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Average Age 19

James Fraser Avatar James Fraser - LIFETIME Premium Member James Fraser - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Average Age 19 which was written by poet James Fraser. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Average Age 19

Once again, the powers that must
In rise again in what we trust
An overseas conflict, another war
Just what in the hell are we fighting for

Families are asking, Korea has just passed
Generations again reft, how long will it last
A country in need, to rebuild again
Flags at half mast, in wind and rain strain

Once again into war, sent by the Washington Post
To send back reports to hit home the most
Military observers were the first to be sent in
Another chapter of man entering existing sin

I'm witnessing our ariel power, Lam Son 719
US planners determine their incursion, saying all will be fine
Along the Mekong River, we'll carpet bomb their supply trail
Tons of munitions and napalm, this spread surely cannot fail

Many sorties are being flown, for the wounded and the dead
Whilst Nixon and his cronies, aren't thinking with their heads
The news of losses has reached me, nineteen have been killed
Eleven missing, fifty nine wounded, more American blood spilled

Seven fixed wing aircraft, more sons in action loss
Whilst back at home more protests, fading the dyeing's gloss
To to this job that I do, I was never prepared for this
To witness such bloody scenes, and ignore that life is bliss

How can I write about a soldier, whose name I'll never know
Killed at nineteen years old, his family he'll never see grow
Or even explain to his parents, when carried from the AH-1
His body bullet riddled and limp, when lifted it bloodily run

I never went back to the theatre, called the Vietnam War
Having witnessed the wanton killing, what were we fighting for
This colonial conflict that started, us on the side of France
So many came back as strangers, many to live in trance





James Fraser's entry into the contest " WORLD OF WAR: VIETNAM "


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  1. Date: 4/26/2011 9:29:00 AM
    it's amazing. i love when writers ask and answer the question that many never ask... Why. you've obviously done that

  1. Date: 4/26/2011 6:54:00 AM
    touching, james …goody cheers to you for the special win :) huggs, nette

  1. Date: 4/22/2011 11:31:00 AM
    Great to see you in the winner's circle James. Congratulations on your worthy poem's success. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 4/22/2011 4:55:00 AM
    Congratulations on the HM win in the contest, James

  1. Date: 4/21/2011 3:50:00 PM
    Congratulations on your deserving win in the contest, James. Have a great weekend, my friend. Love, Annalise

  1. Date: 4/21/2011 12:06:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win in the contest James. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 4/21/2011 8:36:00 AM
    THANK YOU James for submitting this to my contest and supporting my purpose...Congrats to your HM...Love, Randa

  1. Date: 4/21/2011 8:21:00 AM
    Congrats on your HM James in Miranda's contest with this illustrious account in poetry of the Vietnam War luv.. enjoy your special honor... exceptional write ..

  1. Date: 4/17/2011 1:44:00 PM
    James,I know this may sound wierd, but sometimes I feel the young soldiers who died as they hit land were lucky in a way than those who have lived up to present day and have to watch their grandsons go to another usless war. Well done, as always. Love, Annalise

  1. Date: 4/17/2011 12:24:00 PM
    As a Mother of a son in the military these words are resounding deep ... war is deplorable James and u have expressed so well the futility of it all ..poignant piece luv..

  1. Date: 4/17/2011 10:42:00 AM
    James frome the first time i read ya here my friend i was always empressed and with this write im more than that perfect in every sense you hit the nail on the head amigo your friend always Gonzo

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 9:51:00 PM
    It was a painful time for the world , and an embarrassment to the U.S. , the soldiers lucky enough to return we treated so disrespectfully. I can still see the nightly news in my memory like it was yesterday, you captured this well James and it should do great in the contest

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 6:43:00 PM
    Sorry, James. I forgot to congratulate you on a well-written piece. Good luck in the contest. :-)

  1. Date: 4/16/2011 6:42:00 PM
    Sad, James, very sad. Unnecessary and pointless loss on both sides. Vietnam is still this day rebuilding.