In Memory of
Hector M. Miranda
Vietnam Veteran
5/20/1947 - 11/15/2007

By Yolanda (Landi) Miranda

Welcome Back, Soldier! You’ll hear for the last time.
Your war is finally over, you fought a brave fight.

Only eighteen, drafted, trained in combat
To fight against a small country far across the sea.
You went as your country asked you to do.
Unknowing what to expect and what you’d see.

It didn’t take long losing close friends right before your eyes.
Hurting deeply for those who fell by your side.
The jungle was a prison although it held no bars.
You were used to sidewalk lights to guide you in the night.

Carrying a loaded M-16 rifle, buddies in back or front of you prepared to shoot if you heard rustling through the tall trees or movement among the tropical dense bushes resembling a carpet covering the ground. No wind or breeze could be the reason as you kept wiping the sweat of your eyes, fear you’d cough or sneeze for a clear target you’d be.

The only light to guide was your instinct to survive.

The camaraderie with your buddies gave you courageous during those long scary nights. You looked out for each other as you went on patrol not once so you stopped counting for it never seemed to stop.

An oath was taken among you during rests in camp. I’ll take a bullet for you on me you can be sure for we’re all in this together we need to stay alive.Your friend Joe, stepped in a land mine as you walked single file and heard the deafening sound. He is here waiting all these years to tell you he knows you tried to save him but there was nothing you could do.

I took you home to finally be at peace. To end your pain, flashbacks and nightmares disabling you for more than forty years. No longer will you fill the pangs of guilt for walking out alive. For all your buddies that died fighting in the country, across the sea known to you all as Nam. They are waiting to salute you and open up their arms.

Welcome Back Soldier! For the last time. You’re home to heal your wounded soul, heartache, tears erasing all the bad memories you carried all these years.

The war is finally over, you conquered all your fears. I brought you home to have peace and happiness back to being eighteen the innocence in you heart the Vietnam War robbed is now restored.

Your parents, your four brothers rejoice, they’ve been waiting for you, your Army companions too.

You, Joe, and buddies are now united hearing the 60s songs you played in base camp when you were off patrol. I smile upon you as you joke, laugh dancing to the tunes you did then and now.

You’re all bounded for timeless, endless life, forever young.

Gone are the dark days for the illuminating light will will always shine to guide you all as you dance into eternity side by side.

Posted: Sat - December 1, 2007 at 07:15 PM