Remember Me

You sent me "over there" to fight in France.
I survived the Meuse-Argonne and Belleau Wood.
But I could not escape from my mud-filled trench,
When poison gas blew in right where I stood.
I flew in countless dogfights in the sky,
Now here in Flanders Field I lie.
Do you remember me?

At Pearl Harbor one Sunday morn,
I paid the price for your complacency
The Arizona Memorial is now my tomb,
At the bottom of that blue Hawaiian Sea.

I faced both tanks and thirst in Africa.
My Submarine's torpedoes ruled the seas.
The Flying Fortress was my favorite plane,
But my Glider's crash brings back sad memories.

D-Day found me there, at Normandy.
I waded through that bloody, churning foam.
I was one of the many thousands there
Who did not live to come back home.
Do you remember me?

I put my trust in my God and my parachute,
In Sicily, in Holland, and St. Lo.
I was shot in that Massacre at Malmedy,
And spent Christmas at Bastogne trapped in snow.

I was cheered as I marched through Paris,
And through the ruins of Rome as well.
But in those NAZI concentration camps,
I saw ravaged souls who had been through hell.

My ship reached Midway, Truk and Bougainville
And other islands I can't name;
And I tried so hard not to show my fear
The day those dreaded Kamikazes came.

I thought of friends lost on Corregidor,
As I lay wounded on the beach, there in Saipan.
And I can't forget the way so many died
on that Death March in Bataan.

On Iwo Jima Isle, I helped to raise our Flag.
I had grown old by then, though I was just a boy.
I was abused and starved in prison camps,
And still dream about that Hanoi.
Do you remember me?

Korea called for help, you sent me there.
"Quick and easy", you said that it would be.
But for me and over fifty thousand more,
It was the last of life that we would ever see.

I fought from Pusan, and Inchon, to the Yalu,
But there, the Chinese Army broke my hold.
I barely made my way back down to Seoul,
My feet had frozen from the bitter cold.
Do you remember me?

I trudged through jungles thick with booby-traps
In search of foes I could not see.
But I saw wide-eyed kids who begged for food
Hiding grenades meant to kill both them and me.

I was close to death when my chopper crashed,
But our Medics, with their magic, made me well.
It was during TET that my luck ran out,
When my hootch was hit by a mortar shell.

I watched for snipers and for punji pits.
I cried each time I saw a body bag.
I served when "protestors" ran away to hide,
And while crowds at home defiled my Flag.
It was a futile war, but I was sent... I tried.
And 58,000 others went there... and died.
Do you remember me?

I dodged when Scuds came streaking from the sky,
And fought through burning oil on desert sand.
I've done each thankless job you have given me,
Such as "keeping peace" on foreign land.
Promises made in wartime you forget today.
Does that same fate await the POW?, the MIA?

When there was need, for whatever cause,
You called... I heard... I raised my hand.
I served selflessly with faith and pride
Each time the flame of war was fanned.

My story sadly dims with each passing year,
As there are less and less of me still here.
But I can live on and on... eternally,
If you will do just this:


by Frank J. Montoya




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