Behold the aging soldier. He's grown longer in the tooth.
He wears the scars of battle that had squandered all his youth.
Although his war has ended, he finds much to his dismay.
The demons that now haunt him just don't seem to go away.
He performed his duty proudly as he served his time in hell.
The nightmares still upset him, but he hides it very well.
He tries to carry happy thoughts when he lays down to sleep.
But they will soon turn ugly 'cause his wounds are far too deep.
Outsiders just don't realize what may happen to these vets.
Their memories often fill them with a ton of life's regrets.
Try to keep them in your prayers so peace is what they find.
So many of them can't go on and they often lose their mind.

About this poem

As a combat veteran, I know firsthand the trials and tribulations suffered by many. It is very real. It has taken a huge toll on the Vietnam vets over the years and will affect the vets of today more and more as time goes on.

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Written on May 13, 2022

Submitted by npirandy on February 08, 2023

Modified on May 03, 2023

46 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 724
Words 151
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 12

Randy West

I'm 76 years old and a combat veteran from Vietnam. I used to compose poetry while on ambush patrol as a way of staying awake on watch, since falling asleep could be hazardous to my health. I started early in life though, because, as a child, I would write little tidbits to my mom for the heck of it. more…

All Randy West poems | Randy West Books

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Discuss the poem PTSD with the community...

  • Philipo
    Experience speaks louder than words. I had mine from different field and after experience is the same.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • carmenc4you
    Very Very well said Congrats
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Symmetry58
    First off, Randy, I thank you very much for serving our great nation. You are one of our heroes, Sir. Secondly, this is a beautiful tribute to those who have risked their lives that we might have a better one. It was an honor to read your rendering, Sir. Thank you. 
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • lovingempath
    My step-father returned from Vietnam with a heavy drinking problem and a bad case of PTSD. The base where he had been stationed was bombed right after he left, and he lost many friends. While he was there, he witnessed many atrocities; as well as trying to deal with family issues back home. It took me many years to finally understand what created the changes in him and develop a renewed friendship. Thank you for your service Randy, and shedding some lite on this subject so eloquently. Congratulations on your win! 
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • vukd
    It reads smoothly and focuses on a recognizable sad theme.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • elisekopp
    As someone who suffers from a trauma disorder (for different reasons), this poem really hit home. It brings to light the fact that these people are suffering, and feel so alone. Sometimes all they want is to be heard and seen. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • compostken
    Many who don't know or understand need to realize this pain.
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"PTSD" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Apr. 2024. <>.

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