Worst Case Scenario... Coordination
Two Time OEF Vet Loses Job Because He Served his Country

What Price A Folded Flag?

I have been corresponding with the nephew of Viet Nam vet, John Vaillant, who wrote the poem below:

What Price A Folded Flag

Old men talk of battles won, of battles lost, of honor and duty

Young men wrap themselves in flags of glory and march off to war
With sounds of marshal music and cheers ringing in their ears

some to return as whole
some to return as part
some not to return at all

The audience demands the actions of the Military and wonders why
Only after the eminent danger is obvious to all

The self proclaimed elite intelligentsia distains the brutality of conflict
and proposes a group hug and a politically correct discussion
to solve all problems great and small

the only value of the military to resolve social complaint

The businessmen talk of duty and need … and the resolve to win
a physical resolve that will include neither them nor theirs
but a resolve that is evident in their bottom line

The media will advise us of all the gore with film and word
that nicely matches their primary feel
and will then present the exception as the norm

Our elected on stages of bunting and flags
will call for patriotism and  courage of our convictions
speeches will be made of fire and righteousness

rules will be written and conduct curtailed

until such time as we get weary…
And then the flags put away and promises forgot

And those young men who went off to war with flags and cheers
Will finally come home to a quiet welcome if at that

For all those brave young men…
for all the cheers and fears
for all the hopes and wishes
for all the cheers and scorn

remember, it is they who suffer the brunt of all
with appreciation from none

When their time is done and the need no longer
They will return to hearth and home…to hospitals...
…or to grassy fields of cemetery row

their actions .. resolve .. and need to be quickly forgotten
by all but them

The audience will drift off to other pursuits

The military to be stored in a box
Placed on the top shelf of an ill used closet
To only gather dust and be forgot

Until such time as danger lurks
And then questions “ where was our support “

John Vaillant, First Lieutenant, Ret.

John Valliant  volunteered for duty in 1968, was commissioned in 1969 and served in Viet Nam as a Forward Observer and received two Bronze Stars.  Vaillant's poetic work was only recognized at the Officer's Club where he received the honor of "the Best Pour" and this may be first time that it's been published.