I received an e-mail today with "Why I Do It" it in the subjct line. In it I found a poem from our MWSA Vice President. I know he won't mind my sharing it with you.
Shock and Awe
Shock and awe have been used to describe aerial war.
To me those words mean something much more.
They describe what comes over me at certain times.
They tell of my emotions, all bound up inside.
So often I hear stories told by some war’s warrior.
I regularly ingest their fear and absolute terror.
What they have done dwarfs my own meager duty.
I am in awe of them no matter their humility.
Emotionally my understanding is the mission.
As I listen I curl up safe in a fetal position.
I have done just enough to see and understand.
My own contribution pales by comparison.
I close my eyes as one tells of in-coming rounds.
I can hear him and remember those sounds.
Hot shrapnel flies in the air, dripping blood behind.
The images are here and now in my own mind.
He tells of the voices, screams in the fearful dark.
The pain he recalls is so vivid and very stark.
Calls for medics, bandages and cursing all delays
Tear at his heart strings, his nerves are frayed.
I feel with him as he searches for muzzle flashes.
The rounds continue to rain, bombs crashing.
In may be only minutes or even seconds of hell
But the time was eternal as our warriors fell.
It is my hand pressuring the bandaged wound.
My ears hear the blood hitting the ground.
My heart is pounding as fear dictates my pulse.
Let me live one more day is the shouted result!
It is his story but in shock and awe I absorb his tale.
It must be shared and in this I will not fail.
I do not have much to say of what I did back then.
But now I must tell about truly heroic men.
In my few months I did enough to comprehend.
The valor and work of many will never end.
Some died but many lived, keeping history inside.
As long as allowed, their tales I will confide.
In my mind, in a fetal position on emotional defense,
I will know where they were and go where they went.
I am safe; it is not me under attack, living in their hell.
I can share their words, feeling what they all felt.
How do you tell about the smell of decaying flesh?
How do you avoid keeping memories this fresh?
How do you tell of the sounds of too late mercy?
Forgetting, failing them, is our country’s heresy.
Michael D. "Moon" Mullins, author of "Vietnam in Verse, poetry for beer drinkers." "ViV" won the Gold Medal for poetry, 2007, from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA). The book is available on line from Amazon, B&N, and B-a-M book stores.
It is available as an audio-book exclusively from the author. Please contact me at this e-mail address; firstname.lastname@example.org or via land mail at POB 456 Windfall, In. 46076.
Vietnam Veteran, Delta 3/7, 199th Light Infantry, '68-'69.
Vice President of the MWSA. One dollar from either version goes to the Wounded Warrior Project.
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