"The  Veteran"

Today I was reminded of what time could not erase
As I walked through the halls I felt a sadness in this place
A building filled with history our books will never see
Their stories are the pages locked inside their memory

It's one of many you will find that's scattered everywhere
These people come here hoping to receive the proper care
I saw a few in wheelchairs and so many used a cane
Some walked just fine but in their eyes was where I saw the pain

These Heroes have been marked for life all here surrounding me
They've shed their blood while other's died to keep this country free
I still remember stories of a war my dad went through
Each one was told with Army Pride he called it  "World War II"

And later  "The Korean War"  forced troops to say good-bye
Because Korea's North and South could not see eye to eye
Then  "Vietnam"  decided too raise up it's ugly head
Like all the wars, the damage left so many people dead

When troops came home they had to face another kind of war
A  "War of Words"  that added wounds as if they needed more
The latest war was televised for all the world to see
Called  "Operation Desert Storm"  performed so perfectly

This war had ended quickly but our troops cannot forget
They're constantly reminded that the  "Storm's"  not over yet
These wars do not discriminate religion, sex or race
The bombs, grenades and poison gas take lives we can't replace

And weapons don't have boundaries they claim what's in their way
What will it take to stop these wars right here, right now, today
Our troops are thought so highly of when they are called to war
But when it's over they are not remembered anymore

And what about the one's still lost are they forgotten too?
Is anyone still searching for the one's who fought for you
These men and women suffer more than you will ever know
When war is over they still fight a war that doesn't show

Each one deserves the very best for what they have been through
Your proof is VA Hospitals I'm sure there's one near you
We all want Peace and Harmony but something's always wrong
These buildings might become extinct if we could get along

My husband fought the last two wars, which stole the heart he had
He wears that look of war abuse just like my precious dad
I don't have all the answers but I know one thing for sure
The anger has to leave before a healing can occur

America is free because of Veterans today
And more of them still yet to come will also have to pay
So when you exercise your rights remember  "Why"  you can
You see, I can't forget because I am  "The Veteran"


By:   Freda H. Babinski         9-2-97
Tndeer1@aol.com  
http://www.geocities.com/fredaheavensent/

(Dedication)
I dedicate this to every Veteran,  past, present and future. 
"God Bless You"

The things they Carried.... 

by Tim O'Brien

They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, 
insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress 
bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine 
tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed in socks. 

They carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets and 
steel pots. 

They carried the M-16 assault rifle. 

They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine-guns, the M-70 
grenade launcher, M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mmLaws, 
shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and 
choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence. 

They carried C-4plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 
radios, knives and machetes. Some carried napalm, CBU's and large bombs; 
some risked their lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt 
with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to 
survive. 

They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworm's and leaches. They carried the 
land itself as it hardened on their boots. They carried stationery, pencils, and 
pictures of their loved ones - real and imagined. They carried love for 
people in the real world and love for one another. And sometimes they 
disguised that love:"Don't mean nothin'!" They carried memories for the 
most part, they carried themselves with poise and a kind of dignity. 

Now and then, there were times when panic set in, and people squealed or 
wanted to, but couldn't; when they twitched and made moaning sounds and 
covered their heads and said "Dear God"and hugged the earth and fired their 
weapons blindly and cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild 
and made stupid promises to themselves and God and their parents, hoping 
not to die. They carried the traditions of the United States military, and 
memories and images of those who served before them. 

They carried grief, terror, longing and their reputations. They carried the 
soldier's greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor. They crawled into 
tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not to die of 
embarrassment. They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They 
carried the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any 
moment. They carried the weight of the world. 

THEY CARRIED EACH OTHER 

Author Unknown 
(Remember them this Memorial Day May 28th) 
"If you enjoy your freedom thank a Vet."

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