Parachutists badge


Lost In Battle

©1995 Sarge Lintecum

I thought I'd be lost in battle the whole time,
So when I found myself on the jet back to the States,
After three tours of duty in Nam,
I didn't have a clue as to how much I had lost in battle.

Shortl after returning home, my Mother took me to the VA hospital,
And the list of what I had lost in battle began.
"This is not the same boy we sent to Vietnam", she told them,
As a cold damp mist enveloped my heart.

I had just been home a few days
So the reality of really being home alive hadn't sunk in yet.
I knew then that it never would.
I knew I was home, but my mother's son was lost in battle.

My job I had had was waiting for me, but I couldn't go,
Something about being the only guy there with a body count,
And about me bursting into tears at the mere mention of certain subjects.
My ability to hold a job and have friends was lost in battle.

The American dream was slipping away when I thought that I had earned it.
I knew that something wasn't right, but I couldn't understand;
Why was everyone pointing at me? It was too late then,
Even if I'd killed myself they wouldn't put my name on the Wall.

I bounced off society everywhere I went.
I didn't know it then, but I was addicted to my own adrenaline,
So I made damn sure that when I bounced, I bounced real hard.
My ability to have a normal life style was lost in battle.

A combat veteran feeling hated by the American people
Can dig some very deep holes.
So, for fifteen years, I barricaded myself in.
My ability to feel welcome was lost in battle, or stolen.

Over fifty-eight thousand lost in battle, but I'd like to make it clear,
One-hundred and fifty thousand suicides since, are also the price of war.
And though they called us the baby boom,
We're neither babies or a boom any more.

Return to Poetry Home