Letter from I Corp

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Penned in 1984 but never printed. Perhaps the Iraq war would have been the time to print.

My brother's son turned seventeen just the other day

He never knew his father though. He died retaking Hue (Hway)

What do you say to an angry young man who wants some answers 'bout Viet Nam?

What did he fight for?

What did he gain?

There wasn't any fortune. There was no fame.

Some fool said his daddy died in vain.

Johnny broke his jaw. He did the right thing.

His ma sat him down and tried to explain;

Your pa was young and brash, but just the same, he felt commitments to many. There would be no shame.

Nothin's gonna hurt the family name. No, nothin's gonna hurt the family name.

Well it was just before the news

that most terrible of news

that I received his letter, the one with his views

He said Mike, I think our country has put me on the spot

Christ, I can't believe the destruction and the rot

Am I a killer when the triggers pulled or a coward when It's not?

Life is so damn cheap here

this war so undefined

No noble cause exists. We're all just doin' time.


If I don't make it back there to see my son grow tall

I know you'll take him fishin' and teach him to play ball.

But if the day should come when our country goes to war,

You tell him to go off and contemplate; What are we fightin' for?

And if it ain't a good cause and if it don't agree.

You tell him to stand against it and not be trapped like me.

Submitted: January 26, 2017

© Copyright 2020 Mike Keller. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Keke Serene

Very nice! The Vietnam war really was a war that wasn't meant to be fought by the US.

Thu, January 17th, 2019 12:19pm


Bert Broomberg

Great poem. The Vietnam war makes a great subject for pointing out issues about wars in general. Good stuff.

Wed, November 6th, 2019 8:08pm



very well stated

Wed, April 1st, 2020 10:22pm



A terrible war that wracked the collective consciousness of America. I wasn't there, but I can feel the Angst and tribulation the son of a vet went through. Over all great poem.

Wed, May 6th, 2020 4:31pm


Marvin Thomas Cox-Flynn

A most poignant and relevant piece of poetry that well describes the realities of that war called The Vietnam War, a war of many untruths and many more deceptions as to why we were really there, and why we pulled out to leave a defenseless people who trusted us to fend for themselves ...

War is almost always designed and orchestrated by governments who manipulate their own peoples to acts of violence and stupid ass acts of self sacrifice in the name of Freedom, God, and Country ...

If you land or home are truly physically threatened there is a time for self defense action against those who would seek to undermine or take that which you have, especially that of harming or taking the lives of your family or loved ones ...

Otherwise, war is just a bunch of hyped up false glory and genuine bullshit for fools stupid enough to go and get themselves killed while slaughter other men who only want to live in peace with their families just like they do ...

Nobody ever tells anybody these reality based facts regarding that which every man, woman, and child in the world desire in most everyone possessing the exact same wants, needs, and desires for peace, happiness, prosperity, good health, safety, and all of the same in even more ample portions for their children and grandchildren after them ...

This is a poem that every warmonger needs to read and absorb ...

Coincidentally, I have a philosophical story that is also about the Vietnam War, titled, Dumpster Divin' In Ole Whiskey Dent ... It seeks to paint war as it really is in reference to the all too true reality that those who come home are often more mortally wounded than those who perish upon the battlefield, because, for those who die, their suffering has ended, but for those who return home the suffering goes on for seemingly forever behind eyes and faces that seldom speak of the pain, suffering, and anguish that goes on behind the faces and eyes of those all too often forgotten as Veterans who sacrificed their emotional and physical peace of mind for the sake of the security and future of this nation ...

My hat is off to you for sharing ...

Sat, July 25th, 2020 5:39pm



Sa War...like all wars

Wed, August 26th, 2020 4:43pm


Antietam 5

My uncle was in Vietnam...this is a powerful poem. I have always wondered what Nam could have been like...reading this adds to that thought.

Mon, September 14th, 2020 9:41am

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