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Invisible Soldier

Story: VA Historian

Since people first began to write thousands of years ago, the sights, sounds, smells, textures, horrors, and consequence of war have been impressed in the minds and memories of millions, including soldiers and sailors, all over the world. No matter what country, heritage, or bloodline of origin, every war has had among its survivors a few who were driven to relive the scenes and pain of war for others in rhythmic language known as poetry. Poetry is a complicated use of language, involving many areas of the brain to consciously construct words and sounds that are mathematical, emotive, social, connective, and musical. Poetry can express feelings, invoke memories, cause reflection, and make peace, among other things. Many people, including veterans, find writing poetry to be a soulful and cathartic activity.

Invisible Soldier
written in 1995 by Vietnam Veteran, Sarge Lintecum

You can tell her by the twinkle in her eye,
At parades when the flag marches by.
She served our country and she served it
very well.
Some have even served a tour or two in Hell.

She suffered hardship and never ceased to care.
It gave us strength just to know that she was there.
She was a leader, you could tell by the rank she wore,
But she became the invisible soldier after the war.

She can march, she can fly, and she can sail.
She proved that bravery isn’t exclusive of the male.
She did every job she was asked and more.
But she became the invisible soldier after the war.

Now, it is finally time to right a wrong.
Honor our sister soldier; hear her song.
It’s very clear that she’s a patriot to the core.
Don’t let her be the invisible soldier anymore.

Sarge Lintecum was a decorated soldier who served three tours in Vietnam from 1966-1968 and received a Purple Heart after being shot in the leg. He is now a modern-era veteran poet and musician sharing his talents with others. His poem, “The Invisible Soldier,” formed part of the Women Veterans Memorial dedicated at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in 1996.

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