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When the Lord was creating Vietnam veterans

Vietnam War Memorial: Names

Image by Martin Burns via Flickr

When the Lord was creating Vietnam veterans, he was
into His 6th day of overtime when an angel appeared.
“You’re certainly doing a lot of fiddling around on
this one.”

And God said, “Have you seen the specs on this order?
A Nam vet has to be able to run 5 miles through the
bush with a full pack on, endure with barely any sleep
for days, enter tunnels his higher ups wouldn’t
consider doing, and keep his weapons clean and operable.
He has to be able to sit in his hole all night during
an attack, hold his buddies as they die, walk point in
unfamiliar territory known to be VC infested, and
somehow keep his senses alert for danger. He has to be
in top physical condition, existing on c-rats and very
little rest. And he has to have 6 pairs of hands.”

The angel shook his head slowly and said,
“6 pair of hands …. no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems …
it’s the 3 pair of eyes a Nam vet has to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. The
Lord nodded.  “One pair that sees through elephant
grass, another pair here in the side of his head for
his buddies, another pair here in front that can look
reassuringly at his bleeding, fellow soldier and say,
“You’ll make it…..” when he knows he won’t.

“Lord, rest, and work on this tomorrow.” “I can’t,”
said the Lord.  “I already have a model that can carry
a wounded soldier 1,000 yards during a firefight, calm
the fears of the latest FNG, and feed a family of 4 on
a grunt’s paycheck.” The angel walked around the model
and said, “Can it think?” “You bet,” said the Lord.
“It can quote much of the UCMJ, recite all his general
orders, and engage in a search and destroy mission in
less time than it takes for his fellow Americans back
home to discuss the morality of the War, and still keep
his sense of humor.” “This Nam vet also has a phenomenal
personal control.  He can deal with ambushes from hell,
comfort a fallen soldier’s family, and then read in his
hometown paper how Nam vets are baby killers, psychos,
addicts, killers of innocent civilians.” The Lord gazed
into the future and said, “He will also endure being
vilified and spit on when he returns home, rejected
and crucified by the very ones he fought for.”

Finally, the angel slowly ran his finger across the
vet’s cheek, and said, “There’s a leak … I told you
that you were trying to put too much into this model.”
“That’s not a leak,” said the Lord. “That’s a tear.”
“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel. “It’s for
bottled up emotions, for holding fallen soldiers as
they die, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth
called the American flag, for the terror of living with
PTSD for decades after the war, alone with it’s demons,
with no one to care or help.”

“You’re a genius,” said the angel, casting a gaze at the
tear. The Lord looked very somber, as if seeing down
eternity’s distant shores…”

I didn’t put it there,” He said.

Author Unknown

http://www.foxco-2ndbn-9thmarines.com/poem.htm

this is for you dad – John James Payne, 6 RAR, Nam 66/67, Miss  you everyday and love you dad

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