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Two Poems

Major Crandall's UH-1D helicopter climbs skyward after discharging a load of infantrymen on a search and destroy mission. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.This photo is in the public domain

Major Crandall’s UH-1D helicopter climbs skyward after discharging a load of infantrymen on a search and destroy mission. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.This photo is in the public domain

My Trip Back to Viet Nam 

 …I went back to Viet Nam on Easter Sunday a few years back.

I didn’t like going back there, too much sadness and death.

Fighter planes, Hueys and Mortars still hug the skies.

G.I.s still going to church with their M-16s and M-60s in their hands; Jungle Rot on their boots.

Their camouflages dirty in mud, but they still go to church to pray so God can help them come back home.

My two sisters cried, cause they thought I had gone crazy, when they listened to a tape of my trip to Viet Nam.

  —They didn’t know and couldn’t understand what a flashback was

Larry Hurtado, Air Force Veteran   11-7-2002

An unidentified young Marine in Da Nang.Marine Public Domain. Additional source description and credit info from the National Archives:This image or file is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the United States Marine Corps. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

An unidentified young Marine in Da Nang.Marine Public Domain. Additional source description and credit info from the National Archives:This image or file is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the United States Marine Corps. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

  We’re Still in Viet Nam

We’re Still in Viet Nam

 

We were called upon to do our patriotic chore. Like our fallen comrades like Frederick Daniel Herrera from Albuquerque, New Mexico; Daniel Fernandez from Los Lunas, New Mexico; our Native American brother, Arthur Crespin from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico and many others.

These are some who gave their lives for the Red, White and Blue.

Sadler tried to bring back the words of the living dead when he was leaving Viet Nam. One G.I. told him, “Tell them about us, Sadler—Don’t let us die in vain.”

Afterwards he sang, “I’m going home—I’m a lucky one.”

Nobody listened and we’re still in Viet Nam. We’re still in Viet Nam.

They called us baby killers, they spat on our faces, and Fonda hugged Ho Chi, while our sons of war were being killed down the Ho Chi Trail. And like one Viet Nam vet said, “My brother calls me a killer; my daddy calls me a vet.”

Don’t get offended families of our fallen brave soldiers who are with the Almighty. But where would we rather be, up with our fallen brothers and the Almighty or being prosecuted by our own system for defending ourselves with what the same system taught us before going to war?

Survival. Survival was the name of the game, and coming back to the world.  But… We’re still in Viet Nam. We’re still in Viet Nam.

Larry Hurtado,  Air Force Veteran

Vietnam War Protest in Washington, D.C. by Frank Wolfe, October 21, 1967. A protest sign reads "GET THE HELLicopters OUT OF VIETNAM".Public Domain photo

Vietnam War Protest in Washington, D.C. by Frank Wolfe, October 21, 1967. A protest sign reads “GET THE HELLicopters OUT OF VIETNAM”.Public Domain photo

Larry Hurtado

Larry Hurtado

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