Tears of Impotent Rage

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Fort Logan National Cemetery

My parents are here, my father’s name and rank on one side of the headstone, and my mother’s name on the reverse. 2005 was my last visit there, and I don’t suppose that I will visit the site again now that I have moved so very far away.

Like most, I miss my parents, and that sense of loss comes at very odd times. Usually when my soul is quiet and my mind at rest. I am now steeled with the loss, and the last time I was there, the tears had dried, with only a lonely hole in my psyche where they once stood.

What did cause me to weep was a small band of Viet Nam vets who walked through the headstones, unerringly going from one grave of a fallen comrade to another, all clad in tattered black vests with unit patches and the black flag of MIA’s affixed to them. They silently stood at each stone with heads bowed for what seemed to be an eternity, then moved on through the sea of white stones to the next grave.

I am not a Viet Nam vet. I am a Viet Nam *era* vet. A big difference. But I knew so many of them, and grew up with a few of them. A sizable number of them came home in metal caskets. A few more were missing. Those of them who did come home came to the catcalls of an ungrateful political faction that I have not forgiven to this very day.

I wept. Not the tears of grief and sorrow, however. But the tears of impotent rage …

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4 thoughts on “Tears of Impotent Rage

    sister2cats said:
    May 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I am not a Vietnam Era Vet either. I am the wife of a Vietnam Era Vet. He was a Navy Corpsman, Fleet Marine Corpsman, And a Pharmacy Tec. It was through the Grace of God he wasn’t sent into the War Zones. We served his Enlistment in such Exotic places as Naval Hospital Balboa, in San Diego. And the Dispensary at Naval Air Station, Meridian MS. He was Preparing to go when he became 80% deaf due to the dust from the Medications he dispensed (Ah the good old days when you hand counted and they didn’t have machines with filters to automatically count, place in the bottles and cap) interacted with a genetic disease that he has. So many of our friends and neighbors in the medical field did go and so many of them didn’t come back. On Memorial Day and other Patriotic Days memories often trickle out of my eyes and down my cheeks. Ours were the unwanted Vets. No Parades, No Celebrations when we came home. The only ones who cared about our Vietnam Vets for Decades were the Nam Vets and their Families. I don’t think we were the Boomer Generation we were the Lost and Forgotten Generation.

    tesstruhartz said:
    May 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I have two nephews brothers,that were Viet Nam vests, one came home and became law enforcement and had a great life, the other came home with agent orange and has suffered ever since and so has his children, thank God they had good mentors.

    Anonymous said:
    May 28, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Excellent read. Thank you. Sometimes I wonder if the younger generations even grasp the horrors of war. Yes, they see the deaths and bombings and havoc caused by radical groups both here and in other countries. I’m not lessening the importance of them. I’m just saying when it comes to massive destruction, major loss of life, and the physical and/or emotional status of those in the military who returned home, I doubt they have a clue.

    Anonymous said:
    May 28, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Anonymous was me, Wanita. I don’t know why it came up that way.

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