Then Tell Me What You Have To Say

Somehow I got the feeling
That when I returned to the World
I should be ashamed.
I didn’t know why
But finally realized that I was being
blamed for the death and dying in
Viet Nam.
In war there is death.
How anyone who has not been in war
Knows what war is really doesn’t know.
If you think you know, you ought to go
And confirm that knowledge and insight.
Engage in a firefight.
Have someone shoot at you,
Be next to a man who is blown away.
Then, come back and tell me what you’ve learned.
Then tell me what you have to say.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Susie D. Shy

    I am a retired English teacher and the proud mother of an infantry Marine, and while it scares the crap out of me, I must tell you that this is the finest example of the war poetry I’ve read in a long time. Great expressiveness!

  • Richard Jackson

    How many times have I said this. Semper Fi.

  • gary kenefick

    Thank you, Brothers. RVN 68-69. I have different poems that present different opinions and feelings about my experiences when I returned. This one is more evenly stated with a touch of “in your face” blended in there. I don’t engage much in discussions/conversations about my service, especially with those who haven’t served. A lot of folks are curious, which does not move me to share experiences that they do not really want to try to understand. Hell, a times, I’m not sure I do. I had been told a few months ago to “get over it” from a person who I considered a friend. This comment from a conversation he started and I didn’t want to fully engage in. People have their own views and, like so many, know what’s best. I’m not that wreck of a Viet Nam Vet that the TV, movies and opinions created about what a VN Vet was like, at least not on the outside. Yet, some folks still have that view of us. How in the hell did that happen? I’ll submit more to Sgt. Grit and if the Sarge indulges me, he’ll continue to post them. Semper Fi.

  • Mike Stevenson

    One of the better, poem/sayings, I’ve read. Defiantly how I felt and treated upon my return,,,well said fellow Marine. RVN 1972 2531 3/12

  • Mos 1369

    Very nicely said, not the way I would say it,but then again like the gunny said,,it’s the way we remember things that make us what we are. Con Thein,68.69. They start talking crap.i get up and walk away.

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