Followers of my blog may have figured out by now that there was a great deal of difference in age between my oldest sibling and I. My brother was 25 when I was born. I really did not get to know him as a child because he was off serving our country. He was career Army through and through. He moved back home when I was a teenager. I remember this big man pick my mother up off the floor. She turned around in shock and put her hands on his face. All she said was, “My baby.” I looked back and forth between him and his picture on the wall. The clean-shaven face now had whiskers from the bus ride and his hair was a little longer but it was him.
He did not talk much or often about Vietnam but the shared a few stories. When I was in high school and studying it in history I told him of a film strip we had seen and he said a movie could never capture the horror of poking your head up out of a tunnel and wondering if it would be blown off. There was no way it could show the pain of watching your brother in arms die. When I was in college, I learned more Vietnam veterans had died from suicide than the war. Sorry we are not supposed to call it a war now. I think my brother and his comrades risked their lives for a conflict.
The poem that follows I wrote after my big brother went on to be with the Lord and our parents. I imagined my mother holding his face and saying, “my baby.” It is funny how different days are harder than others. Somehow not calling him on Veterans day is harder than his birthday or any other holiday. I am so thankful for the relationship he had with the Lord. I know from his testimony that as I type these words he is with our Savior. In honor of him I will be using a green light on the 11th of Nov. Will you please join me?
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I heard a man say once
I have nothing to fear
I am either going home or I’m going home
and getting out of here
I thought of those words
as I played that game no one likes to play
the waiting game
when all you can do is pray
He was waging a battle
he had fought many times before
after all he was a soldier
he knew how to fight the war
Years ago they told him
you will never walk again
but he proved them wrong
way back then
God gave him more time to leave a bigger legacy
He lived many more years
we cherish his memory
these are joy drops falling down our cheeks not tears
He hung his helmet up and took off his boots
because he does not need them any more
this soldier is done fighting
Today he is walking on heavens shore