A true story about an Iwo Jima survivor, told in rhyming fashion
A marine who never asks for anything special, just peace of mind.
A twenty-one gun salute for a job well done. The flag covering the casket folded neatly and given to his only child who is fifty-four years old.
What is a marine?
Was his soul intertwined with nerves of steel?
He rarely spoke of the days back in 1945, on the volcanic island of Iwo Jima, refusing to remember the horror, or was he disengaged, unable to feel?
Wounded twice, two purple hearts tucked safely away in his keepsake box of memorabilia
Trinkets, dog tags, a spent bullet, some belonging to his lost buddies. When questioned about the contents, he just smiled and said, " just some old paraphernalia. "
Unable to express his anger or misery, forever trying to forget his buddies who died on that perilous day.
Blown out of a foxhole twice. Everyone else perished. He wonders why only he survived, while looking at body parts where they lay.
He was a flamethrower, used in tunnels to flush out Japanese soldiers, torched as they attempted to exit the burning heat.
He feels no pride in victory. He remembers the young Japanese men screamng in agony, falling in defeat.
He sat motionless when old glory was raised on the 5th day of the 35th day battle. He has a picture of him holding a fallen Japanese flag. The boy marine who just turned twenty-one.
He was going home a victor to a crowd of cheering people on every street in every town and city, yet he felt an overwhelming urge to run.
He suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder nightly, reliving the death and suffering of his comrades, which played heavily on his mind.
Medicated with valium, still episodes of acute fear and danger lingered. Never able to completely unwind.
Years past, PTSD remained internally, battles fought nightly in the caves and tunnels from the distant past.
Today that battle ceases as death released his soul from replaying sorrowful images. Peaceful slumber at last.
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