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A Just and Noble Cause

We picked up the burden from generations before.
We grew up, went to school and then to war.
Some volunteered, But mostly we obeyed in our turn.
We said tough luck, no sweat, or freedom had to be earned.
We knew Communism or Fascism was all the same
Warping of Darwin for personal gain
Of control over another,
And not national freedom
And Christian love of your brother.

Kennedy chose a place to fight and set the tone.
But bullets stopped his voice and we were alone.

A faint hearted Beltway then brewed up theories with gin and brie,
Maneuvering feeble rhetoric safe behind LMD's.

We were their blood, sinews and brains.
We died or were crippled to ease their pains,

From embarrassing questions
Which might bring to light
They were afraid to honor the Republic
And stand for the right,
Of people and families to own their own lands,
To work for themselves,
And to boot out the rascals
Who held power in hand.

The NVA agree we were victorious.
They also enjoyed a final triumph glorious.
"You may have fought until you drove us to ground,"
"But your reporters, politicians and students" "Performed such capers."
"Lucky for us they believed Mao"
"And not the Federalist Papers."

At the end of Tet we walked the ground
And stacked the dead sweet, warm and moist all around.
The press could see and smell,
But they already had their story to tell.

At home Americans raised the enemy banner,
While the media said we lost and created the manner.

Well, we couldn't cover our six and complete the mission.
The present tense, intense allowed no omission.
We worked together all the way.
We couldn't call in sick, if we felt tired that day.

Washington made us bomb the places That hurt Ho the least,
And made us stop if the pain increased.
We fled forward at 500 knots
Weaving and squeaking through black stars and bright streaks,
Till the slowing of time with increasing haste
Brought a shudder and a divergence of fates.

Some we loved the enemy would char and kill.
Some we loved are missing still.
Many came home in whole or part,
While some felt the torturer's art.

Their suffering built NVA courage and power.
And Jane came over
To mock, revile and glower.

In the Delta we didn't go the way of the French and Japanese.
Instead, we drove the Cong into the mangrove trees.

The VC pounded hard
And years it took to drive them out.
Finally, we let them hold some land,
Provided the tide was out.

So react with a left roll pulling six G's.
Remember movement, sight alignment and trigger squeeze.
And should you loose the bubble and start to freeze,
Order formation course and speed, if you please.

Forget about family and home.
Forget the reasons for fighting you saw as your own.
Rules of engagement are for Victorian wives.
They also help to save political lives.

Plan to die or be maimed,
When pieces of metal clip off an arm or flick out your brain.
Look to your fellow G.I.,
For your worth comes from caring for him as you die.

But not to worry!
Mom baked a chocolate cake to welcome us home.

But not to worry!
We got an apartment to call our own.

We went back to school and then got married.
At work they seemed so harried.
The decor appeared to be wrong.
The restroom deodorant was just too strong.

"Your experience has no relevance to needs of the firm."
"You must start at the bottom."
"We play for keeps here and you have so much to learn."

"Look, they put our names into black stone."
"Well isn't that nice."
"They finally want to atone."
"Yeah, they should cut our names into the Berlin Wall."
"That would be the best testimony of all."
"When we were alive no one would speak with authority."
"Who would have thought"
"Eastern Europe would be the silent majority."

This story was contributed: Nolan Nelson