Sunday Journal – Lt. Mary O’Brien Tyrrell

In honor of Vietnam War Veterans Day we’re featuring the vivid and candid stories of three local Vietnam War Veterans. They shared their histories, their war experiences, and the challenges of coming home. Listen to the podcast segments of:

· Mary O’Brien Tyrrell, US Navy

· Arthur “Bud” Mirkin, US Army

· Wayne Miller, US Air Force

You’ll find photos of our guests and one of the poems Mary composed about being home from war. We are grateful to them for sharing their stories with us, we thank them for their service, and we welcome them home.

Friends – By Mary O’Brien Tyrrell

They read my poems with sad concern,

These friends of many years.

“I didn’t know,” they say.

Unaware-I didn’t share,

At times afraid to tell;

Coffee-klatching housewife-the topic quickly changed.

University student-vets are silent there.

Workplace of a new career-

What would they think?

Warmonger-rigid military?

A woman at that!

A new friend- a Vietnam vet

Said, “Thanks for what you did.”

He’d been wounded, Med-Evac’d

Without the time for thanks.

He said it now- to me-

Respect from one who knew.

Eviscerating memories,

Emotions now renewed.

I’d been ashamed;

For serving my country,

Training corpsmen,

Nursing soldiers.

That’s crazy-backwards,

Vietnam vets

They risked their lives and limbs and more

For us, For our country, For Vietnam, For you.
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