cavalry riders
Cavalry riders
Rosie the Riveter
Uncle Sam with a bayonet

Golden Bamboo
Garland O' Brothers
Answering The Call
Thank You to Nancy Meek, who made these beautiful graphics, "Garland of brothers," and "Answering the Call," both an unexpected honor most humbling to me...
Golden Bamboo
All people of the world continually need to understand how important an event war is... how defining it central to who we are. Everything that came before our personal war led up to it, and everything of importance to us, and to our country, is a consequence of war rumbling in our souls, and at the seat of every action. It is true that wars are very much different in logistics and geography, yet wars will always be the same at the core...where there is living and dying, morals gained and innocence lost. Even now there's an echo of continuing war that has stained all veterans' lives. War will always be a determining factor of not only who we are, but our very futures, as well as the futures of wives and children.

Wars are so different...
yet somehow the same

by Gary Jacobson © 2003
Reb Don't Tred On Me Civil war artillery Union General
revolutionary war of independence custer at the little big horn
Evil knight with axe good knight with sword Knights fighting
Scottish wars
Different wars from beginning of time
Still voice the same common combat rhyme
Borne in raucous fever across different horizons
Boasting of different grisly weapons
Across a score of years
Reminiscent of history's cares
Every one designed to dissipate humanity
Perpetuate the insanity.
napalm Agent Orange kill the trees, a shell of a man leaves
Soldiers of innovative wars invent new toys
Modern gadgets for use on different boys
On different geography, varied weather's climatology
Topography making for different battlefield choreography
Yet the same hatreds in greed
Or need
Offer a killing chore
To all wars righteous man claims to deplore.
American Revolution taken by Peter Arnett American Revolution
A nation’s sons irately bare might vindictive
Fearful, awful, wrathful, abrasive
Both camps in dreadful fight...
Declare divine right
Always right...
Vengeful deities ever on their side
From lands of milk and honey’s war-stained tide
To verdant hills nourished by innocent blood
Plant our sons beside fraternal brotherhood.
Marines -- Iwo Jima
Through dawns of traditions enmity does pour
Innocent blood shed by historic lore
From Germany, Italy, far-off Japan
A decade of warring in intemperate Vietnam
From Korea to Rhodesia
Rwanda, Sudan, The Falklands, Somalia.
Blood by capricious hate spilled in Liberian Monrovia
Racially motivated apartheid in South Africa
Afrikaans sanctioned policies of discrimination
Political, legal, and economic separation...
Not unlike America's segregation.
German tank and soldiers German soldiers
Matters not what fills different uniforms
Where on different battlefield rituals deadly rite performs
Elite society fastens the triggers
Right and left producing patriotic figures
Brandishing flags unfurled
Bowing to mankind’s nature to police the world
Wanting everybody to believe like them true.
Leap headlong into the gaping maw of war ensue
Build the guns young princes fire
Wringing hands as body counts grow higher.

Far too often
Masters of war with malice and greed
Gamble away a nation’s precious seed
Put in boyish hands a loaded gun
Hiding behind far-off setting sun
Hiding from paternal eyes
As fatally
The fast bullet flies...
I Want You
War's winds cause sabers rattling the Judas lie of old
Cast by whispering innuendos in truth bandied in fables told
Imposed upon soldiers stalwart, courageous, verily bold
By governments shouting patriotic lies to deceive
Young soldiers wanting so badly to believe
Go marching into the unknown so gulliby
Brave sons with the power of confidence incredibly
Wage a nation’s wars with dauntless might formidably.
Under a new law the very elect bred...
Trained to fight until dead...
Conditioned bullmastiff
Sent strutting to town a new sheriff.
motherNchild in the middle of war
To instill God-given precepts
Send forth God’s servants
Soldiers well known to be right
In the name of morality the craven to fight
Battling through depraving depths of war immoral
Harboring holes in the soul by war left dismal.
Peoples push with might in greed abusive
Shoving to supplant a people from lands native
Trampling rights by force of numbers aggressive
By might of numbers usurp from those weaker
As squabbling neighbors bicker
For another's lands lusting
Grass greener on the other side of the fence coveting
For purple mountain's majesty wishing
Brought guns against arrows to a new frontier obsessive
Ripping right from innocence gung-ho naďve.

While mighty men sing Eucharist hymns benedictive
Both ancient and modern battle scars eternally leave
Need for healing...
Wars in mankind always breeding
Souls torn ragged again and again by depravity
Spent forging liberties in the name of morality.

O, wars may have differing grim logistics
But all bear similar, macabre statistics.
Hostility's fraught with danger uncouth
This wastrel of fair youth...
Cruelly destroys princely minions
Hope of generations
But searching for glory-filled adulation's
Sent nefariously on combat missions
Men from both sides forever gone
Brightest virtue’s flowers used but pawns
Lost forevermore to abusive devil’s spawns.

Where time and again fire and brimstone rained
Freedom's gained...
Freedom's lost...
Left bloodied in the holocaust
Taken by that fabled grain harvester
Death's unholy grim reaper
Who maliciously cuts off people's lives
Our boys' futures mow with long-necked scythes
Under his blade naught but futility
Generations lost eternally...

So it behooves us to ask before we resort to guns...
Before we wager with God our sons
Is it worth it...? Is there another way?
Where we don't have to so egregiously pay?
Dreams of heaven's peace defray...?
For wars are fought
That are both good, and bad...
Both sources of pride wrought
Or tactics senselessly sad...
We must be righteously selective...
Of the past reflective...
Choose strategies formed by facts discriminative
Using discerning wisdom contemplative.
All soldiers, different, yet the same!
My heartfelt thanks to Jami, creator of this wonderful graphic...

Combat Infantry Badge Click the Combat Infantry Badge
to Visit my Vietnam Poems index,
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VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens of a combat infantryman
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