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Vietnam War Memorial WallPoetry by Luke Easter Salem-News.com
A generation that is still persecuted by society and law enforcement still has a wall of memories.
(CLEVELAND) - It wasn't until the movie Rambo that the majority of Americans began to realize the extent of their country's military involvement in SE Asia, or the toll it was taking on its warriors after the bullets stopped flying. Vietnam Veterans and their families were aware, many anti-war activists had a clue, but the 'average Joe' didn't have any idea how challenging it must have been for these young men and women to leave a place like war-torn Vietnam and return to the U.S.
Readjustment from an experience like that can be demanding, awkward, and in some cases downright impossible. Then you have that wonderful element known as 'the media' in this country that is largely staffed by people who never wore a uniform, who are all learning what they know second-hand, and it culminated for me in a 1990 AP story out of Portland, Oregon that stated roughly:
'The man is a known felon and an admitted Vietnam Veteran'. Admitted Veteran? At any rate, you get the point, and there are other things that stand out; I have personally watched two of my friends who served in Vietnam die from cancer, and we are highly vigilant at Salem-News.com of both the psychological and physical struggles facing Veterans related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and also the challenges left behind in Vietnam from the use of Agent Orange, a cancer causing product of the U.S. inadvertently designed to kill all combatants in a region, rather than just the opposite side.
Once again I am extremely pleased with my Marine Corps brother Luke Easter, our resident Christian Poet, who has an extraordinary way of converting the positive message in his heart, to poetic verse. Those of us who didn't serve in Vietnam have a large respect for those who did, and when we roll out stories about American bikers being hassled by police for their 'club affiliation' - remember this poem by Luke. Think about what they went through, only to be treated by the same tactics employed by the bad-guy cop character in the Stallone film for belonging to a club.
Vietnam War Memorial Wall
The Harley-Davidson rumble comes to a close,
Way too many names and no one understands why,
Scattered about North America and countries overseas,
We gave our lives, arms, legs, sanity and eyes,
Already paid for, still they pass a law and take it away,
The shame, the hurt, the sorrow and the pain,
I remember the day Sanders got a Dear John letter and cried,
What in the heck took this memorial so long to get built anyway?
The opportunity to meet a lot of people and make plenty of friends,
I wonder how it feels finding names of those you’ve never seen,
Oh! There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall,
12 engraved names are only 17 and at age 16 you’ll count 5,
1,448 soldiers perished on their last scheduled combat day,
8 women nursing the wounded have their names listed too,
God told Joshua when became too old there is still lots more,
“Wars and rumors of wars” for bible prophecy must be fulfilled,
Anywhere you will find a society there is technology for war,
A turn of the key, the starter is pushed, the Harley comes alive,
By Luke Easter
Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.
We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.
Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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