I don’t hate those who refused to go
I did it for my country, not for show.
An eternal loneliness beyond the pale
Was my certain reward should I fail.
I have seen terror’s deathly face
And feared to go, but kept the pace,
Enwrapped in the cold sting of fear
I fought for buddies and those I hold dear.
I’ve known sweet love and a moment’s kiss
And wished for all the world I could stay with this.
But I was committed and I knew my lot
To live out death and dangers best forgot.
Shrouded deep in the stink of death
I’ve cried aloud and tried to catch my breath,
While my soul screamed out to God where I’d been
To just once more escape the living pain, again.
Going where others wouldn’t go
Knowing what others wouldn’t know,
I am the stuff of legends and lores
I am a veteran of my nation’s wars.
I ask only a moment of your day.
A moment of silence out of the way,
Ask only that you honor the debt
Of freedom bought: don’t forget.
by E. Marshall Evans