Kerry “Doc” Pardue is an author and poet. He served in Vietnam from 1968-1969 with the 755th Medical Detachment (Plieku), 8th Medical Detachment (Ban Me Thout) and Scouts (Recon), 2/47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division (Bihn Phouc, I Corps). Doc recently published his first book of poetry, Poems in the Keys of Life, and has received many wonderful reviews. You can see more of his poetry at http://iwvpa.net/parduek/index.htm.
A grateful Nation recalls
Our Men and Women
Who paid the price
Of freedom for us all
of us who
Served beside them
Every day is Memorial Day
We can’t let their memories fade
We were touched by their loss
lives touched ours
Changing and helping us
Becoming who we are
Grateful for what we have
Freedom at Home
left at home
You gave us your sons and daughters
Husbands and Wives
Fathers and Mothers
Brothers and Sisters
Friends and Lovers
Thank you for sharing them with us
We miss them
We won’t let them be forgot
That is why each of us
Who have been in battle knows
We can never ever forget
That Every Day is Memorial Day
called my name
I answered his call
My name was whispered in prayer
By my brother, sister, mom, wife, dear friends
with my name on it found me
In the jungle war called Vietnam
My medic tried to save me
But God called me home.
out of the mud, placed in a bag
My buddies are angry
But over time I am forgotten
As they can’t remember my name
away from home
My name is cold on some stone
Family and friends used to come see me
Been many years since they have come
My name is
placed on some dark blacken stone
Placed in a town called Washington, DC
35 years have come and gone since I parted this earth
Who dares to touch my name?
Hello Doc, Where have you been? Welcome Home
WHERE AM I?
I am afraid
You’re in the hospital
I will stay right here for you
I don’t hurt anymore but it is hard to breathe
I have given you something to take care of the pain
Promise me you will stay until I go
I am here just for you
You’re my date tonight
Your hair looks like my mom’s when she pulls hers back
I bet she is proud of you
You smell just like the Lemon trees back home
I am Kathleen but my friends call me Kath
but the guys call me Sunshine ’cause I am from Florida
Kath, you are so beautiful
You ain’t so bad yourself
You got a girl back home?
special, Just friends, I am only 19
Kath, does it hurt to die?
I’m seeing a bright light
Kath, I don’t want to go
Tommy, it’s wonderful where you are going
Tommy, go in peace my friend
I am sure glad I got to know you
Let it all the way out
I am here for you, helping you cross over
Close your eyes and follow the light
I love you Tommy
You are my Sunshine
where she called home
She stayed pretty much alone
The job was tough, long, and hard
She made it look easy
Setting her emotions aside
She worked on the boys from back home.
arrived she was easy going and soft
War changes people brings out the best and their worst
She would not give up on the dying boys
She would order them not to die
Some had the fight to listen and not give up
A few came home walking and not in a bag.
Lieutenant, I swear at the end of her tour
Was better and knew just what to do
She would work with the head wounds and the blind
She was their sister, mom, and wife
Sitting and talking to them trying to help them find their way
No one knew that at the end of her shift
She would go back to her room and just cry.
open at the job, she was calm and positive
No one knew the pain she buried deep inside.
35 years later she lives alone at her home, she remembers
And she still cries, but she never became a sister, mom, or wife.
“I lost too many brothers; was a widow time and time again;
my sons died - PTSD and Agent Orange is killing all the rest.”
know who I am?
I ain’t just a 2nd Lieutenant.
Army Nurse Corp.
I am your sister, mom, and wife
Damn it… I order you to live.”
It is mostly during the nights that they come and visit and check on me. How I see the hearts, souls, voices, of boys becoming men in a wrong place at the wrong time, yet, they made their mark on me. How can I forget… if I ever forget… it would have been for nothing… I refuse to believe in nothingness!!! There are times when they scare me by their appearance but at times their visits are friendly, caring, touching me, trying to encourage me to move on, I hesitate not wanting to leave them alone with each other in the place of death… I want to bring them back into the world of the living… they don’t respond when I call their names… I wake up screaming their names… then I know they are on the other side of life… a place they can’t cross physically any longer and I can’t cross into their world… but our spirits unite and we talk about the good old days… we remember the songs… the talk of going home… to getting back with our families and friends… to be back on the block… then we realize it can never be there again… I am thankful of their presence in my life… come back soon my brothers… come back soon… There will be a time to sing the old songs, to dance, to remember the talks of going home, and to say thanks for being my friends my brothers and sisters… I LOVE YOU… I MISS YOU… YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN…