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Eagle Operation Family
Family & Friends of American PTSD Veterans
"A nation-wide collective
of individuals and families
dedicated to quality
treatment for all Veterans
and their families"

Family & Friends

Talk not of wasted affection;
affection never was wasted.

...Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Vietnam Wives by Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D. (1996)
"....Still others keep quiet because their partners have talked about suicide,
a real possibility for some Vietnam veterans. Although the Department of Veteran's
Affairs calls it a 'trash statistic', research completed in California alleges that
as many vets (some 58,000) have died by their own hand as were killed in Vietnam.(1)

Equally distressing is the high number of deaths and injuries due to single car
collisions and other 'accidents' among Vietnam veterans, which could have been
suicidal in nature." (p.169)

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)

These poems are 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)

No One Ever Told Me
No one ever told me
that your lonely silence
of a war screaming blood
would drive us deeper
into haunted memories
of a humid forest.
No one ever told me
that the clinging hate
lingering in angry eyes
would cause us to explode
and to drift apart
among shattered images.
No one ever told me
that it would all end
and you and I would be
in the echoing silence
of a distant spade.
No one ever told me.

by Lynda Koleena Cameron (copyright 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)

Lynda Koleena Cameron USMC 1966-67

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