Haiku My Heart Fridays is a creation by Rebecca, who pens the recuerdo mi corozon blog. Here are the guidelines to participate. Some beautiful discoveries here, check them out.
First day Vietnam
Contemplating my future
Will I make it home?
Smiling all the time
Putting my best foot forward
Waiting to come home
Back in the world
In the neighborhood driving
Guess I made it home
I took some liberty with todays Haiku My Heart Friday posting. I wrote a short series of three Haiku, and placed a photo for each. The first photo was taken within a few hours after I arrived in Vietnam, on February 20th of 1969, the start of the Tet offensive. I wondered what the year would be like, especially arriving at such a volatile time during the year. The Tet offensive was notorious for increased attacks against our positions. I wondered if it would ever end, or if I’d die in battle. I didn’t. I made it home and have walked a line of Peace ever since. My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage to lay down my rifle and go to Leavenworth prison for 20 years. Instead, I stayed and did societies bidding, then returned home to another hell, living with the scars of battle, death, destruction and blood on my hands.
The next shot was taken at some random time during the year I spent there as an Army Sergeant in the American war in Vietnam, and the third was a month after I returned home.
While I served there in this strange land doing these strange things, I dreamed of going home constantly. I kept positive. These thoughts were gifts from The Creator, for without them, I surely would have died. I kept on seeing home. I worked hard to save the lives of my Brothers and keep myself alive.
I bought a new Plymouth Barracuda Gran Sport with a rockin’ big motor when I returned to what we Vietnam Vets called, "The World". I used to laugh at how I was dressed when I would pull this old picture out and look at it, but then in those days, that was the style. I met Mrs. Spadoman shortly after, (maybe how cool I dressed worked, eh?), and lost my license for too many speeding tickets. Mrs. Spadoman used the muscle car to commute to high school the last couple of months as I carpooled to work with a guy. I couldn’t drive with a suspended license.
All this is a part of me. It has made me who I am. I don’t want to forget anymore as I understand why it happened to me. It happened so I can tell you and all who will listen and hear that war is not the answer. Peace and forgiveness will set you free.
I hope dear friend Rebecca doesn't mind that I made up my own arrangement today. Just felt compelled to mention these things in this way, with explanations and such. Thank you Rebecca and thank the rest of you for reading and listening.
the sun has not even made it into this dark sky and already you have pierced my heart.
the first haiku,
your collection, riveting.
my father was there for the tet offensive. my father. you might have even crossed paths. sitting here in this moment, i hope that you both did.
you would have recognized an undeniable goodness in each other, and with it found comfort in a great friend.
thank you for dedicating your life to peace. for the courage to make it your true compass all the days of our lives.
You did what you did. You are who you are--and much wiser and more compassionate because of what you have lived (and suffered) through. A man of peace, indeed.
Thank you for this journey back in time this morning. Peace. Always.
I like what both before me shared. And I thank you for dedicating your life to peace.
We go where we get to go, do what we get to do...and we use those experiences for the good, or not. We get to choose.
Hindsight is always 20/20...use it moving forward, is what I've been told. You do that. Not perfectly--but none of us do that perfectly.
You DO do that.
And I'm proud for the YOU that you are today.
(((((( Spadoman ))))))
eoj odaps! What wonderful haikus - we're from the same era, born in the same year. I remember young men heading off to the American war in Viet Nam and some not coming back. All of 18 or 19 years old. I remember Kent State like it was yesterday and the protest songs and marches. That era affected us all, both positively and negatively.
Glad to have found your blog via Rebecca - peace to you and yours...peace to all living creatures on our beautiful Earth.
Your words and pictures here left me sitting with my chin in my hand for awhile, contemplating more than I can say.
First, being an Army mom, I would like to thank you for serving. My son has spent 12 months in Mosul, Iraq, and will be deployed again in February, as he is infantry. So with all my heart, Thank You.
**blows kisses** Deb
Joe, you handsome devil you!
Great post, thank you for your service kind and wonderful man.
This is very poignant and the series of three haiku works perfectly. Thank you for giving us a small glimpse of how it felt to experience what you and so many others have. I can only begin to imagine the hell, and fully appreciate your dedication to peace.
I don't know how anyone manages to go through an experience like yours and survives to tell the tale-mentally let alone physically. It shows how strong you are I suppose. With all that is going on in the world today, and the almost daily news of another soldier killed in Afghanistan, it is really moving to see your tale of survival. I have to say I love the car and general look of that picture-no wonder Mrs Spadoman couldn't resist!
My brother Barry went to Viet Nam too in 69! When he came home all he could do the first day was cry! I'm GLAD YOU made it back and not a name on the Viet Nam wall!
It made me laugh when you mentioned losing your license because of the speeding tickets. When we lived in RI the only time you saw adult males riding bicycles was because of the reason.
The haiku is beautiful and I'm very glad you made it back.
you have stopped my heart and caused me to pause. Thank you for such a beautiful, honest revealing story with triple haiku~ heart beating again~ thank you.I will wrap my arms about my son next week who is currently deployed in the Army, second tour of duty. I planned my next weeks haiku to be centered about him.I still will. You are a brave peaceful Man.
what a heart- and soul opening post. Reminds me of my husband.
Thank you for being so open, so honest. so compassionate!
Beautiful haikus. Like the way you have composed the photos and the poems.
A wonderful bit of wisdom here. From Deep in your heart all of who you are shines out..
Thoughts from the heart are always the best thoughts to share in writing! We readers can feel them and just feeling helps to understand and connect! A wonderful, reflective post!
Wow. I sat here at my computer, reading your small series and just was still. Peering into those photos and reading the words below was a powerful experience.
And thank you for visiting my blog -- I look forward to a new friend!
beautiful! just beautiful!
way to go Joe
When I had the idea of doing this, I never dreamed there would be such response. I'm a little bit sheepish now. I didn't want anyone to feel bad. But I felt I needed to say these things, after all, it is Haiku from the heart.
I thank each and every one of you who stopped by and read and appreciate the comments greatly.
Many folks know that I am an old Warrior. It is a cloak that I must wear for my entire life. After so many years, it is not a bad thing, it doesn't hurt me like it did before I learned how to start healing.
The words that you have written are part of that healing and ease any pain that remains. I am forever grateful.
Peace to all of you, and Peace to all you hold dear.
peace to all of you
peace to those whom you hold dear
your words ease my pain
Will my nearest and dearest
Tell me I'm
Just as handsome now as then?
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