Where are they?
Where are my countrymen??
After all these years, the depression still hits me... still knocks me against this cold, dank wall. This wall, that carries the names of Americans scratched into it. Some who got to go home. Some who did not.
Do my countrymen remember me?
Do they care??!
I yearn for my family. Does my wife look at the same stars that I do...wondering if I am glancing skyward?
How did our lives change so much?!
Does she demand my return or has she finally
succumbed to the lie?
What about my children?
Have they gone to bed all these years crying because
Daddy isn't there?
Oh God! I can't even remember their ages.
Do they now have families of their own?
Am I a grandfather?
Do my grandchildren know of me?
Do they care? ? ?
God, how I miss her peachcobbler.
Does she turmoil about me?
Wonder if I am ok?
Does she cry herself to sleep wondering why it is that fate took her Son from helping her through her golden years
Does she wonder if I am alive?
Does she know?
Is she alive, still?
I wonder if he is ashamed
that he taught me that we live in a nation that fights for Democracy. That we are lucky enough to be free and that there are responsibilities that go along with that freedom. Fighting so that others can taste that sweet breath, that sweet joy of freedom that we take for granted. I wonder if he had to do it over again, would he urge me to run...run to Canada?!
What does that mean?
I answered the call. I did the right thing.
I fought for their freedom, what now is anyone doing about mine?
My Country 'Tis of thee, Sweet Land of Liberty,
why have you ABANDONED me?My God, how I would love to watch the sunset on the Catskills once again. Or sit on the front porch,just after cutting the grass while rain fell and experience that wonderful smell.
Catchin' the Yankees and the Red Sox go at it.
Ahh, but the thought of that brings a bittersweet tear.
I miss my country...I miss my home.
What I wouldn't give to go to the sweet shop for an egg cream.
How many Presidents have been in office since I have been sentenced to this hell on earth? The last president I remember was Mr. Nixon when they played his address to my nation, saying that we were either all
And then they laughed at us saying ,
"We can keep you
The war is over!
I screamed, "NO!", but no one heard me.
My mind. I fear I am retreating to the darkest, deepest recess of my mind
and will never come back.
There has to have been other presidents by now. How many years can a man remain president, I don't even remember anymore.
It is all I can do to hold on
to my memories,
Don't they know?
Don't they care?
How can this have happened?
Won't someone get me and the others out of here?
Where are they??!
Doesn't anyone realize that it could have been them?
There, but For the Grace of God Go I?
I do not mean to complain, Lord, but isn't there a way that this cup could pass over my head?
This chalice that runs over with the blood and tears of Americans still confined?
Can't You relieve me of this purgatory?
I did my time.
I want to come home.
Does anyone hear me?
Does Anyone Care???
I am a Vietnam Veteran and feel very strongly that we still have Brothers held in Vietnam and OUR Gov't has decided to ignore them. We need to get the US government and the Government of Vietnam to account for all the POW-MIA's.
I have adopted one such Veteran:
Di Reyes Ibanez
USMC Pvt. 1stClass
Unit: 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Recon Battalion
HomeTown: San Diego, California
Date of Loss: 06-05-67
Loss Coordinates 163800N 1064700E
Incident: On June 5th 1967, Sergeant Ibanez was a Member of a 3rdMarDiv recon Patrol in Quang Tri Province. Shortly after Midnight, a guard heard a moan and the sound of brush breaking from the area where Sergeant Ibanez was sleeping. A later search party recovered his rifle and pack. The following morning a patrol located a partial dental plate and blood trail. The blood trail led along a path from his last known location to a nearby village. A search of the area turned up freshly dug foxholes with evidence of recent occupancy and signs that something had been dragged along the trail. The Dental plate was confirmed by Units Dental surgeon as belonging to Sgt Ibanez. Sgt. Ibanez was never found.
Sgt. Ibanez was intentionally declared missing. In March, 1978 he was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system by returning US POW's.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
By Patrick Camunes
At first ...
there was no place for us to go to
until someone put up that Black Granite Wall.
almost everyday and night,my Brothers and
Sisters wait to see the many people from
places afar file in front of this Wall.
