Friday December 9, 2022
SNc Channels:



Sep-09-2011 13:51printcomments

Vietnam War Memorial Wall

A generation that is still persecuted by society and law enforcement still has a wall of memories.

Vietnam Veterans Wall

(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 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,
A lone rider as on horseback raises his nose,
He scans the wall for ex-brothers in arms,
A tear rolls on his cheek, why did he escape harm?

Way too many names and no one understands why,
Can anybody explain the reason they had to die?,
An unpopular war at home and in South Vietnam,
The Vets still come together to do all that they can.

Scattered about North America and countries overseas,
Sickness, mental illness, amputated above & below the knees,
A cry for help, is anyone there to answer the call?
How many barely alive feel they’re actually on the wall?

We gave our lives, arms, legs, sanity and eyes,
Only to come home second guessed and criticized,
The President, Congress, those who never fought,
Cut most of the benefits yet with our blood we bought.

Already paid for, still they pass a law and take it away,
Heroes are now zeros, homeless in the streets they stay,
Lives worth no more than cold coffee in a paper cup,
Thank goodness those on the wall were already called up.

The shame, the hurt, the sorrow and the pain,
Let me rephrase the question, what was it we gained?
Hey, there they are, my old buddies from Gulf 2-3,
Smitty, Davis, Bradley, unable to pronounce we called him Z.

I remember the day Sanders got a Dear John letter and cried,
Lighting a cigarette in the dark, a sniper, one shot, he died,
Amazing, an incident so far away makes you loose your cool,
Back home and now here in Nam, broken is the golden rule.

What in the heck took this memorial so long to get built anyway?
How many times has Congress received an unwarranted raise in pay?
Looking at all the names, is kind of funny in a strange sort of way,
I know this sounds crazy but I really do miss those good old days.

The opportunity to meet a lot of people and make plenty of friends,
Call it a war or conflict, there was a sadness when it had to end,
We grew close in a time of need, almost like the next of kin,
Back home who could relate? Starting over we had to begin.

I wonder how it feels finding names of those you’ve never seen,
Relatives of whom upon their death the government gave a little green,
Sadly knowing they are never going to come back,
Better extend the wall now for those lives being lost in Iraq.

Oh! There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall,
39,996 were 22 or younger but they still answered the call,
While the largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old,
And just one year younger at 18, 33,103 were equally bold.

12 engraved names are only 17 and at age 16 you’ll count 5,
The youngest, PFC Dan Bullock was 15, who did not survive,
997 soldiers were killed on day one these are deadly facts,
This breakdown of ages, days, months, years, military stats.

1,448 soldiers perished on their last scheduled combat day,
31 sets of parents lost 2 sons & 31 brothers death gave way,
Some 54 attended Thomas Edison High in Philadelphia, Pa.,
That City of Brotherly Love was real patriotic you might say.

8 women nursing the wounded have their names listed too,
Death has no favorites war is not just a jungle it’s also a zoo,
Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.
Where are the stats on needless when all is said and done?

God told Joshua when became too old there is still lots more,
1,000’s of years later is this what today’s youth have in store?
Death, destruction, Afghanistan, just what the hell is it all for?
For everyone lost in battle another one walks in the front door.

“Wars and rumors of wars” for bible prophecy must be fulfilled,
Not only foreign land, San Diego, Jeremy Henwood was killed,
Hundreds have been gun downed after separation or on leave,
Home is not always safe at home do not be so easily deceived.

Anywhere you will find a society there is technology for war,
Advance weaponry & ammo or bows, arrows, spears galore,
Searching the world-wide-web for peace really think you can?
There’d be little room for people if the Wall wasn’t just for Nam.

A turn of the key, the starter is pushed, the Harley comes alive,
Slowly he rides away amid crying of parents, children and wives,
Soon some idiot will give the OK for the beginning of the final war,
And only then will broken hearts not have to shed tears any more.

By Luke Easter


Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of 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:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Luke Easter September 11, 2011 6:22 pm (Pacific time)

Never as long as jealousy is in the dictionary. The stage was set with Cain and Able as Able offered up a more excellent sacrifice and Cain was jealous because it was approved by God. Problem is, most people are fine with offering blemished goods. Genesis 8:22. It's to the point now of wars, rumors of wars, nation against nation...

COLLI September 10, 2011 5:07 pm (Pacific time)

Luke: Once again you make the sentiment in your words seen by the mind's eye and felt by the heart. Our country should hang it's head in shame over how we treated the Viet Nam veterans when they came home. You are right when you point out that the same senseless loss of life continues to this very day. I ask a question I have asked many times before: "When does brother stop killing brother"? It is as if all the countries of the world bear the mark of Cain and history keeps repeating itself from Biblical times to today. How can anyone, after looking at "The Wall", not understand the senseless loss all the brotherhood of man has suffered? Thanks for touching us with your poetry Luke. I cannot believe that it won't help some.

[Return to Top]
©2022 All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

Articles for September 8, 2011 | Articles for September 9, 2011 | Articles for September 10, 2011

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.

Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

Click here for all of William's articles and letters.

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley