A Memorial Day “Trilogy and Tribute” To All Those Who Served and Protect This Great Nation ― by thisdonald and The Bard

AMERICAN SOLDIER

I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER

BY DON KENTON HENRY

I am and have been on watch twelve score and two years

Only my uniform has changed

I am the one who twice saved the world

I halt quests to exchange your freedom for oppression, the color of your skin for theirs –

Your religion for their own

I keep my promises and my pledges … to allies, comrades, and detractors

The only freedoms you have are the ones for which I fought – Not your lawyer, politician or policeman – whose job is only to enforce what I provide

My shift does not end

I protect those too young to fight; too old to fight; too weak to fight and too afraid to fight

I fight for right of those who choose not to fight

I fight for those who love me, those who respect me, those who honor me, those who disparage me and those who pretend to have no need of me

I keep you safe to vote, to speak, to have, to own, to love who you wish and to rise above your beginnings

I allow you and the child you tuck in bed at night to sleep and dream free of the real horrors of the world from which I protect you

I give my blood and take that of your enemies so that your hands remain clean

My duty is to see the wolf at the door shall not abrogate the security you embrace

I am your sheepdog

I am an American Soldier

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ARLINGTON IMAGE FOR HISTORY BY THE NUMBERS

HISTORY BY THE NUMBERS

BY DON KENTON HENRY

The eight-year-old grasped the old man’s hand as they walked among the rows of headstones white as the cherry blossoms and clouds in the blue sky above.  As they entered Section 12 the man’s grip grew tighter. Counting each site, beneath which lay a veteran, the boy called them out by number … 1444, 1445, 1446 . . . “Ira E. Levin, Tech 5 Infantry!” the boy read as they came upon stone 1447. They turned to face the stone. “Date of Death June 24th, 1944.” That’s your brother, grandpa!” The man said nothing but let out a long and halted sigh.

“He was only 21 years old”, said the boy. He was quick at math.

“Yes. 21 years old,” the man answered.

“I wish I’d known Uncle Ira. I wish he’d gone to Yankees games with us. It’s not fair. He shouldn’t have died, grandpa. War is stupid!”

“How many veterans do you think are buried here at Arlington, David?”

“I don’t know, grandpa” he answered as he pulled the map from the back pocket of his trousers.

“Over two hundred fifty thousand.”

“That’s so many!”

“How many of our kind were murdered in concentration camps before your uncle helped stop Hitler?”

“I don’t know, grandpa. How many?”

“6 million.”

The boy looked up and gazed upon the rows and rows of graves.

After long seconds of silence, he said, “There’s no room for them here. Can we say a prayer for Uncle Ira, grandpa?”

“Let’s say a prayer for him and all who died for us, David.”

************************************************************************************

VIETNAM RICE PADDY

THANK YOU FOR MY FOREIGN STUDIES

(In what may have been the last words of many a Vietnam vet who never came home. This is a brief tribute to all who served.)

By Don Kenton Henry

“I lie here staring up at a sky so blue it could crack. It is a hot August afternoon in the summer of ’69.  I think how, such a short time ago, this was just a movie that hadn’t come to the Roxy yet or . . .  another book I’d never get around to reading. My only ambition in life was living. It was all I had time for . . . and forever was all the time I had. Now―lying here in the middle of a Southeast Asian rice paddy―time . . . like my blood . . . is running out.”

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https://thisdonald.com

https://bardofthewoods.com

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