A Tribute To Those Killed and Injured By Vietnam 

When you look back at the history
of the war in Vietnam
a couple things seem so ghastly,
like the use of defoliants and napalm.

Agent orange sounds sweet and colorful,
used to change the forest cover from green to brown;
but now it’s killing many Veterans
and damaging the genes that we pass down.

The military strategy hard to fathom,
our troops the bait to draw ‘em out,
then used rockets, planes, and mortars
to increase the body count.

Each president reluctant
to be there, nonetheless
they kept escalating our involvement,
sending more troops, the Nation’s best.

Lying was their native language,
the truth never reached between their ears,
from Kennedy to Ford and both those n’between,
reelection their focus, losing same their biggest fear.

‘Cause of them trust’s not an option,
we stopped believing long ago,
if the top dogs always lying
who do you emulate, extol?

Our nation’s overriding purpose,
communism had to be contained;
but what the Vietnamese really wanted
was their way of life remain.

The insanity quite contagious,
the Vietnamese wanted us t’go away;
their government corrupt and clueless,
the Buddhist majority had no say.

You take a hill on Thursday
give it back the Friday next;
and focusing on body count
even now makes little sense.

But it’s hard to fight an enemy
when the folks back home are fighting you;
and it’s hard to keep your focus
when the Nation’s involvement is askew.

Is a war of attrition even moral?
Was it why we lost in Vietnam?
Is the country’s current crises
‘cause our best were sacrificed, embalmed?

America’s had 2 Civil Wars,
the second over Vietnam.
The newsmen planted seeds of doubt,
the war it can’t be won;

though the overwhelming victories
at Hamburger Hill, the Tet Offensive, and Khe Sanh proved ‘em wrong;
but the war was fought on the nightly news,
in living rooms where such violence did not belong.

And the way the war was ended
was a slap in every Veteran’s face.
We simply claimed we were the victors,
then tried to sneak out of the place.

Our nation abandoned its warriors,
we betrayed our ally too,
we were negotiating with the enemy
which Nixon hid from President Thieu.

Our Gold Star Parents no longer honored,
VA Hospitals a national disgrace;
many Vets addicted, homeless, dying,
waiting for their nation to show some grace.

There were no parades for those returning
not a thank you, glad you’re back,
they’d already got on with living
don’t remind ‘em, the war is past.

In our representative form of government
we can’t just blame those we elect
though they share much culpability
still it’s us they represent.

Our warriors were heroic,
the best and bravest gave their all,
at least equaling the greatest generation
though America let them take the fall.

We should be forever grateful
to the Warriors enshrined upon The Wall
and those awarded for their valor,
every Veteran can stand tall.

Vietnam wasn’t their idea
they only did what they were asked,
you don’t turn against the people
who’re fighting on your behalf.

Is this once great nation gone forever?
Can we get past the narcissistic political stealth?
We were once a nation others followed,
now just tolerated for our wealth.

We lost more than Da Nang and Saigon,
we lost our soul, our national esteem,
‘cause when you desecrate your heroes,
you blaspheme the American Dream.

It’s the worse type of betrayal
to commit your troops to a war
you never really meant to win;

and the worse form of treason
to celebrate with your enemy
while your POW’s are subjected to mayhem.

The coup de grace, the final backhand,
Hanoi Jane’s making movies once again,
but to us she’s still a traitor
who should’ve been tried, convicted, hung.

But for those who managed to survive it,
there are many reasons to fight on.
We can’t let America forget her heroes,
and can help our Nation achieve greatness once again.

Mason Swinney


About menmourningmoments

I'm happily married, the Father of 2 sons and 2 daughters and 4 beautiful grandchildren. Death is all around us but somehow we've managed to distance ourselves from it. Men, Mourning, Moments is about how the death of my son awakened me to life & the desire to seize every moment as though it were my last. It's about making sense of life in the good times and bad and allowing GOD to carry me and teach me through the hard times in life.
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