The Nuanced Hero
Republished from The Mudville Gazette.
The Nuanced Hero
It truly hurt and I so swore
About that grievous scratch I bore,
From tense and darkened nighttime battle,
So fierce that it might surely rattle
Those who failed to see my deeds
And could sense not my future needs
For medals to lob o’er a fence
Then boast of in elections hence.
So thus it fell alone to me
To swear to what they didn’t see,
And gain myself a Purple Heart,
So they could soon see me depart.
I knew the rules and knew that three
Were all it took to spring me free
From that despised and desperate land
So I devised my nuanced plan,
To cry of wounds that hurt me naught,
But got me out ‘fore things got hot.
And thus I laid my lifetime track,
March in the front duck out the back.
So don’t expect the least contrition
When ere I boast about my mission,
And without shame brag every day
Of the medals I won in that fray.
Some vets may say they cannot see
How I could turn my back and flee
The oath I swore and my duty station
To fly back to a war-torn nation,
Where my deceiving perverse word
Was widely through the country heard,
And to forever falsely damn
Those left behind in Vietnam,
All branded by my condemnation
As villains to their saddened nation,
All while my pseudo hero throng
Gave succor to the Viet Cong.
But come now can you truly doubt
Because I got three hearts and out,
Abandoned combat and my mates
To run back early to the states,
Had any other goal in life
Than politics and richened wife?
To all you lesser men I say,
But in my subtle nuanced way,
So what I scorned you once before?
Put that behind you I implore,
Forget those slights and any others,
And join those fools in my band of brothers.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division