He was wheeled to the doors
and they slid open with a hiss
after being laid up for months
it was a place he wouldn’t miss

 These many months now
he had been going through hell
his body being ravaged 
by something he couldn’t even spell

 His brothers came and they went
he had watched with concern
he realized what they had been thinking
because now it was his turn

 His attendant was nice
but wasn’t in the mood to talk
She wheeled him through the door
and down the side walk

 The hospice was next door
and they headed that way
it would be his new home
for the rest of his days

 He had almost bought it that time in Dak-To 
and there was that mortar round near Kontum
now he was fighting hard to make it
just to the bed in his new room

 His life was almost over
of that he was sure
at least the pain would be gone
and he would not hurt anymore

 Agent orange, purple, and pink
Agent white, green, and blue
it would have been so appropriate 
if they would have added some red too

 He could have taken the bullets and bombs
but what was so hard for him to know
was that what he was dying from
sounded like a rainbow

 Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685

Vietnam Veterans of America
Army Transportation Association Vietnam

"Moment’s of Guilt"

 The room was warm 
as he walked through the door
he picked up his young daughter
from her blanket on the floor

 Hi Hon
he heard himself say
I have waited for this moment
my entire day

 holding her body close
he smoothed her pretty hair
the pain on her face
was almost to much to bear

 This Spinal Bifida that you have
should never have come to be
but your daddy was called 
to go serve his country

 long before you were born
doing what I had to do
my country sprayed me with something
that has caused this pain to you

 the love in her eyes
caused his tears to start
those feelings of guilt 
tugged on his heart
Hon, you know that your daddy
would give all I have in this world
to be able to walk through the park
with my sweet little girl

 someday we will be able to do that
in the kingdom up above
but for now sweet girl
you will have all of my love 

 Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America
Army Transportation Association Vietnam

I have placed our new Painting on here. It came to us by way of our scholarship program. We give three every year connected to an art contest open to all of the seniors of the Galveston County school system. The themes of the art have to be either patriotic, present day military, or Veteran related. This year we added Agent Orange. We set a deadline and Marilyn and I went to the different high schools and picked up the art work. I could not believe it when I picked up this one. I brought it back to my office and studied it. The artist is 17 years old and I thought that this knowledge was way beyond her years. So I checked for plagiarism. I spent about 6 hours looking at agent orange sites and then I narrowed the search down to, Agent Orange Art Work, and spent another 4 hours looking. Nothing even close to this as far as I was concerned. The first thing that struck me about the painting was the American Flag in the back ground from which planes were flying. It meant to me that our own government had dropped this on us. Next it wasn't being dropped on little people or soldiers. It was being dropped on crosses. It was a death sentence when it was dropped. Next came the Mother with the orange fetus. You know what that means. Next came the statement about the scars. We have none until we start losing limbs or having operations. I took the painting to our Texas State Council meeting. While I was explaining it to one of the members there he said that I hadn't taken it far enough and told me that the flag was swirling around the mothers legs trying to cover up the crosses. The last statement that the young lady had put on the painting made more sense to me then. 
The Story Of Jamie's Friendly Fire

From Jim Rose, 2006 Legion of Honor recipient, Chapel of Four Chaplains;

"Riding Life’s Highway"

 He has long since quit caring
everyday seems like the last
sometimes the hardest thing to do
is to give up and forget the past

 It felt like so long ago 
he started down this road he is on
there are just twists and turns now
all of the straight a ways are gone

 Sitting here in this park
Day after day
The birds still came around
but the people walk away

 One by one they come and they go
everyone seems to pass him by
most of them glance the other way
none of them look him in the eye

 That old war that he had fought in 
just will not go away
his body is breaking down
and there is a new pain every day

 The shadows are getting long
and the pain is getting bad
he starts back to the shelter
to the new friends he now had

 Time goes by faster now
His pain free days are rare
the road of life he travels on 
now is done in a wheel chair

 Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America
Army Transportation Association Vietnam

"Just another day in the Nam"

Golden rays gently nudged the darkness
working their magic on the night
shadows crept through the elephant grass
trying to beat the morning light

 The shadows moved silently forward
towards the wire that lay just ahead
if they didn’t get this just right
they would all be dead

 "Halt" a voice commanded
all movement came to a stop
again the voice spoke
this time it said "Top"

 "Kick" came the reply
from out of the grass
the voice said "come on in friend"
and moved the wire to let them pass

 They came quickly through the wire
not bothering to look back
to take care of their equipment
and then to hit the sack

 making sure they all got in
the guard watched as they went by
it had been a rough night for them
he could see it in their eye

When the last one had passed
there was nothing he could say
he knew that here in the Nam
it was just another day.

Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America
Army Transportation Association Vietnam 

We were soldiers. A lot of us made the choice to be.
On the night of the judging I had to recluse myself because I knew the artist's and the schools they came from. I did explain to the judges the required subjects and explained to them that there was one painting that fit into one of the categories perfectly. The painting came in fourth. After I explained the painting to my chapter I could see the light come in their eyes. They all wanted to change their votes but it was already recorded. Our chapter voted to offer the young lady $500.00 for the painting and all of the rights to it. We took the offer to her, her teacher, and her parents. They all agreed that it was a good offer. In effect it upped our scholarships. I will send you a letter you will enjoy. It gives us great pride. I asked her how she painted such a painting being as young as she was. She told me that she had went on the agent orange sites and when she came to something important she put it in the painting. She is going to college and I feel that our scholarship program has a good side effect. She will take the knowledge she received with her. By the way, she has nobody in her family that has ever been in the military and is the type of person that needs to be aware of what is happening to this Countries Veterans. We are naming the Painting, "Friendly Fire" and I wrote a poem about it.

" Faces and Places, a remembrance "

 The evening turns to dark
and here I sit
my friends are coming
but they are not here yet

 Vague thoughts drift through my mind
from times long ago
when I was young and strong
and there was nothing I did not know

 The passes of Ankhe
red beach at Qui-nhon
the sampans at Tuy-Hoa
to much time around Bong Son

 Coming out of Pleku
The Yards waving as we go by
taking my convoy over the passes
Back to our home at Phu-Tai

 Things are becoming clear to me
many faces come to mind
The Brother that I replaced
The ones that I left behind

 I should have known back then
to get their names and birthplaces
then I could have placed a body
with all of these faces

 Dawn is approaching now
my Brothers are here with me
I have names for these faces
they are Rod and Charlie

Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America
Army Transportation Association Vietnam

"A poem for Rod and Charlie"

 My dear Lord I know I am home
but I’m not where I need to be
my task is unfinished
and my Brothers and Sisters need me

 I have labored long and hard
and have given them my all
it just seems such a small thing to do
for my Brothers and Sisters on the wall

 My friends are still hurting 
from within and without
they are in need of a champion
to point these things out 

 My dear child welcome home 
you were needed here with me
I have missed your sweet smile
and your bubbling personality 

 Worry not about your tasks
I will take up your cause
with some help from your friends
we will change the laws

 Rest here in my arms
your worries are all gone
your body is whole
and your memory will live on

 You have but one more great task to do
and that wonderful task will be 
to greet your Brothers and Sisters
as they enter eternity. 

 Jim Rose, President
Galveston County Chapter 685
Vietnam Veterans of America

"Does anyone care?"
"Why me? 
What is this stuff?
 What can I do about it?
 How does it affect my children? 
Does anyone else have it?"
"Hell nobody cares"
So long ago...
They believed in God, honor,country,
They believed in rainbows...
They still do...They are survivors.
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