Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

At the VA (2007) Greg's Story

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

At the VA (2007) Greg's Story

Article excerpt

Military intelligence met VC mortar,

chopper tailed down in gyroscopic

horror. Motion-sick I dumped

my AK47 out the door into

a rice paddy. Hit warm water, puked.

Machine gun fire pinned us down.

Now it's gaskets, fuses and carburetors

coming out of gun muzzles.

I forgot where parts go

in the Mercedes i repair.

I need drugs.

I can't work on cars anymore.

The corpsman in the waiting room shakes

me. I can't give you drugs until the doctor

sees you.

I'm havingflashbacks. It's been over

thirty years.

If you didn't know ages, you could tell

the WWII vets by pins clustered

on their caps. Two talk to me but don't listen,

their ears jammed with hearing aids camouflaged

by whiskery hairs.

A one-legged Vietnam vet leaves his arm

braces behind and hops over to the clerk

like a gymnast on a balance beam. …

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