On a sandy beach, somewhere in the Philippines,
My Dad lays severely wounded
Watching the life-force of his body
Spill and soak into the surrounding sand.

The tremendous artillery continues
To pound the beach head that he's a part of
And the cries of others wounded and dying
Can be heard over the thunderous explosions.

As he lays there, the thoughts,
"This can't be happening to me!" come to him
And as these thoughts pass through his mind
The last thing he hears is, Medic!.... Medic!

Almost 25 years later in Vietnam
The life-force of my body is also ebbing away
And unlike my Dad on the beach
I watch it puddle beneath me on a paved runway.

I also hear the cries of the wounded and dying
Over the continuos rain of 82mm mortars.
"This can't be happening to me!" goes through my mind
And all of a sudden my Dad and I are one.

Is this our destiny, as part of our Hispanic and Indian ancestry?
How many times must we play out this scene of dying warriors?
The blood stains of Conquistadors, Aztec Indians
And Mexican revolutionaries have been spilled before us.

The government now gives us medals for our wounds
Unlike our ancestors before us.
A medal of plated gold with a purple ribbon attached
Not big enough to cover our physical and mental wounds.

We continue to suffer from the wounds that we received
And salute the Flag proudly, of a government that now shuns us.
"This can't be happening to me!" continues in our minds
But with no hesitation, we'd do it all over again.

©1997 APVNV Pat(Beanie)Camunes

D/4/31 196th Lt Inf Bde

TayNinh 12/66-4/67 TamKy 4/67-12/67

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