Dog Face Doc 11th LIB Americal Infantry Division RVN

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IN CLASS "A" UNIFORMS WITH RIBBONS AND BADGES PINNED UPON THEIR CHEST,  
LIE THE COLD, TORN MANGLED BODIES OF AMERICA'S BEST.
THE ONLY HEROES THAT AMERICA ACKNOWLEDGES ...
LIE ROTTING BENEATH MILITARY HEADSTONES.
BUT FOR THE LIVING VETS THAT MADE IT BACK HOME,
THOSE WHO CAME BACK ALIVE FROM VIET NAM,
UNCLE SAM DOESN'T SEEM TO GIVE A DAMN!
AS FAR AS BENEFITS UNCLE SAM WON'T EVEN THROW THEM A BONE,
HE WISHES THAT THEY HAD BEEN GOOD HEROES ...
DIED AND NEVER RETURNED HOME.
TOMBSTONES, NEATLY POSITIONED,
PROPERLY ALIGNED AND ARRANGED IN ROWS.
DEAD, IS HOW AMERICA PREFERS TO HONOR HER HEROES!

HEROES, NOW ZEROES BECAUSE AMONG THE LIVING THEY NO LONGER EXIST.
YOUNG LIVES PUT IN DANGER BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE AIRBORNE RANGERS
IN SOME DISTANT LAND, NAIVELY BELIEVING
THAT THEY WERE HELPING THEIR FELLOW MAN.
THEY WERE  JUST PAWNS IN A CHESS GAME THAT THEY KNEW NOT HOW TO PLAY,
NOW IN ARLINGTON AND OTHER CEMETERIES THEY LAY.
MANY MET THEIR DEMISE FROM FLYING MORTAR OR ARTILLERY SHRAPNEL
FROM THE VIET CONG OR THE N.V.A.
AS THEY CELEBRATED THEIR HOLIDAY KNOWN AS TET.
A DAY IN THE MEMORIES OF THE VIET NAM VET,
THAT REMINDS HIM OF NOTHING BUT DEATH
AND A SEASON FILLED WITH REGRET.
THEY WERE TEENAGE WARRIORS,
YOUNG AND DUMB AND DIDN'T REALLY KNOW THE DEAL.
THEY THOUGHT THAT VIET NAM WOULD BE A REAL ADVENTURE,
A REAL LIFE DRAMA;
NOW, AS TAPS ARE PLAYED AND THE FLAG IS NEATLY FOLDED
AND HANDED TO HIS GIRLFRIEND, WIDOW OR MOMMA,
THERE'S NOTHING BUT REGRET AS THE MOURNERS STANDBY AND FRET,
AS THE CASKET IS SLOWLY LOWERED INTO THE GROUND.
HIS NAME JUST ONE OF THE MANY UPON, THAT BLACK GRANITE WALL;
A VISUAL TESTAMENT TO FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND LIVES GONE.
VIEWED EACH YEAR BY MILLIONS
WHO ARE STILL TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IT ALL.
BUT THE LIVING DEAD WHO SUSTAINED NO PHYSICAL WOUNDS OR PHYSICAL PAIN,
ARE PSYCHOLOGICALLY DESTINED TO RELIVING THE TRAUMA
THAT WAS THE REAL LIFE ACTION PACKED DRAMA,
THAT PLACED FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND NAMES UPON THAT BLACK GRANITE WALL.
MEN WITH HARDENED HEARTS WHO WERE ONCE EXPERTS WITH RIFLES,
THE THUMPER M-79, MACHINE GUNS AND HAND GRENADES.
DECORATED WARRIORS WHO RECEIVED NO WELCOME HOME PARADES.
JUNGLE HARDENED WARRIORS BACK IN THE U.S. OF A,
BACK HOME IN BROOKLYN, BOSTON OR BATTLE CREEK.
ONCE A JOLLY GREEN GIANT, PART OF THE GREEN MACHINE;
NOW, A MIDDLE-AGED MAN WHO HAD BY THE TENDER AGE OF NINETEEN
FULFILLED ALL OF HIS DREAMS AND ALL OF HIS DESIRES,
