Legacy of a Combat Veteran


By Frank Schuyler

Many years have quickly passed,

Not all of them were kind,

The dreams I thought would never last,

Still burning in my mind.

I thought that I would grow and change,

Remove my guilt and fear,

But all attempts were in vain,

The ghosts are always near.

A sound, a smell, a single word,

Can take me back again,

A place that seems a world away,

Is just around the bend.

A vision bursts into my mind,

Of smoke and broken trees,

I see the dying and the dead,

The medic on his knees.

I feel the heat, I taste the air,

I scramble for the ground,

The crackling guns, a blinding flash,

Another friend is down.

Our adversary waited,

Hidden by the green,

They made their presence obvious,
But never were they seen.

And just as quickly as it came,

The vision slips away,

The thoughts, the dreams, they are all the same,

Itís just a different day.

I shake my head, I wipe a tear,

I strain to clear my mind,

Why canít I wipe away the fear,

And leave the war behind?

I thought I had the answer,

With bottle by my side,

A quick and easy antidote,

A place for me to hide.

The potion made me thirsty,

For itís miraculous relief,

What I thought was saving me,

Only brought me grief.

And now the drink betrays me,

Itís magic all but gone,

I wallow in self pity,

I struggle all alone.
Surely there is an army,

Of old soldiers, just like me,

A regiment of battered souls,

A group in unity.

Weíre all good men, who made it through,

The HELL that is our past,

We shall band together,

A battle weary cast.

We seek the help of others,

Who understand our fears,

Men who dare to show their grief,

Who dare to shed their tears.

We came home scarred and broken,

With resentment, even hate,

Itís time to heal our wounded souls,

Before it is too late.

We served our country honorably,

We gave all we could give,

Itís time for us to be set free,

Itís time for us to LIVE!