A Man Of Valor

Submitted by jerleen1 on Sat, 05/28/2016 - 02:09.


He appeared from out of nowhere,

No one knew from where he came.

No one recalled or recognized him,

No one remembered his name.

Some called him a bum,

Some said he was no good,

Some said he was but a vagrant,

Camped out somewhere in the woods.

Many about town called him  chicken,

A yellow streak right down his back.

Many taunted and teased him,

Most just called him ole dirty Jack.

Socialites thought he was repulsive,

Often treating him with scorn,

Sniggering at the thread-bare overalls,

Poking fun at his shoes - ragged and worn.

Passing through town, a news blast,

Word quickly spread.

A misfit no longer in their midst,

Ole dirty Jack was dead.

A church choir sang, mourners came,

Praying for another lost soul.

But before the funeral was over,

The story of a hero was told.

Stepping up to the pulpit,

A gentle voice spoke soft and low,

"I want to tell you all a story,

About the man you didn't know."

From a notebook, tattered and torn,

It's faded pages stained from tears.

A preacher began to read,

About a man's forsaken years.

"For pulling a wounded comrade

From the line of enemy fire,

They say I was brave and heroic,

Deserving of the Silver Star.

As for these shinny Wings

I wear upon my chest,

I was branded as courageous,

Deemed one of America's best.

After the land mine and the shrapnel,

Ripped my bones and flesh apart,

I was honorably awarded

The distinguished Purple Heart.

You see this scruffy beard I wear,

It hides the burn scars on my face,

And where my leg once was,

A peg one fits its place.

Experts say my mind,

No longer fit nor well,

Is still back in the trenches,

Lost in the blood, death, and hell.

I gave my all, fought for freedom,

My country, and fellowman.

But if ever needed on the front line,

. . . .I would do it all again."

                       ...Jerleen Justus


Originally written in 1979 - following the ending of the Viet Nam War when our returning  soldiers were treated so badly.  Thought I would blow the dust off and share it  in honor of all those who have given so much and received so little in return.  Have a safe Memorial Holiday weekend.     









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Memorial Day 2016

This is always a sad weekend for me, as I remember my father - thank you for this lovely reflection Jerleen.