The following is a piece written by retired Naval Captain, George L. Skypeck.
What price must the heart pay to live and love? Say you long hot days ahead without a kind word–days when fear will tear your insides apart – but one must go for duty calls… so very far away.
My heart is numb, my brain reels–yet no tears. Another friend is laid to rest. God rest his soul this brave man. Keep him safe for we’ll meet again–at another time, in another place. Hot sun, endless hours grant me some respite from loneliness. Sharp rattle, orange streaks across the black sky–a sensation of torn steel, woven with hot flesh and blood beside me. God! God whatever God you be, speed my soul on its way but not in endless eternity. Thoughts of home come to me–don’t let me go; please no–I’m afraid!
A cold refreshing wind penetrates my bones–what a strange place this be. I hear familiar voices that have long passed from existence–I see faces–faces of friends long since dead. I realize now what has happened and where I am, yet I am happy with those whose names are carved in stone amidst the grass of a place called Arlington.
Please don’t weep for me for I no longer worry about what tomorrow brings… for me it brings a much needed rest… a rest forever.
by: George L. Skypeck Captain, U.S.A. 12/71
This comes from a page that I’ve shared in the past, it covers an in depth article discussing PTSD and the Vietnam veteran. You can read more of the study here.
It wasn’t until after this war that PTSD was studied, defined, and found to be a direct result of war.
The link where this information and poem are found is called “The Suicide Wall.” There’s no indication that the Sailor who penned “recollections” was met with this fate.
To all my Vietnam veteran friends reading this and to those I don’t know personally, I’m forever grateful for your service and sacrifice. I probably sound like a broken record, but the gratitude can’t be expressed enough.
For the warriors who gave their all in the jungles of Vietnam and those who subsequently lost their battle after returning home; Rest Easy, thank you for keeping watch.