War Poem

A Welcome Home To Vietnam Veterans

Our Vietnam Veterans deserve all the honor and respect owed to them.

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Welcome Home

© more by Regina M. Elliott

Published by Family Friend Poems December 23, 2023 with permission of the Author.

When I met the tall and amiable Vietnam War veteran,
my shyness showed,
yet, my throat dried and tightened when he softly
spoke the words, "The war never goes away."
All these humanity destroying wars never cease,
soldier's names, faces, their eyes so well-worn.
Their love letters sent home never faded in their
the soldiers who made it home alive weren't
given a hero's welcome.

Their nightmares flashing as they wake up
sweating in their sheets in the dark,
yelling for respite from still hearing and being
in the firefight,
still seeing the VC,
and witnessing the life breaths leaving mortally
wounded brothers.
Descending into the night's loneliness,
the blue-gray of the t.v. on low volume,
the sobbing of a loyal wife.
Some marriages, families split apart with
crushing sadness,
many veterans homeless on U.S. streets,
such a heartbreaking shame shadowing over
the face of America the beauty.

Surviving veteran's hair becomes snow-white,
war wounds achingly arthritic,
memories of their war buddies still sweetly
preserved in their mind's images.
Vietnam War veteran's reunions as their
bones stiffen,
but still salute their brothers and sisters in arms,
their hats with the name of the war,
the pride of their service.

Many barely out of high school with brothers
of the same town,
the same state,
so much youth called up,
joining brothers from other regions of the U.S.
Blessed by God in their fraternity,
their bravery.
The deep red poppies represent their
precious blood.
I remember the 1960's-70's searing scars in
my mind,
weeping for the loss, the hurt in our hearts
over the Vietnam War.

MIA's, POW's,
disappeared as aging families still pray,
still wait.
In the local Veterans Cemetery,
I met a woman in her eighties,
she was a little confused,
couldn't recall where her Vietnam Veteran
son's grave was located.
She told me her daughter-in-law couldn't
bear to visit his grave.
We found his grave,
his name glistening in the dew of that gentle
May morning,
as wrens and sparrows sang on blossomed
A chance encounter became such a gift to
honor her son,
and his mother.
To let her know he was not forgotten,
but cherished.
Welcome Home.


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