The first set is ones I have written for women veterans:
 
 

                      UNITY AND STRENGTH
 
 

                    It is time we come forward,
                    we have waited long enough,
                    to be recognized as veterans.
                   We've fought numerous battles
                    of attitudes and prejudices.
                     We are, indeed, unique,
                     for we are risk takers,
                      and ground breakers,
                      by joining the service.
                    We've marched in every war,
                    helping fight behind the lines
                    and on front lines with you.
                     We've dealt with hostility
                      by being put in places
                     where we weren't wanted.
                   We've been ignored, harassed,
                     threatened and assaulted.
                 We've faced the same enemies as you,
                  even had more enemies than you,
                  for sometimes you were our enemy.
                   We're not here to point a finger,
                  to condemn or make accusations.
                  We're here to join hands and voices
                      in unity and strength,
                  to claim our right to be recognized
                    not just as women veterans,
                    but that we're veterans, too.

                  Lynda Cameron (copyright 1990)
 
 
 
                   WOMEN ARE VETERANS, TOO
 
 

        We weren't just tokens or pretty faces,
         to decorate your offices and platoons;
        we weren't dumb, too plain or too stupid
             to make it in the real world.
            We've marched your muddy roads,
           carried and shot your heavy guns.
         We've been shot at, wounded, and died,
               and been prisoners of war.
           We've been active in all services,
                and risen to high ranks.
           We've tended your bleeding wounds,
           and held you when you were dying.
           We've flown your mighty airplanes
            and navigated your giant ships.
            We've fixed your broken engines
              and driven heavy equipment.
             We've mailed letters for you,
            and  brought you news from home.
             We've stood along side of you,
           without flinching or running away,
          and continue to stand by you today.
        We are not asking for special treatment,
         or that you should go out of your way.
          We're only asking that you recognize
            that women's are veterans, too.

            Lynda K. Cameron   USMC  1966-67

 

I wrote these poems that were selected (along with four others) at an art  show in Salem, Oregon  that was on exhibit for several months called "The Images of Vietnam".  I was the only woman  and only non-combat veteran accepted in the show along with sixteen others statewide...I felt  very privileged to be included in the show.  This show ran in February through the end of March  in 1989.
 
This poem is dedicated to my friend, Paul Cochran, who died in Vietnam:
 
 
                       Etched in Stone
 

                     I cried when I saw them

                   And thought, Oh God, not you;

                    Then they told you had died

                    In the jungles of Vietnam,

                      Trying to save people

                     And that was so like him.

                   I remember his deep compassion

                     And how he use to dream

                  Of wanting freedom for everyone

                     In a more peaceful world;

                    And how it became shattered

                In a war that no one wants to remember.

                   All that remains with me now,

                   Is his warm and gentle memory,

                     Making it harder for me

                         To touch

                     The coldness of his name,

                       Etched in stone.

               Lynda Koleena cameron      (copywrite 1988)

 

This poem is dedicated to all wives of Vietnam Veterans)

                    I Wish I Had Known
 

                          I wish,

                        I had known

                       how to deal with

                       your empty eyes,

                      your unspoken pain,

                    and your forbidding silence.

                          I wish,

                      I would have known,

                      How to draw you out,

                       To talk with you,

                      To listen to what you

                        Needed to say.

                          I wish,

                      I would have known,

                       how stay with you

                      over all these years;

                       to let you know

                     that I really loved you,

                          I wish,

                      more than anything,

                      I would have known

                      how to convince you

                       that I was notů.

                        your enemy.

               By Lynda Koleena Cameron (copywrite 1988)

 

This poem is dedicated to all Vietnam Veterans who came home)

 

                   That Was Hard Enough
 

                     In the dark humid forest

                          I swore,

                      I would never love,

                       or believe again,

                       the day my soul

                        laid shattered.

                      next to the stillness

                       of my best friend.

                     That was hard enough.

                    Feeling heartsick and fragile,

                      I came home to face,

                      unjust spit and venom

                     and foul words of hate;

                      until the bitterness

                        and disbelief

                     became my pilgrimage,

                      and anger and trust

                        my way of life.

                       You ask me now

                       why I find it hard

                         to trust,

                         even after

                       all these years;

                     for I am haunted more

                     by the memories of hate,

                     than I am a distant war.

               By Lynda Koleena Cameron (copywrite 1988)