A tribute to my Father

To my Dad, A Vietnam Veteran

Your country called you to fight in a war

You answered the call and proudly served

Within months you were in the jungles of Vietnam

Fighting for your Family, your Country, your Home


One day as you marched to the steady beat

A shot rang out from between the trees

A bullet ricocheted into your shoulder blade

You laid in hospital bed as death nearly came

Stealing you from your Family, your Country, your Home.


Months you spent working to get well

Friends you met, never to see again.

Games you played, with men who would die.

Never knowing who the enemy was.

Fighting for your Family, your Country, your Home.


Months passed, you got to go home.

You were spit upon, degraded, treated like trash.

The wife you left behind carried another man’s child.

The world had changed in the short time you were gone

Betrayed by your Family, your Country, your Home.


Today as I look into your gray eyes

I see shadows of all you thought you left behind

The pain still haunts your deepest soul

Today we remember men like you who continue

To fight for their Family, their Country, their Home.

Thank you Dad for the years you spent fighting for our freedom. Thank for giving of yourself for the life we have today. I wish I could take all the hurt away from you. I wish I could make it all go away. I wasn’t even born and yet you did this for me, before you even knew me. I am so proud of you. I have always been proud of you but as I get older, and my eyes are opened to what all you really went through. Today, I honor you.

E4 Weapons Specialist

Spec. Larry “Bugs” Vlietstra

Served our Country

1967-1968

cl055

1st of the 27th WolfHounds

25th infantry Division


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9 Responses

  1. This is the nicest, most special tribute I have read. It made me cry and made me want to take away his pain too! GAH! How could someone who has given so much for us feel so bad? But the way you wrote it opened my eyes. It’s people like you who write so beautifully that can help them to see they are heroes, and special- and we are grateful for them! This really puts things into perspective… You’ve really touched me with your writing.

    I don’t mean to make you cry!!!

  2. thank you for the good write up.
    Love you

  3. Very nice 🙂

    How are you feeling today?
    Still a little sore, but better. I didn’t have to work today but still went in for a few hours for overtime…then I did some stairmaster for an hour. I am feeling good. Thanks for asking. Hope all is well with you too!

  4. A lovely tribute.

  5. Nice.

  6. Awesome. Touching. Heartfelt. Moving. You can tell your dad I said “thank you” too. 🙂

  7. very nice I love you dad too

  8. I love that you open my eyes too. That was an amazing poem/tribute. And I thank your dad too. =0)

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