Poems & Ouotes

Dedicated to a Friend

Many, many years ago, I found myself in a land I didn't know. Sent by people who didn't care about me, to fight for others' liberty. A land so strange and far away, I'll remember it till my dying day. While Viet Nam is it's given name, we veterans all refer to it the same. The "Nam" became the call, for this land where so many would stand and fall. To risk our limbs and lives as well, we spent our time in that damn Hell. I tried hard and did my best, like all the others put to the test. Some walked, some rode and others flew, doing a job nobody wanted to do. We laughed, we cried, we were scared as well, in the "Nam" our personal Hell. Many years have come and gone, but inside of me the "Nam" lives on. Memories of the pain and the death, are still able to take away my breath. My buddies lying on the ground, the sight of their blood all around. Young bodies broken, torn and smashed, dying in the tall elephant grass. 12,000 miles from his home, he cried for his mother but died alone. We loaded his body in a bag, and placed it on the "chopper" for his last ride. Silenty watching as the "chopper" flew away, I wanted to cry but couldn't that day. For in the jungle the battle raged on, and I had to go and kill the Viet Cong. Back home his Mom and Dad did cry, and asked each other why, oh why? The Honor Guard stood by the flag, that draped the casket with his body inside. The Firing Squad's volley then did fly, one last tribute to he who has died. Sadly they listened to the sound of Taps, but nothing they could do could bring him back. They opened the ground and laid him within, he was now back home with his family again. Their tears flowed caused by their grief, but were unable to bring them any relief. Another day, another death, another young soldier laid to rest! As a young soldier standing strong, I mistakenly believed that crying was wrong. I held my pain deep within, awaiting the day it would rise again. While my buddy is now dead and gone, my thoughts and love for him lives on. My buddy and I are never apart, I carry him always deep in my heart. He's found his Peace and for that I'm glad, for he's my buddy, the best I ever had. The time will come, I just don't know when, but I too will find Peace ...... and be with my buddy again.

June 18, 1998
Sergeant James Angelini
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse)
101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles)
Republic of Viet Nam, March 4, 1970 to July 1971
Copyright 1998

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

  Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC