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Maine Public is encouraging Vietnam Veterans and anyone affected by the conflict to share their own story on the Vietnam War and correspondence they had during or after the war. Submissions can be written, recorded or videotaped and sent to Maine Public at mystory@mainepublic.org. The stories will be collected and archived here and some may be shared with the greater Maine audience.Watch "Courageous Conversations."Click HERE for support opportunities for veterans in crisis.

Alan Wingard, Appleton

I never served in the military during any war. However, I felt strongly opposed to USA’s involvement in the Vietnam War. I recall a startling moment on TV news showing a Viet officer shooting a standing man in the head. Later the poem below reflected on the incident. (Call it collateral damage.) You’re welcome to use it in any context you deem appropriate. Of course it’s okay should you decide against sharing it with your audience.

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BEFORE OUR EYES IN THE LIVING ROOM

Murdered in Vietnam by an Viet office, who later sold real estate in Texas, a snap from the sidearm jerked his victim’s head aside.

Something dark pulsed from a dark hole, as if the slug, which could not be seen, yanked a bung from his skull, instead of firing something into it.

His grimace spoke to me in living color.

I cried.