Anthony W. Pahl


Thirty Four years of tears and fears seemed to fade away.
Yesterday became the day we drank together in a foreign land
and remembered the circumstances and coincidences of war.

And we were young again…

As strangers from different countries
we shared each other’s company
and saluted with a golden brew
though neither of us dreamed or knew
that in three decades we would meet again
upon the vast and green Iowan plain.

Our hearts now knew that the amber brew
oiled memories of young lives that knew
The reality of the awful times of war
And now enabled peace once more
To live in the hearts of aging men
Sharing comfort with an ageless friend.

The paces walked from then to now
were trodden with a furrowed brow
but as we sat upon the porch
Randy Richmond and Anthony Pahl
Waterloo Iowa ~ June 10, 2004
and touched our cans, just one thought
entered both our weary minds
as we remembered youthful times

We looked into each other’s eyes
and neither of us could e’er deny
the passing of both time and place.
But we both felt the wondrous grace
of the circumstances way back when
in Vietnam we each found a friend.

Author’s Note: Written to commemorate the occasion of the reunion, on June 10, 2004, of two Vietnam Veterans, Randy Richmond (from Waterloo, Iowa, USA) and Anthony Pahl (from Murray Bridge, South Australia) who met for the first and only time in Long Binh, South Vietnam in March of 1970, and remembered each other when they met on the internet in February 2001 (The “Oz” and the “Yank”). Also read Randy’s account of the reunion in his story, “The Impossible Reunion