Birth Place: Norfolk, VA
There was once a man just in his prime, who thought retiring early would just be fine. Then one day he pondered a fiery scarlet sunset alone at the helm of his sailboat. He thought to himself, I should take a picture of this to show my friends back home.
But alas, being a photographer he knew a picture would never give the viewer the smell of the ocean air. A mere photo could not let the viewer feel the wind as it pushed his boat effortlessly, or hear his boat as she creaked happily riding the swells.
It was at that moment he realized that sailing the wonders of nature must be shared. But, no one seems to have the time anymore. Then he said out loud, to no one but the dolphins bumping his bow and doing playful flips in the air, "Natures wonders can never be really appreciated if we don't take the time to notice, and share." It matters not which media we choose.
He remembers most the faces, nameless faces.
Not the catastrophic injuries that brought them to his now.
A blank stare of utter disorientation, non verbal,
On the next a look of disbelief, “Tell me I’m gonna be ok, Doc.”
Terror with realization of the reality of what has happened.
Fear, looking for hope when there is none to give.
Loyalty, asking to be patched up so he can return to his comrades.
Faces of youth snatched away.
Too many last words heard spoken were of Mother.
I’ll have to cry later, right now I’m just too busy.
©2008 Walt Hardester
This one is for all my Brothers and Sisters in arms ... then and now
"Like a woman who has never given birth, the man who has never faced death and inflicted death, will for all of his life feel somehow not quite complete." [by Gustav Hasford, author of "The Short Timers", which was later made into the film. "Full Metal Jacket"]
The Point Man
Fatigues have turned from green to brown,
From lying on the fetid ground.
Walking in paddies the feet do sink,
Ants, leeches, and three step snakes.
Can't I go home for goodness sakes.
A nasty pit with Punji Stakes.
A "Booby Trap," the line I see,
Across the path in front of me.
I raise my fist to tell my mates,
To lightly step, for death awaits.
Oh no, another hill to climb,
The "World" some other place in time.
Trained to do all that I can,
To guard myself and fellow man.
No don't hand to me that joint,
Because today, I have the point.
©2007 Walt Hardester
Articles about Walt have appeared in the Northeast Georgian, Tallahassee Democrat, and DEMA trade show news.
Walt has been interviewed on CNN, TWC, and the syndicated broadcast network, Jefferson Broadcasting. But ... I'm still trying for that elusive "hole in one".
"I think being a Medic in Viet-Nam was the most important thing I have done in my life." ~ Walt Hardester
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale