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Thoughts of a Warrior Poet

Going To War
The phrase, "going to war", has always had ominous and forbidding qualities that could send chills to the core of the soul. Experiencing and surviving such an ordeal has its own legacy. It differs from person to person with varying degrees of effect on the whole of the individual living experience. I have always felt the lot dealt Viet Nam veterans was shoddy from the start, but I had no idea of the afiennath when I wrote, ~~Going To War", over twenty-five years ago.
I reflised to buy into the causes organized to appease the injustices done us, the Viet Nam veterans, because I sincerely hoped there to be larger issues in life. Then I discovered we are not alone in the 'demons with which we contend from day-to-day. Everywhere there are souls searching for the means to overcome their own personal demons, and we would do well as veterans to reach out to them and share the ways we've learned and help to enhance as many lives as we may. Every person deserves the hope derived from looking to the tuture as though we were, "at the threshold of an era of new beginnings".

The eastern sky grew dark with night,
The west held light of day.
A lonely plane toward westward flight
Was taking us away.
When orders came for Viet Nam
And all the names were read,
They may as well have dropped a bomb,
Or shot us there instead.
Some few had been to fight before
But most of us had not;
Had never dealt with death or war,
Or fears of being shot.

Our words came scarce and laughter naught,
Concern had scored the show.
The doubts and fears we all had brought
Seemed primed and set to blow.
A wave of silence dashed our youth
Against the rocks of war,
And in its wake, the naked truth;
We're little boys no more.
The time had come to put aside
The games of yesterday,
To give our step a longer stride,
To grow another ~ay.

Now fate looms dark and ominous,
A vulture from the blue,
But we go on, as those before,
And leave the world we knew.
We pray to soothe the fear and dread,
For rest to ease our mind,
For guidance through the war ahead,
And mourn the 'world~, behind;
And that one day we~ll understand
Why people have to die...
The time grows near when we would land,
The miles were flying by.

The windows fog with quickened breath
In our descent to land.
We all are sure a brush with death
Is very close at hand.
We watch Siagon come into view
And wait to feel a blast;
Then hold our breath, as if on cue,
When wheels touch down, at last.
The war, for us, has just begun
Our fates seem so unsure;
But we are warriors, every one,
Resolved we will endure.
by Jim Fish