Tuesday, May 09, 2006


if you got a good home to go to
it's cool i guess i'll say
homeward bound and we touched down
there at the jfk
i'd like to forget that moment
there's the curse of video tape
screaming and all the clenched fists
spit rolling down my face

late at night tv's on
the kids are off to bed
under the haze of the cathode ray
step out of the cargo bay
women and children take them out first
the whole thing feels so hopeless
smile or a handshake and lookout baby
here comes the plastic explosive

ah take me down to the saigon river
ah take me down to the china sea
put myself unreservedly
in the stars and stripes forever
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees

-- Vet, Vigilantes of Love, from the Welcome to Struggleville CD

Here are two of the verses and the chorus from Vet, a song Bill Mallonee wrote for a friend while working at Charter Winds Hospital. However you feel about the Vietnam War, I think it'd be difficult to listen to this song without being affected by the vivid and disturbing imagery from the POV of a Vietnam War vet.

It's too easy to say, "We take our armed forces for granted," when, then, we continue on doing what we do giving them hardly any thought as we live our lives. I'm sure many veterans would say that's why they do what they do -- so we can live our lives in freedom. But for us, those words should sound pretty hollow.

The sacrifices made by the men and women that fought in that war, and in others, aren't encapsulated just in the number of service personnel that died and for the years they served fighting abroad. Those years never leave the people that fought in them. My father-in-law fought in Korea, should have died, had great friends that did die, and to this day, he'll hardly ever talk about it. War doesn't leave them. They live on, but those remembrances are engrained, and we should all remember and respect them to our utmost. And, of course, as Jesus commands, love them as we should love everyone.

They've done something for which we owe countless sums, an intangible debt that can't be repaid. At the very least, let's think about them.

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