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The Wall

The Wall
by Kent M. Yates

I have read my new friends story
of her visit to THE WALL.
And, I cringe here in my misr'y
and I feel
the hot tears fall.
and I cannot stop the shaking
and I cannot stop the painv
and I wish it were tomorrow
where there's sun
and no more rain.

And something burning deep
inside of me
just wants me to explode!
I'm a heavy fifty
belted up
I feel me lock and load. . .
and I cannot stop the anger
and I cannot stop the shame
and I burn to try to make it right
but just the tears remain
because it killed all of my brothers
and its come now
to kill me
and I cannot bear to witness this
my eyes dont want to see . . .

We were few
and proud
and chosen
And we did what must be done.
We built a home from mudhuts
And we stood beneath the sun.
We were polished in our armour.
and we sharpened up our knives
and we set about to kill the beast
we kissed our kids and wives.
But I cannot stop the ignorance
and I cannot stop the lies
and I cannot see it coming
for it wears a grand disguise!

But I am sworn to stop oppression
As I have sworn to walk that wall
For by my life's blood
and my honor
You'll be safe
or I will fall!
and I cannot fail my calling
and I cannot fail my word
and I'll hold this truth
self evident
until it sounds absurd:
"Vigilance eternal
is the price of liberty!
If you value not the warrior's blood;
you are no friend to me!

In Sept of 65, at the Kamiseya NSGA in Japan, I was in the Marine Guard detachment when Bldg 25 burned and we lost 12 good men. That Christmas I was still spitting up black chunks of my upper lungs that had been damaged by my breathing fire in that building trying to get men out. It was a horrible winter. I have been through some trying Christmas' since, but that one was the worst.

This is the URL for the Kamiseyan base paper that is considered the 'Memorial Edition' : The Chaplain and I exchanged poems some as we both wrote poetry. I don't exactly remember where that relationship began. I would say it ended in the poem I wrote that he read at the memorial service and is printed on the last page of the memorial edition here:

Of my three meritorious commendations ( Non-combat ) that poem is the most important to me. When I left the Corps in 68, there was no medal for meritorious commendations. LBJ signed it into being in 1969. I now wear an itty bitty one on my hat. Hell, I think I bought that hat from you !

Kent M Yates, Pvt, PFC, L/Cpl, Cpl, Sgt, Cpl … ( I tell everyone I made Sgt once. I made Cpl twice. )

PS: Also attached is a pic of my newest grandbaby Xandria Nadine Ketron. I think she wants to be a WM !

USMC Cap on Marines blanket Kent Yates newest grandbaby, Xandria lying on Marines blanket

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