Written for Monty's Traditional Poetry Contest and inspired by a Korean War veteran
THUNDERBIRDS WHO FLY NO MORE
In dreams they see the rising mist from mountains inpenetrable
that they struggle to hold on to, a valiant band of men who fight.
Home is yet another dream away, it is their most solemn duty
to live another day, to somehow make it through another night.
Few walk away without the shedding of blood and loss of men
who have had their lives cut short by bullets and hand grenades.
Those that do survive the battles, come home to try to forget.
Over fifty years they kept that memory locked away, so it fades.
Battle scars remain; these Thunderbirds of the 45th Infantry
have tried since to reunite with brothers who also came home.
Twenty men wrote down their memories, some through tears,
but they are glad to finally let it out, to know they are not alone.
The Christmas In July book was born that brought more together.
Survivors came to meet those whose pain was deep as their own.
It seemed to be a "forgotten war" but not to those who came back
and still held on to nightmares, when PTS was a term not known.
Their stories were added to the experiences shared by each man
who fought for freedom and learned the truth "Freedom Is Not Free".
As they grow older, they lose a little of the need to tell the stories
and some were called to travel on to a place much more heavenly.
Those are the Thunderbirds who fly no more, whose duty is done.
Those are the brothers who leave us, one by one, and truly missed
but they left behind a legacy to the young men who will carry on,-
who leave homes and families and volunteer, yes, they do enlist.
They wear proudly the patch of the golden eagle and the name of
Thunderbirds, hold in reverence each and every man gone before.
They are your source of pride and you remain as their guardians -
for you are the pioneers, you are the Thunderbirds who fly no more.
Dedicated to the members of the 45th Infantry Division's Band of Brothers