by Ron Leonard
The Other Things We Carry
Ron Leonard

It's been 35 years since a Huey's whine
And midnight missions in the nick of time

It's been 35 years since a claymore mine
And ground attacks so clear in our mind.

And only yesterday it was 69

We carried Ammo, and Rockets, and beer, and mail
We carried body bags that would make you wail
We carried friends in our arms, as we turned pale
We carried buckets of water to wash out blood stale

We carried medals of valor for feats unbelieved
We carried purple hearts for wounds we received

But most of all we carried each other

Today we carry other things, some real, some imagined

We carry cancer of every kind known to man
Agent Orange poisoning, and malaria, and Lymphomia, and Diabetes, and
Hepatitis C,
And many still have PTSD.

We carry arms with no hands, and legs with no feet, and scars both mental
and real.
We carry crutches and walkers, and wheelchairs and canes, with honor its no
big deal.

We carry horror stories of the Veterans Administration, of six months waits,
and lack of funds, and shoddy care, of indifferent employees, and crummy
food, and broken promises and downright lies.

But we still carry each other