Letters To Editors & Wives: No Hero
by Robert Sadler


Veteran's Day, Novenber 11, 2001

I sat beside them in foxholes
Ate beside them in the cold
Slept beside them as they stood guard
Helped the ones who gave them aid
Fought beside the ones that dies
Wrote letters about them to their wives

Journalists said we were heros
Photographers taking our picture cried
As a major read aloud our deeds
The general took the colonel's salute
Another's shaking hands pinned on our medals
We stood listening to the lies

Above and beyond the call ww called
Words like Courage, Bracery and shouted
Hostile-Action, taking fire-, supressing-fire
And out-numbered got repeated over and over
Though Johnson, Baker, Fivis, Swindler,
Cates, Pentowski, and other's weren't alive

Sixteen stand where seventy-three had stood
How's it feel son the Colonel said to the Private
-Being a hero?
I'm no hero, sir, heroes is th' ones 'at died!
Colonel Howabout you? the flustered Colonel said
Me neither Sir, was jus' doin' m' job, came his reply

He had sat beside them in foxholes
Ate beside them in the cold
Sletp beside them as they stood guard
Helped the ones who gave them aid
Fought beside the ones that died
Wrote regretful letters about them to their wives

We swarmed the beaches together
Dropped from the skies
Mucked throught trenches, over barbwire fences
Shot the enemy highlighted on the ridge
Listened a they tripped our booby traps in the woods
Dropped mortars on their heads
Sent licking tongues of mrotar fire to consume them
Heard the wounded crying out for mother and God

Sank bayonets in their flesh watched 'm bleed and kick
They surrendered in tongues we didn't understand
To she;;-shot ears that could no longer hear
But we killed everything we could; only time eluded us

The medals hung heavy aasw hearts on their chests
When the Major telling lies finally stopped
the General saluted the Colonel, he the Major
He the Captain and he the Lieutenant who turned
And dismissed his honored troops
The heors walked away, heads down, in denial

We sat beside them in foxholes
Ate beside them in the cold
Slept beside them as they stood guard
Helped the ones that died
Wrote letters to their wives

I know what I did and nothing aboutkilling
wasa heroic [I dreamed of being on the thumb]
We faced, one from kansas one from Alsace
But what's heroic in two farmers killiing each other
What does the blood of a single farmer reap
- but fallow fields sand future sons and daughters

No I was no hero, though they sat beside me in foxholes
Ate beside me in the cold
Stood beside me as I slept, they gave other's aid
They're the ones who fought and died
They're the ones we survivors wrote about
To grieving mothers and wodowed wives

No-I was no hero
I was only doing my job - and cursing God, survived






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