Richard Hugh Rice
“Hugh”

Hugh is a member of Uniformed Services. He served with Company G, 2nd Inf. Div, OSG 1942-45, the Mediterranean Fleet USN 1946-1948, and from 1948-1972 in the USAF. During his time in the USAF, Hugh took part in quelling the 1955-1958 Communist NPA/HUK Insurgency in the Philippines and served with the Vietnam Civic Action Team during 1967-1968.

FLEETING VICTORY

In the fleeting victory of combat there is no joy, no glory.
The vanquished lie silently in death having painted the desert sands crimson
or reach out grotesquely from their cindered steel coffins
sealed forever in time and place and history.
And somewhere, waiting for their sons to return from the horrors of battle,
are anxious, weeping mothers with empty wombs and aching hearts.

In the fleeting victory of combat there is no joy, no glory
only the hellish torments of war’s aftermath.
The liberated wander endlessly through deserted, dusty streets
strewn with the fruits of battle and the cadavers of the innocent.
And children, bloodied by the glories of war, search endlessly
for mothers lost in the rubble of collateral damage
or fathers entombed by a world of questionable ideologies.

In the fleeting victory of combat there is no joy, no glory
despite ridged lines of warriors standing proudly, triumphantly
as bits of ribbon and metal are pinned to their breasts
acknowledging their acts of bravery and heroism.
As for the brave amongst the vanquished only the cold shards of defeat
transfix their naked breasts under the weeping bleeding sands.