Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Agent Orange, Once Again

He stood in a rural cemetery,
next to the casket of an old friend.
A bugler played "Taps," and
A soldier presented a flag
to his friend's wife ...
with the thanks of a grateful nation.
His friend was 60 years old.
He expected that he would outlive him.
He was killed by a cancer
caused by his exposure to Agent Orange

It made him mad.
If he survived Vietnam,
he could survive anything.
And yet he didn't survive Vietnam.
40 years after his service,
after he had attended college,
established a career,
married and started a family,
he discovered that the war
had followed him home.
Doctors removed a tumor from his abdomen.
The battle to stay alive became full time.
He fought hard and managed to hang on
until his daughter graduated from high school.
He lost his fight a few weeks later.

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