I have a story you won’t forget,
You’ve never heard this psalm.
It’s about a little combat vet,
Who’s never been to Vietnam.
While the US was in the midst of war,
She watched it on the news.
She never knew what was in store,
And how she’d pay her dues.
As time went on, she married a man,
Who fought to keep us free.
And happily, hand in hand,
They raised a family.
But this is not the end – you see,
For herself, their son and daughter,
For she really married PTSD,
“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”.
Not knowing how to use an M16,
Or ever having fired a weapon before,
She finds herself caught in between,
The middle of the Vietnam War.
She tries to be a loving Mom,
For her kids she always will.
But in the mud in Vietnam,
She fights and shoots to kill.
All around her in the world,
They cannot see her pain.
Outside, she’s still a city girl,
Inside, she’s GI Jane.
She’s very much in charge of her life,
And shouts “War is Heck!”
While doing her job as mother and wife,
It’s “Incoming, Hit the Deck!”
Anger, rage, anxiety fits,
Sadness, pain and tension.
Not one of these benefits,
Is worth a Disability Pension.
Uneducated people may say,
“Forget it – Let things be”.
But they have never spent a day,
Or night with PTSD.
She wins her battles as she serves,
With love and strength upon her.
You might agree that she deserves,
The Congressional Medal of Honor!
©Copyright 2001 by Susan Alestra
Author’s Note: When Vinny told me he was going to make a web site about his experience in Vietnam, I decided to share my experiences of Vietnam also. As we look at his pictures and hear the stories of how he cleared mines and built the road, rt. 547, to the A Shau Valley, we can only imagine what it was really like. I sat down and wrote the poem, “Her War”, to tell my side of the story. It’s true that I’ve never set foot on Vietnam soil, but my stories are just as real. Just as I am sure there are many vets who can relate to Vinny’s tour, there are many who can relate to mine. I hope you enjoy this web site and the special meaning of my poem.