A full version of this post was originally published on July 4, 2012. You can read it here.
Pilgrimage to the Wall
Like so many other veterans from the Vietnam War
I wonder why my name is not on this wall. Lucky, I guess.
I returned home with only memories and my boots.
So many names etched in stone
on a black granite wall
memorializing an unpopular war.
The experiences of those who returned
are burned into our memories
and have marked on our lives.
Good memories of friendships and a brotherhood of comrades,
bad memories of warfare, destruction and death.
Memories of coming home to an unappreciative nation.
Our country has learned a great lesson from us,
taught by our experience, the lessons of war and the returning soldier.
You on The Wall would be so proud.
We have learned to separate the politics of war from the warrior.
No matter the conflict, our soldiers are now treated as the heroes
that they are, and all are welcomed home.
Rest in peace brothers and sisters.
We think of you often.
You are missed.