Monday, May 25, 2009


If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say
you loved them
though you may
or may not have always.

Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.

And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.

(written 1 January 1970 by Maj. Michael D. O'Donnell, U.S. Army; MIA 24 March 1970, Dak To, Vietnam; listed KIA 7 February 1978)