I still recall that first day
That I set foot on homeland soil again

After being away in a foreign land
Better known as Vietnam

For so long I stood alone
In the land I called home

My family was there with love and assistance
But I shut down and between us put distance

Feelings were that back in Nam was better for me
But I was to finish up my time at Ft. Meade

I came back wounded and scarred
Full of shame and guilt as in feathered and tarred

My return  was to Chocolate City
Treatment for me was have no pity

Didn't find no brothers from the fox holes
Didn't find no brothers with understanding souls

Searched for them to no end
To find those last seen in Tay Ninh

As I walked the streets I felt scorned
Saw only me and my uniform

Some remembered me by name
In nine short months away nothing was the same

Those with whom  I once had so much fun
Couldn't replace feelings of those warriors with guns

Though some carried pistols by their side
Nothing compared with the comrades who died

Some professed happiness I was back
But in the world of re-adjustment they didn't have my back

And once a few days had come and passed
In my mind feelings entered of being of an outcast

Now some still looked at me with eyes
That always seemed to face the skies

And when the questions would come and go
I couldn't run so I held my head low

That's how it was for many years
Running around with so many fears

But the fear I held above all man
Was for the person who came back from Nam

I'd cry at night and break out in sweats
Haunted by newfound unidentifed threats

There were the panic attacks from hard slamming doors
Awakening in the prone position on the floor

The fright that got tapped when strangers appeared
Staring me down producing new fears

As sadness and grief took over my soul
Where were the men  with whom I shared a foxhole

Still the questions many unanswered, many ignored
Not just for me but for the many who warred

And the triggers are there for us who share
What todays warriors experience in warfare

For those of you who don't understand
The boy away from home will come back a man

Some things have changed in war's  theatre
The reason becomes clearer and clearer

For many of us the answer is not too late
It will help us help those that are in Kuwait

And then there are those whose dreams were torn
Doing their duty in Desert Storm

But the whole picture changed on 911
When terrorist sent many Americans to Heaven

They thought they'd stop us in our tracks
Never dreamed we come after them in Iraq

Who knows if the battle for peace and freedom will ever end
It's obivious when it is challenged  we will defend

And now we must sent our young out again
Into a place called Afganistan

Yes I recall that first day
That I set foot on homeland soil again

A stanger in my own land
Now a veteran of Vietnam

Who knows today what our young men face
Only this time when  they return

Don't turn away and show neglect
They are fighting for peace and freedom
And deserve our respect

They will have their moments of re-adjust
They need  to know that we they can trust

They'll reach out and need our helping hands
Don't put them down ... remember the Nan

And never forget those that are left behind
The KIA's - the POW's - the MIA's so-called hard to find

Take the time to prepare a moment & space
To welcome them, with open arms and embrace