Where are the big brave warriors now?
The so-called air pirates, women maimers,
children killers, destroyers of churches,
schools, hospitals, where is he?
His silver, supersonic soarers, his bomb blowings,
truck findings, sea swooping carriers, where is it?
He, the educated engineers, architect, geologist,
economist turned bon vivant aviator, where is he?
Four years ago, he flew fearlessly, proud of his mission,
bragging, boasting of the Air medals, the D.F.C.s.
He drank in Cubi, swaggered at Yokuska,
rested in Honolulu, He was proud.
Mom, apple pie and the red, white
and blue were with him.
Now he is in a cell.
He wears pajamas, sleeps on a mat.
He is hot, cold, sick and hungry.
He is bored.
The SAM in the schoolyard, shot him down.
They dragged him out of the paddy,
moved him through the streets,
filled his ears with taunts,
banged his body with rocks,
tortured him with mind bending,
flesh racking, tired tormenting questions.
Finished with him,
And now he sits, he waits.
He waits for the red, white and blue.
"War Waste" first appeared in Time magazine on Monday, December 7, 1970.
There were a hundred ways to die in Vietnam,
thousands of ways to return maimed for life, but my
friends and I came home alive and in one piece thanks
to our Sentry Dogs; this is my story.
~ Jimmie N. Moore