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I spent 20+ years as a soldier in the United States Army. I hear all kinds of praises trotted out every November for Veteran's Day. I was happy for the support our soldiers received from the American people as the war on Iraq progressed, and I understand the differing points of view individuals held about the war itself. After all, that's why I, and God knows how many thousands like me, spent their lives in the United States military...so all of you could have and freely express your opinions.

While the politicians are making all their plans, I hope they can honestly remember all the young men....and now days young women....who have pledged their lives and honor to uphold the policies of the good old U.S. Richard Groover picked on me a couple of times when I was a kid, but he never deserved to be blown up by a grenade in Viet Nam. I still don't know what we were there for, and sometimes I'm not quite sure why we invaded Iraq.

By the way, hats off to Shoshanna Johnson, Jessica Lynch and all the other wounded and killed in Iraq. These girls and boys may have turned into heros, but that's because they were boys and girls who took an oath and fulfilled their side of it. They were not comic book, smart remarking, never-die heros. They were kids who were scared to death and tried to do their job as best as their human nature, youth, and training allowed. Let's praise them for that, not castigate them for any human frailties we may uncover at a later date.

Oh yes, like the rest of the world, I think Jessica Lynch is a cute little chick, photogenic, etc., but Shoshanna was there too, as were a bunch of other kids. Let's praise and value them all.

Cost of Living

They've left us now and take their rest.
Young soldiers bravely off to war,
Not knowing full the price they'd pay,
Nor what the coin was doled out for.

They'll never know if what they bought,
Was worth the price they had to pay.
Is freedom somehow better now,
Confirmed by crosses sad display?

That green grass on forever's bed
Perhaps is greener for the giving
Of the young ones lying, sleeping,
Ignored, forgotten by the living.

What of sons, and what of daughters?
What of sisters, fathers, mothers?
Is what was bought them worth the cost,
Levied on gone and forgotten others?

History hides the final value.
But before this bill is paid once more,
We must take care to guard our children,
Lest they be lost as those before.

** Written Mar 16, 1982 in Karlsruhe, Germany while proudly a member of the United states Army.**

 

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Donovan Baldwin
Hurst, TX 76053

Original poetry by Donovan Baldwin

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The Cost of Living - An Original Poem by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 2:45 PM Saturday 12/7/2013