Red Cross

  donut dollie

Red Cross

for not remembering your name

i know it is here somewhere on the West Wall
probably around panel 20

i remember your face, your smile
as you showed me the picture of your wife and new baby

i remember how they teased the new papasan
as you danced around that desolate firebase laughing

i remember walking into ICU
as they unwrapped the gory stump that was your leg

and i remember my sorrow when the nurse whispered,

"expectant - he was already in a body bag
when the medic noticed slight breathing"

for not staying

i wanted to hold your hand and tell you
to hang in there for your wife and new baby

but the nurses and doctors surrounded you
trying to keep you alive

and i would have only been in the way
so i told the nurse i would check on you later

for not returning

i just did not want to know
that another wife would receive that knock on the door
confirming her worst fears

i couldn't bear to know that another child
would grow up having never known his Father

for i had an early take off the next morning
to fly to another desolate firebase
to laugh and dance with other soldiers
before they too were killed



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See also, Emily's other spot in cyberspace:
An American Red Cross Donut Dollie with the 9th Infantry Division and Mobile Riverine Force in VIETNAM

My Vietnam Related Websites:
The Irish on the Wall ~ An effort to locate the Irish who died in Vietnam

Tim O'Brien's Home Page ~ National Book Award Winner and Americal Vet

All About Vietnam    ~ Books about Vietnam for sale thru Amazon Worldwide!