Our Vietnam Vet

How heartbroken is our Vietnam Vet
that our country has shunned, that we reject
To see the things that he has seen
and know the things that he has done
Ask, “Was it right or was it wrong?”

Why did Australians turn their head
from he who fought, suffered and bled?
He wears the scars still, seen and felt
and bears the weight of his regret.

And did Australians see his pain?
He fought a war that wasn’t won,
returned to us, his life undone
Accepted? No, nor celebrated
but treated with contempt and shame.

How can a man fight to the death,
be trapped by gunfire in a trench
and be in fear of all he has
and then be smuggled home at night?
Sent back to life, sent back to home,
“Forget the fear, the death, the smell…”
Returned to all that he has known
before the war, before he changed.

Why did Australians try to deny,
reject our Vet and change his life
and take his job and take his pride,
he fought for us and may have died

Why have we let his family suffer
through years of hell and shame
and not resolved internal wars,
bring healing to his wearied frame?
Reverse the curse that he received
from Buddhist months on foreign ground,
“He shall have no rest…” indeed
rings true for him and for his friends.

Australians all let us rejoice
for we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Australians all, let us accept
that we are safe and free
Accept our Vet and help him out
and with thanks, set him free.

Our Vietnam Vet


Taree, Australia

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Artwork Comments

  • Sally Omar
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