C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 02 Number 01
Uncle Sugar's War
I pledged allegiance as a boy,
my daddy swelled with pride;
But when he fought in Sugar's war,
a part of Daddy died.
He grew up poor but still he dreamed
that one day he'd be more;
And then the rich kids went to school
while the poor boys went to war.
Yeah Uncle Sugar lied to him,
Sugar lied to them all.
He taught my daddy how to kill,
then screwed him to the wall.
When Daddy came back he had changed,
old Sugar taught him well;
He took my daddy's hopes and dreams,
and made him go through hell.
Most everybody lost in 'Nam,
and still don't know what for;
My daddy lost it all you know,
in Uncle Sugar's war.
When Sugar flew my daddy home,
we met him at the base,
I can't recall much from that day
but the pain in Daddy's face.
The nightmares came back home with him,
as far as I can tell,
He woke up screaming lots at night
from dreams 'bout Sugar's hell.
The VA docs and VA shrinks
(you know who they work for)
They said that time would make him whole,
then showed him to the door.
So Daddy tried to treat himself,
first booze then heroin;
But nothing that he tried would ease
the pain that he was in.
One day Daddy came to me
and swore he'd stopped the fight;
He said he couldn't take no more.
Daddy hung himself that night.
At least now I know Daddy rests,
and fears the day no more.
But I still pray that Jesus keeps
my boy from Sugar's wars.
by Hulon David Clowers
... who is an Army nurse anesthetist serving with activated Reserve components in the Middle East; this is MAJ Clowers' first published poem.