Many stopping briefly
and many for hours
that come on a regular basis.
It was hard at first,
not that it's gotten any easier,
it seems that many of the attitudes towards
that war that we were involved in have changed.
I can only pray
that the ones on the other side
have learned something....
that Walls as this one needn't be built.
Several members of my unit and many that I
did not recognize have called me to the Wall
by touching my name that is engraved upon it.
The tears aren't necessary but are hard even
for me to hold back.
Don't feel guilty for not being with me, my Brothers.
This was my destiny
as it is yours,
to be on that side of the Wall.
Touch the Wall,
so that we can share in the memories that we had.
I have learned to put the bad memories
aside and remember only the pleasant times
that we had together.
Tell our other Brothers
out there to come and visit me,
not to say Good Bye
but to say Hello and be together again,
even for a short time and to ease that
pain of loss that we all share.
an irresistible and loving call comes
from the Wall.
As I approach I can see an elderly lady
and as I get closer I recognize
As much as I have
looked forward to this day, I have also
regretted it because I didn't know what
reaction I would have. Next to her, I
suddenly see my wife and immediately think
how hard it must have been for her to come to
this place and my mind floods with the
pleasant memories of 30 years past. There's a
young man in a military uniform standing
his arm around her......
it has to be my Son.
Look at him
trying to be the man,
without a tear in his eye.
I yearn to tell him how proud I am,
seeing him standing tall straight and proud
in his uniform.
Momma comes closer and touches the Wall and I
feel the soft and gentle touch I had not felt
in so many years. Dad has crossed to this
side of the Wall and through our touch, I try
to convey to her that Dad is doing fine and
is no longer suffering or feeling pain. I see
my wife's courage building as she sees Momma
touch the Wall and she approaches and lays
her hand on my waiting hand. All the
emotions, feelings and memories of three
decades past flash between our touch and I
tell her that it's all right. Carry on with
your life and don't worry about me......I can
see as I look into her eyes that she hears
and understands me and a big burden has been
lifted from her.
I watch as they lay flowers and other
memories of my past. My lucky charm that was
taken from me and sent to her by my CO, a
tattered and worn teddy bear that I can
barely remember as I grew up as a child and
several medals that I had earned and were
presented to my wife. One of them is the
Combat Infantry Badge that I am very proud of
and I notice that my son is also wearing this
medal. I had earned mine in the jungles of
Vietnam and he had probably earned his in the
deserts of Iraq.
I can tell that they are preparing to leave
and I try to take a mental picture of them
together, because I don't know when I will
see them again. I wouldn't blame them if they
were not to return and can only thank them
that I was not forgotten. My wife and Momma
near the Wall for one final touch and so many
years of indecision, fear and sorrow are let
go. As they turn to leave I feel my tears
that had not flowed for so many years, form
as if dew drops on the other side of the Wall.
They slowly move away with only a glance over
My son suddenly stops
He stands straight and proud
in front of me and snaps a salute.
Something makes him move to the Wall
and he puts his hand upon the Wall and touches my tears that
had formed on the face of the Wall and I can
tell that he senses my presence there and the
pride and the love that I have for him. He
falls to his knees and the tears flow from
his eyes and I try my best to reassure him
that it's all right and the tears do not make
him any less of a man.
As he moves back wiping the tears from his
eyes, he silently mouths,
God Bless you,Dad......
God Bless, YOU, Son......
We WILL meet someday
but in the meanwhile, go on your way......
There is no hurry.....
There is no hurry at all.
As I see them walk off in the
distance, I yell out to THEM and EVERYONE
there today, as loud as I can.........
THANKS FOR REMEMBERING
and as others on this side of
the Wall join in..... I notice that the U.S.
Flag, that so proudly flies in front of us
everyday, is flapping and standing proudly,
straight out in the wind today....
...... THANK YOU ALL FOR REMEMBERING!!!
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Last updated by Paul E. Lavelle on March 13, 2003