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I saw a veteran yesterday

at the Albuquerque VA.

He had that thousand yard stare,

looked through me as though I wasn't there.



I didn't know this vet

but his eyes were set

on some scene of the past,

which forever shall last.



Could be that it was Nam

where his eyes were fixed,

remembering the slaughter

where the Viet cong tricked.



He was all alone at the VA

but he was miles and miles away

in his confused and battered mind

Speaking to him would be unkind.



The war scenes which come to us

change the focus of our eyes;

time warp in reverse fix our

eyes upon the pale blue skies!



The health providers inside the VA

cannot take those scenes away,

for memories have engraved the mind

in leaving realities far behind.



And so I salute old vets

who aren't home yet,

with their thousand yard stare

they can't find a home anywhere!


071806 C. Douglas Caffey

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