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Why Was It My Son Had to Die? - a poem

To the families of the brave Ohio Marines

Why was it my son had to die,
To preserve some truth? To hide a lie?
Why did my country ask of me,
To sacrifice my hopes so totally?
Why must one home give up so much,
Among the few to feel death’s touch?
Why was it my son had to die?
Please let me know, please tell me why.

Your son died in a valiant cause,
To save our way of rights and laws,
To keep the light of freedom glowing,
To keep the rights of freemen flowing,
To keep our tall torch burning bright
Against the terror, against dark night.
Your son gave up his valiant best,
To save our ways, preserve the rest.

True, politics is a darkened art,
Devouring lives of those with heart,
The heart to give their very best,
To serve, protect we helpless rest.
But, Lord, we’re thankful some will serve
We multitudes, who lack their nerve.
They take up arms and fight our foes,
Bearing bloody burdens for our woes.

Why was it my son had to die?
Why must I be the one to cry?
Because you are one of the few,
Who raised a son who truly knew,
Our freedom’s price is paid in blood,
Young men must die to stay the flood,
To keep the terror wolves at bay,
To save us all, preserve our way.

Why was it my son had to die?
Because your son was one fine guy.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66