Beyond the sign

Written by: kathryn ramirez

Hello friend, Do you see that man on the corner by the street?
He is holding the cardboard saying "homeless and I need to eat." 
If you're not too busy, come with me on a journey back to 1969.
It will help you to look past his appearence and beyond his homemade sign.

This is the 1960's, where they thrived on the American Dream.
The women were real ladies, or at least in public thats what it seems.
Today is High School graduation, So much happiness is in the air,
But, These young men have recieved papers, and Uncle Sam expects them there.

Do you recognize the bone structure of this boy standing on our right?
He is the one from the future corner, he was Valedictorian tonight.
So well dressed, and raised up right, his sweetheart by his side.
He has no reason to be fearful of the draft, he is filled with American Pride.

Fast foward, Just a few weeks, to him and his young new wife,
Kissing so passionately, pressing pause on their future, and their life.
He is dropped down in the jungle, amist the sounds of live fire.
He sees injured men being lifted out, as the SGT's on the wire.

Just a young boy of 19, he is scared beyond his witts,
Yet, he completes every mission he is given, he never quits.
He holds the hands of friends, who was cut down in their prime.
Yes, this is the same man, the one you wouldn't give a dime.

He arrives back home, in the year of 1972.
His tour earned him a purple heart, he took bullets for you.
once at home, he is expecting affection from his lover,
but, he has been gone for so long she already found another.

So at 21 years old, this veteran is now a man,
He drinks his memories away, everynight if he can.
He gave an eye, and two of the best friends he has ever known.
He never was told "thank you", and he has nothing to call his own.

If you pay close attention to the newspapers of '72
you will see in the protest, they blamed the drafted soilders too.
so here is this man, young, and broken, yet, still not ashamed.
He proudly answered the call, when the draft listed his name.

Only a fellow Veteran, could even try to understand,
That there are no surviving Vets, a part of them died in Vietnam.
When they returned they expected welcome parties and smiles.
Instead they were placed in a new war, but, it was their uniform on trial.

If you still feel the same as you did before our walk.
Go on about your day, forget about our talk.
But, if you have decided, you can look beyond his sign.
Maybe understand his pain, and give our hero a dime.