Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting an eighty-three year - young and retired military career soldier. He was with his disabled wife - She was in a wheelchair.
He was gregarious. He was likable.
He had a hat with WW-2 insignia.
That elder was so interesting.
The military honored him with:
Three (Valor) Silver Stars and:
focus . . .
an elder . . .
asking his seven-year grandaughter
to wear makeup
No wear a sports braw
Pause . . .
The Elder I met wore:
A Combat Infantry Badge.
( I never wear war medallions )
( Today I'll notice some vets do )
It's very personal. I understand . . .
I just don't wear those military hats.
I've been remember a dead Veteran.
See tags: a drafted 'grunt' nicknamed:
Chicago. We were all nicknamed . . .
The old AP photograph was clipped.
A Mother who Loves does that stuff.
CHICAGO - ( It etched within me post-war )
Hog Butcher of the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and Nation's Freight Handler,
Storm, husky, brawling,
City of Big Shoulders:
They tell me your wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted Women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the guman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of woman and children I have seen the mask of wanton laughter.
And have answered so I turn once more to those who sneer in my city,
and I have given back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city who lifted head is singing so proud to be alive
and course and strong and cunning.
Flinging Magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tail bold
slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action,
cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth.
Laughing with white teeth,
Under the burden of Destiny Laughing as a
Young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laugh
who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing under his wrist is pulse
and under his ribs the heart of the people Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling, laughter of
youth, half-naked sweating youth
proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads, and Freight Handler to the Nations.
I once participated in a delayed 'Welcome Home Parade' there.
That's not something I would normally do. I am glad I did that.
Chicago - Welcome. I opened a shut-down pain. Thanks for that.
I marched with members of the (Valor) Medal of Honor Society.
I don't hold that medal. John Baca does. I irked a few Veterans.
I carried a sign that read:
Sigh/Sad . . .
Vietnam Don't Mean Nothing'
Unless we Have Learned That!
We Must Never War-Kill Again
( my Mom saved a AP photo in a shoebox )
maybe later I'll 'cut & paste' pretty daffodils.
I'm off to spend a day at the Veterans Hospital.