"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, December 28, 2012

Poem: "Waves", by John Puzzo

Please play the video while you read ...

by John Puzzo

They are like the waves washing on shore,
58,237 of them. 

They just keep coming from way out there, 
until they wash up over your feet
and gently remind you of who they are
and who they were.

Sometimes the storms come 
and the waves are not so gentle.
That’s when they’re grabbing us, and shaking us,
to make us remember.

Then they slide back into the ocean.
But they’ll be back.
They never really left.

Sometimes they leave something behind
and it takes your breath away.

“Here comes mine. There he is.”
And just as quickly he comes to 
Fill your heart again, reaching you there 
on the shore.

Then he recedes once again. Back into the sea. 
58,237 others are making their way back to the shore
to meet theirs.

It takes a long time for 58,237 waves 
to come against the shores of our memory, 
where we wait to greet them.
But that’s alright. They’ll be back.

They don’t ever really leave us.
It would be like the sea itself suddenly evaporating.
They are the sea.

Those who only knew them on these shores,
the ones who sent them off –
“Be Safe. I will miss you. Write to me? 
Let me know if you need anything.”
And you never forget that face. 

Out there in the sea, with others of his kind 
he looks back at you,
still there, on the shore, with your feet in the sand.

You are the last thing he sees, too.
They share something very precious 
in the sea of sacrifice where they live now.

The ocean will never die. 
It will keep sending them back to us
to remember.

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John J. Puzzo
K Company (Ranger)
75th Infantry (Airborne)
United States Army 1968 - 1971

John is the published author of two books about Vietnam.  He is a brilliant public speaker, and an all-around good guy from Connecticut.  

"The Highlanders In the Viet Nam War"
"Vietnam and Hollywood"

Other Articles by John Puzzo:

“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

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you feel comfortable sharing. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history, sharing the truth about the Vietnam veteran, and what it was like in Our War.


  1. Thanks John for this writing. This says it all for us Vets left on the shores of life & time. Some day we too will be part of the waves that touch others. Well done my friend.God Bless you & yours.

  2. A haunting, haunting, revival of my memories. Both some of the good but also it revived a lot of the bad.

    Thanks, I think...not sure right now.

    But a beautiful poem none the less.

    Just another old survivor of 'Nam.

  3. Hey John,
    Very nice job, my friend. It does create a very nice illusion. The feeling of the tide ever so repetitious is very effective. I'm not sure I agree with the faces never fading, but certainly the memories of those people and what they meant to us will never fade. I have forgotten the faces of so many of them. I feel badly about that. I should remember those faces, but I don't. Too bad. :(


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