Where is the boy I left home for the war?

I knew a boy

Who went to war

And left his home

Behind him.

I knew him well,

That boy was me

And now I cannot

Find him.

— A Vietnam veteran’s tweak of a World War II sailor’s song about war
(Photo of this young World War I “Doughboy” courtesy of greatwar.nl/oldsoldiers/lloydcleme… )

8 comments on “Where is the boy I left home for the war?

  1. […] Native Americans honor veterans in a different way that helps them in returning home from the wars, particularly if you’re a Vietnam veteran. During a Powwow, the Indians parade in full dress while they conduct a ceremony involving feasting, singing and dancing. At the very end, they call for all veterans in the audience to join in their circle as they perform their final dance and come to a stop lining up to shake hands with each and every soldier, sailor, marine, airman and coast guard and quietly tell us “Welcome Home.” […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. souldipper says:

    Surely that sums it up for every person who has served during a war. It has always been a huge puzzle for me, Michael J. Does anyone completely survive?


    • contoveros says:

      I think most survive by compartmentalizing it.

      I did that for years, afraid to look for that boy until years later when the adult in me was strong enough to view his loss dispassionately with lots of compassion.


  3. matan baron says:

    Hey, my name is Matan Baron and i am a senior at tenafly high school in nj. I have been asked by my teacher to interview war veterans and after reading your blog I wanted to ask you if you will be willing to answer a few questions I have about being a part of the Vietnam war. I would really appreciate it, thank you very much Matan


  4. Viv says:

    I have a photo of my grandfather and my great uncle shortly before they went to war. One came back. The other was left in the mud on the Somme.


    • contoveros says:

      Think of them as boys leaving home, possibly for the first time, never finding the young lads they left behind, if they were lucky to return.


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