no joyful return.
The flag you wore, others did burn.
Screams from those of your own age,
Were in your face, this misplaced rage.
You took no vote in a great hall,
To start a war (and they are never small).
You did not profit or achieve fame,
From serving in places few can name.
For others you fired no rounds,
Yet you were on duty, securing the grounds.
You did your duty all that was asked and more,
Maintaining the oath to defend you freely swore.
Today is called Veterans’ Day.
A time to honor those who kept tyranny at bay.
If we seek to honor, and I know we do,
Then let us clearly measure the price paid by some hitherto.
An unending war in their heads,
No rest or peace comes in their beds.
From crowds and fireworks they stay away,
And make frequent trips to the VA.
For those who fought,
For those who served,
For those who bled,
Today is yours, well deserved.
Forgetting not those who fought in Vietnam,
Who endured the filth, leaches, mines and bombs.
Your names are written in valor’s tome.
It’s long overdue,“ Welcome home.