"Who Replaced You?"

I’ve been writing poems ever since I returned from VN. Why? Beats me. They just show up in my head and I write. Some were written after I had a drink or two and I am sure I will never with the Nobel prize for literature and I almost never share them, I still write though rarely drink now. I thought I’d drop one off here. I suppose my poems are a way for me to express many things I’ve thought and felt about being in the U.S. Marine Corps and having spent ~13 months in VN; also, some poems described my experiences when I returned. Semper Fi!

Who Replaced You?

Who replaced you?
Yes, you.
You who didn’t want to serve,
said you were unfit, unhealthy,
Could not, in good conscience,
Put on a uniform and fight.
You believed in your right
To not go to war.
Who replaced you?
They said “Yes” and
Went and served.
Some died taking your place.
Some of you said they got what they deserved.
Others came home, were jeered,
Smeared and spit in their face.
Who replaced you?
What do you do now?
Are you living in these United States?
And those who went upheld their
Vow
To support the Constitution?
They fought and you did not.
They died and have you forgotten
That they took your place?
Do not talk to me.
You are an empty space
Which I have filled
With the life and face
Of he who replaced
You.

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

19 comments


  • John Durant 54-57, E-2-12

    I have long ago stopped calling it the “Vietnam War”. Now I refer to it as the “JFK-LBJ War”. JFK refused to take Eisenhower’s advice and LBJ was determinedn to WIN the war that JFK couldn’t. I also put blame the advice that JFK got from Cardinal Cushing Archbishop of Boston and Cardinal Spelling Catholic Archbishop for the US Armed Forces.


  • Mike R

    A well written poem. I was too young to go to Vietnam, but my brother went ( Green Beret ). My Dad was also there (Sgt. Maj. USMC Ret). I enlisted in The Corps in ’79 and did my time, though I did not see combat. I make it a point to ALWAYS welcome home Vets from every war. My heart hurts every time I hear of how Marines and Soldiers were treated coming home, my brother and dad were no exception. What you did, the sacrifice you made, can never be repaid. And no gratitude can be strong enough. God bless all of you and God bless The Marine Corps.


  • Sgt Robert L Sisson

    In reply to SGT. Billy Richardson.
    Sgt Richardson so are telling the truth. I was stationed at 29 Palms after Vietnam and we knew better than to go to LA. Thank God I was station out in the Desert. We had our own little community out there. My wife and I and a few of our married friends went to Disneyland and we could tell by the looks we received we were not welcome we even joked next time we would have to buy wigs first.


  • Sgt Robert L Sisson

    In reply to James Frohriep 1935***.
    I loved your POEM It was so true.


  • DANIEL ZAWIEJSKI (SKI) 7TH. MOTOR BATTLION (B CO.) CHU LAI VIETNAM 1966-1967

    YOU SHOULD WRITE A (POEM) TO THE (TRUMP) BAIT AND SWITCH PITCH SALES MAN, DO YOU THINK HE HAS TIME TO (TEXT BACK?) DOWN IN FLORDIA. MAYBE TO BUSY SPENDING OUR AMERICAN TAX PAYER’S DOLLAR’S AND NOT EVEN THINKING TWICE ABOUT IT AND HIS (ANSWER YOU ELECTED ME) ( THREE MILLION DOLLARS A WEEK END PLUS) ETC. YOU WON’T EVEN MAKE THAT MUCH IN YOUR LIFE TIME. GOING TO SAVE TAX PAYER’S MONEY? (STRAIGHT QUESTION (WOULD YOU TAKE A BULLET FOR HIM? AND WOULD YOU SALUTE HIM?) IF NOT THEY WOULD PUT YOU IN THE BRIG!) THOSE POOR MARINE’S IN WASHINGTON D.C. I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GOING THREW BECAUSE I HAD A TASTE OF THAT WHEN I WAS IN THE MARINES. I WOULD TRANSFER OUT AS SOON AS I COULD! REMEMBER IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY AND AT THE END OF THIS MONTH (APRIL) THE UNITED STATE’S WILL BE (BROKE AGAIN) (GOOD JOB WALL STREET WHO RUN’S OUR COUNTRY) WHAT DOE’S THAT TELL YOU! NORTH KOREA ROUND TWO WAR’S MAKE MONEY AND THE SO ARE WE (FIGHTING FOR GOD AND COUNTRY) OR THE (REPUBICAN GOP). REMEMBER KOREAN WAR, VIETNAM WAR, TO FIGHT COMMUNISM! THEN WHY ARE WE DEALING WITH COMMUNIST COUNTRIES ON TRADE? AND (TOOK ALL OF OUR JOB’S AWAY AND SHUT DOWN ALL OF OUR FACTORIE’S) OVER (52,000 DEAD VIET NAM) AND KOREA STILL COUNTING) AND (CHINA) BACKED (KOREAN WAR) WITH THOUSAND OF TROOPS AND WEAPON’S AND PUSHED US BACK TO THE 38TH LINE OF KOREA. SO WHAT’S GOING ON TODAY THIS MINUTE WHAT’S NEXT? (MORE BODY BAG’S GOING HOME) WE NEED LEADERSHIP IN WASHINGTON DC. NOT A BUNCH OF POLITICAL (CLOWN’S) WORRIED ABOUT THER JOBS, MAKING MONEY, AND AFFAIRED TO BE (AMERICAN’S) AND SPEAK UP FOR AMERICAN PEOPLE (BE AN AMERICAN) SO (AIM YOUR POEM’S TO WASHINGTON DC). AND NOT THE AMERICAN SOLIDER’S AND SAVE OUR COUNTRY! SEMPER FI! (SKI)


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