The Silence of the Fallen – A Tribute to Gulf War Vets


Simple Words are Sometimes More Powerful than Modern Media


 Veterans Today features – Capt. David K. Winnett, Jr., USMC (Ret)


[Editors Note: Dear folks, we don’t do much poetry because the readership is generally so low. But from time to time we get something that is so good, that we don’t care about readership volume. I have put this in the feature section because it is that good. Let Capt. Winnet and all the Gulf War vets know in the comments if you agree…Jim W. Dean]



The Silence of the Fallen

A Tribute to Persian Gulf War Veterans


by David K. Winnett, Jr.

Captain, United States Marine Corps (Retired)


The booming silence made as warriors fall,

One by lonely one,

Felled not by shrapnel, nor by bullets from a gun.

Silent sounds that echo loudly, sadly heard by very few,

Warriors felled by chemical agents, experimental vaccines, and D. U.


Exotic potions and fancy tools of war, made right there close to you,

In labs securely hidden away from the nuisance of scrutiny’s view,

And the outrage that would surely come, if the public only knew.

Potions made to kill by tens of thousands, the innocence en masse,

Horrid deaths delivered by air, on one single cowardly pass.

Invented by greedy, uncompassionate men, unable to see the light,

Light that moral man can easily view on even the darkest night.


Years of pain and agony pass as the warrior makes a stand,

Years far removed from burning battlefields, in that far off foreign land.

His longest battle lasting decades after turning in his guns,

A battle fought alone, inside himself; the once-proud warrior – now only one.

He ponders through tears and pain at night, why no one seems to care,

Why he’s left alone to suffer, a heavy burden his soul to bear.

Once cherished vows of unity seem to matter little now;

“Aim High” and “Semper Fi” now faint echoes of years gone by.


The sickened warrior fades away, and will soon obediently die,

Whilst new recruits line up, eager for indoctrination, believing every lie,

That their government will be there in the end, at end of the treacherous road,

To pick them up, dust them off, and help them with their load.

That is of course, if they just so happen not to die,

In the heat of the very latest, most fashionable battle cry,

Wars that still today continue justified,

By nothing more than well-worn, greedy, perverse little lies.


In the end a sickened warrior will more times lose than he will win,

His valiant battle almost always meets a very quiet end.

The silence of his untimely death will not echo across this land.

Nor will his passing be celebrated on the hippest cable news,

As if he fell in battle, another romantic hero to be used,

To justify another lie, enticing more recruits,

To join in endless wars that only serve the men in suits.

 The cowardly elusive pigs; their lives defined by greed,

Pigs of war, pigs of wealth, immoral pigs indeed.


So turn your backs America, and wait for the sound to go,

Ignore your warrior’s silent screams for help; pretend it isn’t so.

Allow another American patriot to be poisoned and slowly killed,

The result of your apathy and ignorance, your silence and lack of will.

But know in the very end by this, your destiny surely will,

That in the end it’s YOU, who will execute the kill.


Consider yourself forewarned today, no war is ever won,

Without the willing sacrifice of someone’s precious son.

Nor is anything of value lost, without considerable cost,

His senseless death in time will surely be your biggest loss.


Your blindness will one day by and by, destroy what’s dear to you,

Your liberty, your lifestyle, your children’s right to speak their mind,

All of this will one day vanish, because you remained so blind,

To what you’ve let your government do,

For nearly twenty years and two,

Turning their backs on the painful endless plight,

Of thousands of sickened Gulf War Veterans;

Stubborn heroes who refuse to give up the fight.


In summary I surely hope that you will sleep in peace tonight,

But before you lay I hope you pray, and think about his plight,

Pray for a dying warrior who prays that you will join his fight.


Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Twenty years ago, Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania resident, Jim Cassidy, was part of an elite Army Special Forces team and went on to serve as an intelligence agent in the Army Reserves. Now life for the 46-year-old veteran is a daily struggle to live with ALS. He uses a wheelchair, eats through a feeding tube and breathes with the assistance of a ventilator. He talks through a special computer program that reads eye movements. Scientists have yet to determine the cause of Cassidy’s ALS, but according to them, his serving in the military put him at a greater risk of developing the disease.

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