Shortly after the last major incident that I experienced in Vietnam, I wrote my grammar school and high school friend Tom Fernandes. Tom, who was in the Air force, was stationed in Puerto Rico. It was less than a month after above incident that I returned home. I visited Tom’s family about two weeks later.
From the war,
I’d letter a sent far away.
To a friend of the night battle I wrote.
Of fear, destruction, death, and
Mutilation I told.
Someone to share with I needed.
To worry my parents I couldn’t.
I left war and visited his family at home.
We had a nice conversation ‘til
Of the letter I told
And of the night I spoke. They went
From sociable and friendly as I talked
To blank and silent.
Is what I felt and, as I walked from their house,
I swore I’d never again speak
Of the war.
I didn’t ‘till, later, some twenty years
And almost crippled from the pain,
Healing required words from the
Memories that I contained.