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These men had no choice..many were young conscripts chosen by a ballot system to go to fight...each and every one of them put their life on the line. Many did not fully understand the reason behind it..but went just the same. They did not deserve the treatment they received in the '60's.
Some twenty years after the Vietnam war ended Australia realized how shabbily they had treated these men and held another homecoming march for them, with such a different reaction from the public it was unbelievable. They were given a heroes welcome.
I wrote this for a friend who swore after the original homecoming he would never march again. Not on Anzac Day or on any other occasion. He was regular army..a Warrant Officer. He had gone to this Homecoming March just to watch, and was spotted by some old mates of his who were marching. They dragged him in to march with them, went to the pub afterwards and got roaring drunk on booze and memories. A lot of hurts were healed that day.
VIETNAM HOMECOMING ... Maureen Clifford © The #ScribblyBark Poet 10/07
In October eighty seven once again they marched.
Through the streets of Sydney in the sun
without a uniform or gun
To the cheers.
To the tears. Of people who now knew
they fought and many died.
Many there remain. Never to march again.
They lie where they fell..
Again they marched.
After twenty seven years of private doubt.
For an action fought in vain. So much suffering, so much pain
Finally home again and so
from across this land , trained to be a killing man..to fight.
Though some returned, not all came back.
They were abused, once more attacked.
Some suffer still with nightmares
day and night.
they've had since Nam
have destroyed many a man.
Families too have suffered.
From a war that gained nothing.
they're welcomed home.
Feted, cheered to help atone,
we know they're heroes. Each our own.
Australia's fighting men.
Let's hope today
helps put to rest their fears and anguish, deep distress.
Help to ease their stress and pain.
Help to make them whole again.
Boys we're glad
see some scribbles here - http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/