JUST NOT TO HAVE BEEN KILLED BY FRIENDLY FIRE.
THEY ARE THE ONES THAT UNCLE SAM WANTS TO FORGET,
YOU WON'T SEE THEIR NAMES ON ANY WALLS,
AND AS OF YET, NO ONE IN WASHINGTON HAS THROWN THEM A GRAND BALL.
THEY ARE AMERICA'S LIVING DEAD.
MANY SUSTAINED NO PHYSICAL WOUNDS
JUST PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE WITHIN THEIR HEADS.
STRANGERS IN THE LAND OF THEIR BIRTH;
ALIENATED, ISOLATED AND LACKING SELF-WORTH.
OFTEN FINDING THEMSELVES INCAPABLE OF COMMUNICATING
WITH THEIR FORMER CHILDHOOD CHUMS,
MANY OF WHO VIEW THEM NOT AS HEROES....
JUST ECCENTRIC BUMS.
SOME OF THEM HAVE ATTEMPTED TO QUELL THE INNER TURMOIL
BY SELF MEDICATING THEMSELVES WITH HEROIN OR RUM,
SOME OF THEM HAVE ENDED THEIR LIVES PREMATURELY WITH THE GUN.
OTHERS MEDICATE THEMSELVES WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS OR CHEAP WINE.
SOME 350,000 ARE HOMELESS, LIVING ON THE STREET,
WITH NOTHING TO EAT, SO THEY DINE ON LEFTOVER SCRAPS
THAT THEY FIND IN THE GARBAGE HEAP.
MANY UNJUSTLY LABEL THEM ECCENTRIC, CRAZY OR WEIRD,
BECAUSE THEY WEAR REMNANTS OF THEIR UNIFORMS
AND MAY HAVE GROWN A BEARD.
THEY ARE NEVER SEEN AS HEROES,
BECAUSE THEY AREN'T ZEROES...
AGAINST ALL ODDS.
THEY CONTINUE TO EXIST...
THE LIVING DEAD ...
WITH FLASHBACKS, INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS AND RECURRING DREAMS
LIKE A MOVIE RERUN BEING SHOWN OVER AND OVER IN THEIR HEADS.
DREAMING THE SAME DREAMS, MANY TIMES AWAKENED BY SCREAMS,
SOMETIMES THEIR OWN OR OF A LONG AGO FALLEN FRIEND,
WHOM THEY WITNESS DIE....OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
MINDS LOST AND LOCKED IN YESTER-SORROW,
NOT HAVING MUCH HOPE FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.
WONDERING IF THE SADNESS AND HURT THAT THEY HOLD INSIDE,
WILL FOREVER ABIDE?
THROUGH INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS AND NIGHTLY DREAMS
Their lives are often filled with whoa
As they remember their days at Mo Duc, Pinksville and Duc Pho
THE SURVIVORS OF LZ DRAGON, LZ CORK, KHE SAN, HAMBURGER HILL
AND LESS KNOWN PLACES OF HUMAN CARNAGE,
CONSTANTLY RELIVE HOW THEIR BUDDIES DIED,
AS THEY LIED,
AND REASSURED THEIR WOUNDED FRIENDS,
THAT THE "DOC" WOULD MAKE THEM WHOLE AGAIN.
THEY BELIEVED THE LIES  THEY TOLD THEIR FRIENDS
WHEN THEY TOLD THEM THEY WOULD BE O.K..
NOW, THEY BEAR THE GUILT OF THOSE LIES UNTIL THIS VERY DAY.
          
BY,
ABU LATEEF

COMBAT MEDIC:

I Corps Tactical Zone

4th Bn 21st Inf and 3rd Bn 1st Inf 11th LIB

Americal Infantry Division
Viet Nam 1968-69      
 
Copyright ©1994 Habib Khalil Abd Al Haqq 

 



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