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Killed in Action

Forget the civilian law.
YOUR first commandment is.
Thou shalt kill. And thou shalt live.
To kill with extreme prejudice.
Identify and destroy.

Whatís wrong becomes right.
Whatís evil becomes necessary.
Perfectly acceptable to cut someoneís throat.
To shoot them or blow them up.
Nothing more than a killing machine.

Lightning fast.
Without feeling.
Without conscience.
Without thinking.
Pure mindless, reflex.

Vigilant, for the out of place smell.
The smallest noise or movement.
Sleeping with one eye open.
Or donít sleep at all.
Forever silent.

Lay down in the mud, soaking wet.
Cold in the rain, blood sucking leaches.
Jungle rot eats your flesh.
Burning up with fever.
Suck it up and drive on.

Can I turn it off?
Can I put it behind me?
Can I change who I am?
No, I canít.

I put on my mask.
And civilian clothing.
Obeying your stupid laws.
Playing the stupid game.
Pretending to be what Iím not.

Day after day, year after year.
I have grown tired of it.
It is definitely not fair.
My whole life has been a lie.
And I donít know who I am.

Ed Matyjasik
A 2/502 Infantry
8/69 - 6/70