Member Poems, Songs, Stories and Musings
Members, please submit your own poetry and musings HERE to be included on this page.
A Wife's Perspective
He still sleeps with his gun
Right next to his head.
That is, when he sleeps,
Usually not in our bed.
He rests in a chair
But he's up at midnight,
To again take his watch
And be ready for a fight.
No rest for him
There's no time to sleep.
It's vital to be vigilant.
Ah, the memories run deep.
In 67 - 68
It was during Tet
So many years ago
But he relives it yet.
Yelling out in his sleep,
Or angry in an instant,
Startling at a touch
Keeps relationships distant.
There's a gun in every room
You can never be too ready.
Aim for mass he instructs,
Shoot straight and shoot steady.
Our children were well versed
In the use of a weapon,
Could field strip and clean a gun
By the time they were seven.
They don't understand him
Never could, never will.
They fear him, they love him,
He's a mystery to them still.
Agent Orange, our lingering war,
Along with PTSD.
Daily battles, daily struggles,
Waiting and watching to see.
Hoping for good days
Dealing when it's not
Taking what life hands us,
Together, we're all we've got.
I didn't know him before,
Met him when he had returned.
His friends said he's different.
His outlook overturned.
But I still see a spark
And a little sheepish grin
Every now and again
From my Viet Nam veteran.
With the help of our Lord
We get through all the strife.
We stand side by side
Holding hands through this life.
And when deaths at the door
And I'm ready to die
I'll still love and respect him
To the end, Semper Fi. 🇺🇸
Frances Mirgan Hahnel, RN, BSN
The Florida Veterans’ Hall Of Fame
never expected the Hall of Fame
always related it to a game
my veteran work was done with love
with great help from The Man above
when I study about each member
such a group I can’t remember
this gathering of veterans is quite elite
the likes of which will nill repeat
doctors, nurses, colonels and privates
Air Force and Navy combat pilots
senators, congressmen, governors and mayors
educators and healers thru many layers
one of our members was launched to space
we even have a Tuskegee ace
admirals, shirts and combat medics
this is a group with high level genetics
we have hero’s with lots of medals
we have warriors on all different levels
but it’s not about our military service
giving to others is our purpose
sharing of our time for others
support to our sisters and brothers
this is what we share the same
in the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame
Secretary FVHOF Society
"And I Sit" by David Rose (a PTSD song)
Protest The War Not The Warrior
Served a year in that damn war
Doing what Uncle Sam called me for
Didn't know the violence stateside
Busy trying to save my own hyde
Riots on the campus lawn
Students struck with the baton
In the streets were riots a plenty
Not just some there were many
I was sheltered from it all
Working long and taking call
Coming home was another war
Protesters met me at the shore
Protest the war I'll join you there
Respect the medic I was unaware
I was just doing my job
Outside the wire of my FOB
Now I go welcome them back
Cheer them as they step the tarmac
I want to try to make it right
Our history I seek to rewrite
No Man Comes Home From War
Death and dying all around
Immoral acts the most profound
You could be the worst of all
Or you could be the Chaps on call
Any heart can plainly see
There is some moral injury
You may survive the war that day
But intrusive thoughts are here to stay
It doesn't matter who you are
All from battle will endure a scar
"I Started a New VA PTSD Med Today" was written, performed and recorded by David Rose. This video won first place in the VA National Festival of Creative Arts in 2015 for the humorous poetic video production category.
1 Marine and a Navy Corpsman
I'm lying in this ricefield
About a million miles from home
I'm lying in this ricefield
I'm cold and all alone.
I'm lying in this ricefield
I've got a bullet in my head
An NVA just shot me
And I think I'll soon be dead.
I didn't see it coming
It caught me by surprise
I was helping out this Corporal
He had shrapnel in his eyes.
I guess we'll both be going home
But not the way we came
There'll be no late night partying
There'll be no poker games.
Now one young Navy Corpsman
And a Leatherneck Marine
Are both lying in this ricefield
Dreaming a more Peaceful Dream.
You might think that this happened only once
In a WAR that went on for years.
It happened way too many times
In all of the sixteen years.
So they built a great big monument
In Washington D. C.
Commemorating forever in Black,
All the Men that will never come back,
And at last count, it was fifty eight thousand, one hundred, eighty three.
Blood On My DD214
served as medic in that damn war
still not sure what we fought for
did a lot to save my brothers
even saved some of the others
stopping the bleeding was my main job
a lot to lose with each heart throb
grew up fast and learned a lot
had to make the bleeding clot
still have nightmares to this day
seems I can not get away
the cries and screams I heard so loud
hang around as a big dark cloud
destined to live my life with stress
my fate was sealed when I ETS
a nasty curse I should have foreseen
when blood was spilled on my 214
bloody papers I carry through life
a reminder of my wartime strife
like giving me the boot as I walk out the door
painful memories to my very core
Radio interview of David Rose
I don't sit and think about my PTSD
my PTSD thinks about me and I sit.
David Rose awarding Vietnam War 50th Commemoration lapel pins in Washington DC to Vietnam War Veterans.
6 this is Romeo 6 - Come In…
I’m on patrol deep in the bush trying my best…I’m Lost
Just turned 20, commissioned to lead Men, just boys really-like me, in a desperate and dangerous land… I’m Lost
What training prepares boys to lead other boys to do the unthinkable;
Surely not 180 days of spit-n-polish, inspections, drills, parades, and ceremony…
Can’t vote or buy a drink…yet I can lead others into unforgiving fury… I’m Lost,
Rank, Color or Religion don’t matter here, it’s just about; you watch my back, I’ll watch yours,
I lean on older sergeants to teach me, and rely on seasoned comrades to show me the dangers, mines and traps,
Hoping, no praying, not to let my comrades down or worse… I’m Lost
6 this is Romeo 6, Come In?
Cartoons are created by David Rose
One More Orbit
decades of stress from that damn war
couldn’t escape from all that gore
decided to make this orbit my last
asked my God to please think fast
He opened some ops to help my brothers
offering me hope by mentoring others
My Only Goal
Survived the war without a gun
Now back home I carry one
It's sad I have to live this way
My homeland in the U.S.A.
Today the threat is from within
This type of war is hard to win
We don't know friend from foe
I'd rather be a GI Joe
Panama looks good to me
Like many countries oversea
Well, with the exception of Seoul
A long way from home is my only goal
I arrive from my second deployment to an indifferent, often hostel home devoid of a warm welcome, acknowledgement, reassurance or even some appreciation,
Proudly, I stroll down the crowded city streets, a kaleidoscope of neon lights, signs, noises and people,
In my Class-A Greens, sharp peeked hat, gold braid, ribbons, black stripes and shined shoes, certain the ladies will be impressed, I stroll along confident in myself,
Baby Killer, Fascist, and other vile jeers greeted me instead of garlands or accolades,
What had happened to the America I knew, where was the patriotism I grew up with, where was any acknowledgement of the service of so Few for so Many,
Disenchanted, dejected, angry, I strolled on lost in my thoughts contemplating the meaning of the abuse, vile remarks and desolation,
An old man, in a worn wheel chair, dressed in a faded Army field jacket, adorned with unit patches, badges and a Silver Star reflecting in the city lights rolled up to me…
I returned his smart salute, as he said, Welcome Home Son, Well Done!
No longer dejected, this Veteran, this Brother in arms, this Comrade of another time, was my Welcome Home.