Paul R. Kasper

Paul, a Vietnam Veteran, is a Life Member of DAV and VFW, a member VVA, Mobile Riverine Force, 15 Combat Engineers, 9th Infantry Division Vietnam 1967-68 and a collector of AFVN (Armed Forces Network Vietnam) memorabilia.

Vietnam Research by VeteransThe Order of the Silver Rose

THE BEQUEST

Bronze Helmet Top Poet Award For Excellence
Awarded: July 2003
“I, as a veteran, Paul Kasper, being of sound disposing mind and memory, do now make this my last will and testament, in order, as justly as I may, to distribute my interests in the world among succeeding men.

And 1st, that part of my interests which is known among men and recognized in the sheep bound volumes of law as my property, being inconsiderable of none account, I make no account of this in my will.

My right to live, it being but a life estate, is not at my disposal, but these things expected, all else in the world I now proceed to devise and bequeath.

Item-and 1st: I give to the good fathers and mothers, but in trust for their children, never the less, all good little words of praise and all quaint pet names, and I charge said parents to use them justly but generously as the needs of their children shall require.

Item II: I leave to the children exclusively, but only for the life of their childhood, all and every one of the dandelions of the fields and the daisies thereof, with the right to play among them freely, according to the custom of children, warning at the same time against the thistles. And I devise to children the yellow shores of creeks and the golden sands beneath the waters thereof, with the dragon flies that skim the surface of said waters, and the white clouds that float high over the giant trees.

And I leave to children the long, long days to be merry in, in a thousand ways, and the night and the moon and the train of the milky way to wonder at, but subject, never the less, to the rights here in after given to lovers; and I give to each child the right to choose a star that shall be his, and I direct that the child’s father shall tell him the name of it, in order that the child shall always remember the name of that star after he has learned and forgotten astronomy.

Item III: I devise to the boys jointly all the useful idle fields and commons where he may coast, all streams and ponds where one may skate or fish, to have and to hold the same for the period of their boyhood. And all meadows, with the clover blooms and butterflies thereof; and all woods, with their appurtenances of squirrels and whirring birds and echoes and strange noises; and all distant places which maybe visited, together with the adventures there found, I do give to said boys each in his own place at the campfires at night, with all pictures that may be seen in the burning wood or coals, to enjoy without let or hindrance and without any encumbrance of cares.

Item IV: To lovers I devise their imaginary world, with whatever they may need, as the stars of the sky, the red, red roses by the wall, the now of the hawthorn, the sweet strains of music, or what else they may desire to figure to each other the lastingness and beauty of their love.

Item V: To the young men jointly, being joined in a brave, mad crowd, I devise and bequeath all boisterous, inspiring sports of rivalry. I give to them the disdain of weakness and undaunted confidence in their own strength. Though they are rude and rough, I leave to them alone the power of making lasting friendships and of possessing companions and to them exclusively I shall give all merry songs and brave choruses to sing, with smooth voices to troll them forth.

Item VI, And to those who are no long children or youth or lovers I leave memory, and I leave to them the volumes of poems, songs and ideals, to the end that they may live the old days over and over again freely and fully, without title or diminution; and to those who are no longer children or youths or lovers I leave too, the knowledge of what a rare, rare world it is.

Item VII: And to the veterans of past and current wars or conflicts, the peace, so desired by both opponents, and may the horrors of war remain locked in Pandora’s Box, and not the time spent for sleep, temporary or permanent. To the wounds, both mental and physical, incurred from such senseless disputes, allow them to be treated as heroes and with the full dignity they deserve, forever.”

Signed this day
A Vietnam Veteran
©Paul Kasper
1978

Paul wrote this piece in 1978 based on the piece, “The Last Will Of Charles Lounsbury” By Williston Fish, 1897, after he found out that Agent Orange illnesses had begun to affect his body and ability to work. He is now 100% disabled; all service connected, and has numerous major health problems. Paul is waiting for the VA to schedule and provide numerous surgeries for renal tumors, chest tumors and other problems. He also suffers with heart problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, type II diabetes, and many other health issues as well as still carrying shrapnel in his leg.