I joined the Marines in 1969 but was unable to serve in Nam due to a medical condition I suffered while at Camp Pendleton. I recently visited The Wall and came away changed. When I got home I wrote these words.
I met a man I did not know beside a long black wall.
And as he reached to touch its face the tears began to fall.
I too was there the man explained and as he wept I knew
We shared a fate for though we lived our names could be there too.
We paused a moment silently and then he turned to say
It's been so long but still I see it clear as yesterday.
The bullets screaning by my head. The thought that I might die.
But then they took one next to me. No time to wonder why.
He reached to touch a faceless name and then he bowed his head.
Had this one not been there for me I surely would be dead.
I fought to find the words that I could say to ease his pain.
But I like he knew all too well forgetting is in vain.
For on that wall resides the names of all of those who fell
So long ago. So far away. But their stories we must tell
to all our children so that they will know and then believe
That Freedom is for everyone, but Freedom is not free.
To all of those who served then and those who are serving now I say thank you. Untill all are Free - None are free!
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