I did my time in the Vietnam war and the Vietnam war really impacted me. I wrote this poem while I was there. Hope you like it.


By: Joe Attanasio  1969


A war as such that we are in,

Slaughter that we did not begin;

Strives not for either side to win,

But grows strong on idealisms sin.


Hawks support our righteous claim,

As good brothers are being slain.

Capitalists thrive on playing their game,

Imperialist guests remain the same.


I once overheard a young Viet lad,

Retell of a tragedy so very sad;

An American mistake took his dad,

And VC wounds his mother had.


Inflation has that country torn,

War orphans are better never born.

Sides know not of people gone,

And patience itself is badly worn.


If this poem makes you wonder why;

Imagine how it feels to die.

Don’t ask their mothers why they cry;

And don’t ask me what it’s like-don’t even try,

Because to myself I even lie…

For it’s the only way I can get by.


Submitted: October 04, 2011

© Copyright 2023 attanasio. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



I am Vietnamese. War is so terrible. We, Vietnamese, need PEACE! I just learned our war in history ..1968 is the year Mau Than Tet Holiday then 1969 Ho Chi Minh died. I can't believe that now I can read a poem was made by a American Solider at that important time. Whatever happened in this war, today it is the past. Vietnam - American..we look to the future! Thanks for this poem!

Fri, November 11th, 2011 9:12am


I learned to speak some vietnamese when I was there, I had 3 years of High School french and between the french and vitnamese I made a lot of friends there. I helped at a local orphanage near Bien Hua. I felt so sorry for those war torn orphans!

Thanks for such a nice and thoughtful comment.

Fri, November 11th, 2011 4:32am


Thank you for sharing such an emotional piece. I finally have a little time to read your older stuff, likin it.

Wed, November 23rd, 2011 1:47am


Thats an old one alright! I was in the army from 1966-1969. I was in vietnam in 1968. Seems like yesterday sometimes and a million tears ago others!

Glad you got to read it though! And thanks for the comment.

Tue, November 22nd, 2011 8:13pm


*HUG* Mr. Attansio...

This was wonderful. Beautiful and true. It brought tears to my eyes. So lovely and heartfelt. The flow was really good, and the language was perfect for it. I especially like the colloquial reference, it added a lot. Just one word too, it's amazing what one word can do. Great job, Mr. A!!! =)

My grandfather served as a Marine in the Vietnam War. I can see the results and the toll it took on him everytime I see him. I may not know what you are going through, but I know it hurts. I can only imagine. Thank you so, so much for your service, and your time dedicated to making this nation what it is and helping so many people. The fact that you fought for people you didn't even know is incredible. Thank you, so much. You are a truly wonderful soul.
Take care!

Tue, December 6th, 2011 1:53am


I can talk about my year in Vietnam now that it has been over 40 years ago. I have vivid memories of most of it as those things makes a strong impression on a person.

I appreciate when young people can appreciate and even care about such events. You bolster my pride and expectations of todays youth!

My brother went to Vietnam just as I left, he was a marine and wounded there. Wouldn't it be a billion to one if my brother and your grandfather served together.

Thanks so much for caring enough to read my old poems, you are truly a special person!

Mon, December 5th, 2011 7:35pm


this is very good, and very interesting too, as I'm studying vietnam for my history GCSE right now, so it's great to see it from someone who was actually there :)

Sat, January 7th, 2012 5:48pm


Thank you for the read and nice comment on my old poem! If you have any questions leave me a note on my page!

Thanks for letting me become a fan!

Sat, January 7th, 2012 9:54am


First off, I just would like to say welcome home! This is on behalf of my dad and all Vietnam Vets deserve to hear this. This poem is wonderful. It has given me a chance to hear and feel what my dad was thinking in 1969. My dad has never stopped figting this war in his head. My sisters, mother, and I never forgot the pain war can continue to bring. I come off sounding antiwar. I am not. I am simply resentful of how Vietnam came to be, and the lasting results of this war nobody wanted to call a war. I am inviting you to read my poem The Son of a Vietnam Vet. It carries a different side of the story, but it is the same. War carries sadness; it brings anger and pain. I also want to thank you for your service, and for this wonderful read. You let me for a moment see my dad as he may have been.

Wed, March 28th, 2012 10:21am


I will certainly seek out your poem. I also want to thank you for reading mine and for your thoughtful comment. I have been emotionally effected by the Vietnam war for all my life. When you are 18-20 years old the experience is so very profound.

I learned to speak some Vietnamese and I had 3 years of high school french and could communicate somewhat with the people there. I ended up asking my family here for old clothes donations to give to the orphanage near my base. My mother put the notice in the local newspaper and I shared the goodwill of my city with the war torn orphans. I had a mix of hate, fear and hearfelt compassion for the year I was there. These things changed my life forever and shaped who I ended up being. Nice to share with some3one that cares.

Thanks very much.

Wed, March 28th, 2012 6:36am


I am richer for your putting this up in Featured Writing. Would never have caught it otherwise. Thank you. Thank you. Kindest regards, Connie

Fri, March 30th, 2012 9:11pm


I am very happy you found it. I was not much of a poet back then as far as technique or experience went. I did have the heart and passion for it though!

Thanks for the read and comment!

Fri, March 30th, 2012 3:00pm

Dean Talbot

Very well written! And what a reminder of much politics plays in our lives.

Mon, September 24th, 2012 3:17pm


Thank you for the nice compliment and comment. Very true, soldiers are not even pawns in war, they have no say at all. When I remember how poorly the soldiers were treated by the anti-war protesters when I returned it made me sick to my stomach. Like it was thier fault for going?!

I appreciate your read and comment very much.

Mon, September 24th, 2012 10:57am

Ava Rosien

Having lost someone in Viet Nam in 1968, I was completely engrossed in this poem. The story of his death is written about in John Plaster's book on Special Forces Operations during the Viet Nam war.

You have gained even more of my respect; not just as a writer, but as VET of that war.

Thank you for your poem.

Thu, September 27th, 2012 5:20am


War touches so many lives. I was only 18 years old at the time and it was a huge impact on mine and shapped my life to come.

Your very welcome by the way....

Thu, September 27th, 2012 5:52am

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