Richard D. Preston

EIGHTEEN HEROES

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry
Awarded: November 25, 2004
I saw a clip of the war
On the five o’clock news
While clicking the remote
That’s what I do

The news was grim
Commonplace
Then I caught a glimpse
Of the soldier’s face

And I cried

A sullen look
He had that stare
Eighteen of his buddies
Had just died over there

From all walks of life
Different cities and towns
Eighteen heroes
No longer around

And I cried

I tried to be brave
Say I didn’t care
But I remembered the time
I spent over there

No it wasn’t the gulf
Or even Beirut
It was the Vietnam War
That had stolen my youth

But those boys over there
Turn to men real fast
Dying each day
In car bomb blasts

Yet they hold the line
For the land of the free
Faithful to die
For the likes of me

And I cried…