On the flight line in
formation young soldiers stand four abreast
Preparing to board an aircraft which would
carry them west.
To California, Japan and with a final
destination of Vietnam,
Many of these young soldiers only a year ago
were at their high school prom.
Young warriors now sent to fight a war in
this far away Asian land,
Soon they would witness death and
destruction first hand.
Some volunteered while others were drafted
They were told the mission was for freedom
The conditions they encountered were like
nothing they had ever seen;
The heat, the rain, the elements were
nothing short of mean.
If all went well in eighteen months their
tour of duty would end
Then the military would select another group
of young replacements to send.
In this war, like those before so many young
lives were taken.
Others came home, but for many their lives
were forever shaken.
What was it for; this battle some refused to
call a war?
Whatever it was it was not worth the cost in
lives we bore.
Now senior citizens are these brave Vietnam
More recent wars have taken soldiers and
rendered their own tolls.
What is different now than it was back then?
Those returning from the battle are not
treated as if they had committed a sin.
© Kent Fletcher
This poem is specifically dedicated to those
brave men and women who honorably, gallantly
and bravely served their country during the
Vietnam era. Thank you for your service and
may God Bless you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kent Fletcher retired as
Deputy Chief of the Durham NC Police Dept.
He served with that department for 301/2
years. He is a graduate of the 162nd
session of the FBI National Academy and has
an AA and BS degree in Justice
Administration from Guilford College. He
served with the US Army, 1970 -1976 as a
medic. Writing short stories and poetry has
become a part-time hobby. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org