Let no corrupt word proceed out of your
mouth, but what is good for necessary edification,
that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

3 POEMS IN HONOR OF VETERANS WE BURIED TODAY
by Major Harl and Jerry Calow

Major Van E. Harl, USAF Ret.

WE BURIED ANOTHER VETERAN TODAY.

We buried another veteran today.
He went to his God, from us, he went away.
This one was young, in the prime of his life.
He left twin children and a very courageous wife.

It wasn't a bullet, a plane crash or a bomb.
It was cancer, and he just finally, could not hold on.
He fought "it" like a military campaign.
But the time came to surrender, to end his earthly pain.

He knew he would be fine in the presence of his Lord.
But what about his twins, those children he adored?
Will they grow strong and at "life" win.
Please God, let them always remember him.

We buried another veteran today.
It seems, all my life, it has happened this way.
From my uncles of the WW II-time frame.
To the military friends, Vietnam would claim.

For me the number of dead, is always on the rise.
When I get a call another veteran is gone, it is never really a surprise.
From lost sub-mariners, in early days of my life.
To the forever gone, military-medical friends of my veteran wife.

I lost a Korean War veteran friend this year, to a crashed airplane.
I lost a Gulf War friend to cancer, a difference in their age, but still that pain.
I lost an Uncle to cancer who did Korea with the Navy, steaming off shores.
I lost my father-in-law who fought in Korea, from a "fox-hole" in the frozen outdoors.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems in all my family's generations, it happens this way.
From my Revolutionary War Grandfathers who started this sad, but needed trend.
To the family members on both sides in 1861, who just would not bend.

Some of my family lived a long and happy life, after "their" war.
They died of old age in their bed, safe-behind a locked door.
They died in battle, buried where they fell.
They died years later, carrying emotional scars, in their own personal hell.

My family is no different than thousands who met our Nation's call.
They rose to the demands of this country and some gave their "all".
We have to continue doing this, to make America free.
But, it's that Veteran's twin-little children that keeps worrying me.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems all my life it continues this way.
Now my only child is nine and we reside on a military installation.
My wife and I truly want her to live safe, in a free nation.

But what happens, when it is her-generation's turn to make a stand.
Do we lose our only child in some forsaken-foreign land?
Does she play it safe, stay home and say "that's boy's stuff".
Or does she join like her mother and go right into the ruff.

She has to be that one Veteran I don't see, make that final "call".
Let me go before her, let me first give this country my fighting "all".
Maybe if I go "out-there" and make my final stand.
She can stay safe-at-home, in this wonderful free land.

We buried another Veteran today.

Major Van E. Harl, USAF Ret.
Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi,
28 November 2001 vanharl@aol.com

THE HANDCART BOYS

He's lying in the tree line, blood running down his arm.
Listening for the sound of the Handcart boys, to remove him from this harm.
He flew in on a modern jet that got shot down in this affray.
But he is no different than the wounded at Shiloh, trying to survive, till they safely take him away.

In the dark of the night she waits with so much pain to bear.
Injured in the crash of her aircraft and now this seemly endless nightmare.
Where is the chopper that will lift her from the smoke, the fire and the pain?
Where are the Handcart boys, hurry, her life is beginning to drain?

He was wounded when a round slammed onto the "cruiser's" deck.
Shards of metal are protruding from his arm, shoulder and the right side his neck.
The corpsman has stopped the bleeding; he's been prepared, to be extracted in the night.
The Handcart boys are racing his way, and will be there before first light.

Get in, get them out, and hurry back, inside the safety of our lines.
It has been this way since ancient wars, to the battles of modern times.
The two-wheel Handcart is the way the wounded were removed from battles in past wars.
Our modern Handcart has a rotor-blade and sliding doors.

Look at history, look at artwork, recent photos or at movies if you will.
When it came to removing the wounded and injured off of some war torn desolate hill.
It was a Handcart carrying the broken and the dying with their screams of pain.
It was a Handcart transporting at Normandy in the cold June rain.

Every branch of the service has its modern version of the Handcart boys who respond to the call.
They go out for the wounded and dead, bring them back, get them all.
Some times the Handcart boys are brought back in a Handcart not of their own.
Some times they become the wounded & the dying, and for their efforts, they never come home.

There are also women who work these, latter-day Handcarts and their lives too, are on the line.
It is a dangerous mission, but just as their predecessors they to make that recovery in time.
They move out over the desert, into the night as the sand blows and swirls.
These Handcart operators are our Handcart girls.

I have a two-wheeled wooden handcart with an old worn flag sitting out on my front lawn.
It is not a protest, it's a reminder of our dead, who returned by Handcart, lying there upon.
In order to defend this Nation, we will continue to send the brave & young, our freedom they earn.
And we will always have a need for the Handcarts, for our wounded and dead, they must return.

Major Van E. Harl, USAF Ret. 15 March 2003
Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico Vanharl@aol.

A Tribute To Veterans
Jerry Calow (c 2003)

In Vietnam, Korea and World Wars Past
Our Men Fought Bravely so Freedom Would Last
Conditions Where Not Always Best They Could Be
Fighting a Foe You Could Not Always See:

From Mountain Highs to Valley Lows
From Jungle Drops to Desert Patrols

Our Sinewy Sons Were Sent Over Seas
Far From Their Families And Far From Their Dreams
They Never Wrote Letters Of Hardships Despair
Only Of Love, Yearning That One Day Soon:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On With The Rest of Their Lives

The P.O.W.šS Stood Steadfast
Against the Indignities And Cruelties Of War
They Could Not Have Lasted as Long as They Did
If They Had Relinquished Their Hope That Some Day:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On the Rest Of Their Lives

Medics, Nurses, and Chaplains Alike
Did What They Needed To Bring Back Life
They Served Our Forces From Day Into Night
Not Questioning If They Would Survive:

They Mended Bones And Bodies Too,
They Soothed the Spirits of Dying Souls

And for Those M.I.AšS, Who Were Left Behind
We Echo This Message Across the Seas
We Will search For as Long As It Takes
Youšre Not Forgotten And Will Always Be:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers,
In Our Minds For All Time

A Moment of Silence, a Moment of Summons
Is Their Deliverance of Body And Soul
To a Sacred Place That We All Know
Deep In the Shrines of Our Soul:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers
In Our Minds For All Time

INTERLUDE:
GOLD STAR MOTHERS GRIEVE: ENDLESSLY,
ENDLESSLY, ENDLESSLY.......

These Immortalized Soldiers Whose Bravery Abounds
Theyšre Our Husbands, Fathers, and Sons
They Enlisted For the Duty at Hand
To Serve the Cause of Country and Land:

They Had Honor, They Had Valor,
They Found Glory That Change Them Forever

Men Standing Tall and Proud They be
A Country Behind Them in a Solemn Sea
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

In the Sun, In the Rain
In the Winds Across This Land

Years of Tears Has Brought Us Here
Gathering Around to Hear This Sound
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

In the Sun, In the Rain,
In the Winds Across This Land

REPEAT:

In the Sun, In the Rain,
In the Winds For All Time

Jerry Calow (copyright 2003 )

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