A Generation Adrift
By Edward Zglenski


Barely had the dust settled over the Rising Sun when we arrived.  We came in masses; we sounded the boom.

Doves roosted but an ominous mist engulfed them changing from yellow to red.  Our young eyes watched cautiously as the Bear expanded its territory.

We entered school amidst a conflict abroad and cynicism at home.  A Senator spoke through a new media and we cast a suspicious eye upon our neighbor.  Trust was then a fleeting concept.

We were nurtured on rock and roll and witnessed the launch of a new era as a man-made star encircled our globe.  We were intellectually challenged. The far reaches of the heavens became our new frontier.

Camelot was revisited.  The alcoves of the White House echoed with children’s laughter as the best and the brightest chartered a new course for our nation.  We were asked to do for country.

We entered our teens full of hope and limitless horizons.  However, an ideological wall obscured our vision and our hopes faded as a blockade closed on a neighboring island.  Gunshots in Texas and the riderless horse became a premonition of many deaths to come.

Events erupted in a gulf named Tonkin.  War clouds gathered over a far away country.  The bugles sounded. We left high school, not to college nor to secure jobs, but to training camps and debarkation terminals.

Alone we were sent.  We fought, we bled, we died.  In moments of solace we wondered why, while at home they demonstrated to know why.  We lived war with all its deprivations while at home we simply interrupted the evening meal.

The Markets thrived; businesses blossomed and as man took a giant leap for mankind we gingerly tiptoed amongst land mines and booby traps.  We were there, the rest were back in the world.

Alone we returned.  Silently, secretly we stole back into a society that shamefully sent us.  No welcome, no thanks, no concern, no remorse. It was a mistake. Don’t remind us by your presence.

We returned in time to see our government shaken by deceit.  Minutes of silence toppled a president and trust remained a fleeting concept.

We tried to forget.  Time healed our physical wounds but time reopened our emotional scars.  We survived to learn that our demise was but postponed. Colored agents dealt us a legacy of death.

Cold, black granite now memorializes us.  For those inscribed, they rest in eternal peace.  For us mirrored, how many loves must be lost, how many roads must be traveled before our ways are righted and the stormy waters become placid in our souls.

27th Infantry Regimental Historical Society

Copyright © 2016 by The 27th Infantry Regiment Historical Society, Inc.
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