Vietnam Full Disclosure



My husband and I join our thoughts with those who were impacted by the war, from soldiers to mothers and fathers to children and grandchildren to peace activists, who were my friends, and with whom we marched shoulder to shoulder in protest. The war affected my friends, students, snatched from hopeful prospects of college graduation; these youth died, were disabled and are now forgotten.  The war was a vanity project that lined the pockets of politicians and generals and the war’s administrators  It affected the country as the first example of an unnecessary war fought to merely use our young people for the “farmed” enrichment of others: it created a depression in America that we have yet to recover from. The concept of an unwinnable, unnecessary, cruel gambit that has given us all a deep distrust in government.

We write to those who died a half a century ago. And we also write for the present and the future, to the Wall, with the admonition that without careful,  judicial discrimination, involving discussions in the Congress, it could be in our future to submit yet again to vainglorious politicians, who find in war, a financial market and a distraction from their personal mismanagement of democracy.

Sandra Keith

To my Brothers and Sisters whose names are here, and to the many more, including those veterans who since, by their own hands ended their lives, and to the millions of Viet Namese women, children, peasants and soldiers whose names are not on this wall but who had their lives taken by this war:


I am sorry that the world has not yet learned that war is futile, that war is nothing but an open stage for Death Himself, the great leveler, who marauds under the false guise of patriotism, glory and misguided heroism.


The ‘Taker of Lives’ is of course, aided and abetted by the profiteers from war, and the bought and paid for politicians who lie and deceive so others will be sacrificed. War – it has always been so – the many suffer and die, the few become more wealthy.


“What the hell are we doing here?” So many of you asked in Viet Nam.


If anything the situation has since gotten worse, much worse. I wish I could give you good news that peace on earth is now a reality, but truth is better than sweet tasting illusions.


I know you will appreciate truth. We all may be doomed from war and climate destruction – war on our Mother Earth, but the good news is many are awakened to our deepest responsibility; that to stay human in the deepest sense, to retain our empathy, compassion, to resist injustice regardless of the outcome, means – as Thomas Merton said, that “you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.”


We may not win this battle, likely we will not, but rest in peace, knowing that there are still those who will persevere as long as there is breath in our bodies so that your fate, your lost lives, and others like you, will not again and yet again, be betrayed by corrupt politicians and power elites.


Tarak Kauff

I want to apologize to those of you who sacrificed your life in the name of Greed, not knowing what you were getting into & for whom you were fighting under the false pretext of “democracy”….

To those of you who suffer from PTSD, from the effects of Agent Orange. To those of you who suffer from addictions & are homeless as well as to those who are unable to exorcise the ghost s of the past….

There isn’t much to say to give you comfort; I was in junior high school when this began & in college when the political action in Vietnam ended…

Although the government wants us to forget, You’re not forgotten; and again I apologize for the suffering you endured.

Thankfully Veterans For Peace is working to educate the people and put an end to the u.s. of Oil Companies endless wars of Greed!

Mita Kuya Oyasin (We Are All Related)

To Anyone Who Cares:

As a veteran and as a human being I weep for the future.  We are planning to spend 2 trillion dollars replacing all of our nuclear weapons and their support systems.  We are planning to spend 1.5 trillion dollars on the failed F-35 fighter jet.  We have a President who doesn’t care about the future of the children of our or any country.  The myth of America was never real for a lot of people but it at least presented a hopeful goal to work toward…democracy, equality and peace for all the people of the world.  The plans to spend our wealth on weapons of mass destruction instead of a bountiful society shows our true and evil priorities.

Larry Kirschner.

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.”

― Omar N. Bradley


There is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible.                             –Arthur Conan Doyle


Grotesque Arms 


use of nuclear weapons will always have 

grotesque catastrophic consequences


(malformed, deformed, misshapen, 

misproportioned, distorted, twisted, gnarled)


hubris, fear, hatred and ugly ignorance 

plant radioactive seeds for all human time


a super-heated tan-colored wind sweeps

all possibility of love or compassion aside


bones of the corpses disappear in

a flash of bright light and time


the dead won’t hear the following 

loud stillness that comes briefly and goes


even the smell of skin dripping from

a face is enveloped in the stillness


unawakened children make no cry

sleeping breath sucked into the combustion


there remains no place for Sadako’s 

cranes to land after history is gone



Ending Stories


there are origin stories

there are ending stories


of how much easier it is 

to take life than to create it


prometheus damned us 

with his stolen fire


is there music for ghosts 

to listen to after dying


post apocalypse the children learn to 

play scissors, paper, rock without hands


the rattlesnake asks “what did you expect”

I gave you plenty of warning





in Japanese


explosion-affected people

sounds so simple


radiation burns froze their

skin in keloid poses


but it is our hearts that

need to be thawed

because we are not

explosion-affected people



little boy little girl


in defiance of current


theories of the physical universe


on August 6, 1945


ten thousand paper peace cranes


flew out of a black hole


in the sky






overcoming Death,


the destroyer of the worlds


                                       — for Sadako Sasaki

(Little Boy was the name of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Sadako Sasaki was a two year old girl living in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped. Ten years later she developed leukemia.  She heard of a Japanese folk tale that if you folded 1,000 origami paper cranes the gods would grant your wish. She died before she finished but she inspired a peace movement in Japan that continues.  The black hole reference is a play on modern black hole theory and the statement made by the pilot of the plane dropping the bomb. He said that the explosion drew up so much dirt that there appeared to be a black hole in the sky.  Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, called ‘the father 


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