Medic Poetry, Prose, Cartoons and Video

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Blood On My DD214

​Doc David Rose

served as medic in that damn war
still not sure what we fought for
did a lot to save my brothers
even saved some of the others

stopping the bleeding was my main job
a lot to lose with each heart throb
grew up fast and learned a lot
had to make the bleeding clot

still have nightmares to this day
seems I can not get away
the cries and screams I heard so loud
hang around as a big dark cloud

destined to live my life with stress
my fate was sealed when I ETS
a nasty curse I should have foreseen
when blood was spilled on my 214

bloody papers I carry through life
a reminder of my wartime strife
like giving me the boot as I walk out the door
painful memories to my very core

Protest The War Not The Warrior

​Doc David Rose

Served a year in that damn war
Doing what Uncle Sam called me for

Didn't know the violence stateside
Busy trying to save my own hyde

Riots on the campus lawn
Students struck with the baton

In the streets were riots a plenty
Not just some there were many

I was sheltered from it all
Working long and taking call

Coming home was another war
Protesters met me at the shore

Protest the war I'll join you there
Respect the medic I was unaware

I was just doing my job
Outside the wire of my FOB

Now I go welcome them back
Cheer them as they step the tarmac

I want to try to make it right
Our history I seek to rewrite

The Fear In My Doctors Eyes

​Doc David Rose

I have seen the fear in their eyes
When they first realize
What I did during the war
And my issues we have yet to explore

One of my docs even backed away
I'm over my head, as if to say
So he referred me to another doc
I'm tossed around like a dirty old sock

I was referred to an in-patient facility
Do I really have that much instability
I wasn't admitted in though
They said I needed more time to grow

I was actually rejected
For the reason I should have been selected
That's like going to the doctor for a vaccine
And he says you're too sick to be seen

I wish I knew what my docs are thinking
When they stare at me without blinking
My PTSD must be rather severe
When they look at me with such fear


Doc Kerry Pardue

I sit in a darkened room with the dull hum of a channel now gone off the air. The flickering light awakens me once again at 2:30 in the AM. Sitting numb of feeling and a great sense of loss and wonder who cares for we are at war again. Once again, American blood spilled on land far from home. I wonder and pray for the families of the 111 who have died thus far, this, the 13th day of the war.

I find it difficult to separate myself from a war I faced in my youth from this one. Why do we not learn about the downsides of war? It is the question of the hour. Part of my mind and heart say we need to set another people free--been there, done that. That one cost over 50,000 lives, listed on a black wall in Washington, DC, and those people are still not free.

Somewhere, tonight in Baghdad, someone's father and husband will go do his janitor job and will not come home tomorrow from his "safe" job as he has become expendable.

Along with the building, he is caring for. A wife and children will go searching and discover he is gone. A small child will awaken by a short round with wounds she won't understand and will search for mom and father, sister, and brother too, unable to find them. Where is her freedom?

Some youth of America who was writing a letter home telling his family and loved ones it is almost over, the worst is done. But he will never mail that letter, much less finish it as a suicide bomber will blow him to kingdom come. A knock at the door at 2:00 p.m. telling them that their loved one is gone. Some price for freedom!

I sit here all alone barracked in-a prisoner in my home. Afraid to venture out, my emotions have made me ugly. My heart is hurting for the soldiers far away from home. I want to stop their dying, and just as my war of 50 years ago, I still can't stop the dying or fix the torn bleeding parts.

As with so many years ago, I served my country and came home searching for a medic to make me whole, but the Band-Aids keep coming off, exposing my heart and soul. Who will fix the medic I still want to know? This weekend is our reunion of the men of the 2/47th Infantry I won't be going they remind me of a war fought long ago it is not memories that I seek but freedom for my sad and weary soul.


Doc Kerry Pardue

When we were both young we became fast friends.
I remember the laughs and the tears we shared
As we prepare for the marriage encounter weekends
Discovery of sharing feelings; struggling to grow.
Your laughter was contagious your sense of humor bordered on extreme
But your wisdom and caring were unique
You were never afraid to challenge people or
Even confront them because you cared
Your smile was amazing to me.
I remember the antique cars that you rode in the parades.
Growing your own popcorn and raising pigeons
Then the story of seeing Meredith in the
Orange jumpsuit knowing at that moment she was the one for you.
Helping you move and having you call me an ox
As I lifted the piano and carried it down the steps.
The fun we used to have playing Truth or Dare
You were never afraid to ask the hard questions
When I moved away we sort of became lost
Our reunions from time to time were joyous
And our friendship remained thru out the years
As I think of you in heaven
I know you will make the angels blush and
St. Peter will just shake his head when he hears them complain and
All he can say is that Chris Jackson acting up again?
Just remember that you were loved by many I will miss you, my dear friend,
I am glad that you passed my way.


Doc Kerry Pardue

Sixty-three Christmas's have come and gone
Some with wonderful memories
Some have been forgotten
The first one I shared with my wife
Still is magical to me I in Vietnam and she in Maryland
Our Christmases past have been for Children
Now for grandchildren to be shared
Today I am in Arizona and my wife in Alabama
Christmas this year is spent alone
Meal fixed and put away
Music is not played
As I have gotten older I find
My life is duller and energy is less
It is easier to fall into self-pity
Go to bed early
Wake up refreshed
Yesterday's Christmas has been put to rest
So my mind is clearer
My heart is not as lonely
The Christmas blues aren't as bad today
It is time to get busy
To pack the blues away
Begin a new wood project
I know I am not perfect
Mistakes have been made in the past
But I know that God isn't finished with me yet
Time to play music and dance
To remember the good Christmas's of the past
To build a new dollhouse and make a child's wish come true
It is time to think of others
To create new memories for them and me
Goodbye Christmas blues Merry Christmas to me


Doc Kerry Pardue

Today I saw an old photo that
Reminded me of a time
When I was alone and afraid
This photo also brought back
Fond memories of when you were there
To greet me and others
You were that touch of a place called Home
You were strays but hung around
To be the "medic dogs"
Not sure who named you but you were
Our friends that wagged their tails
When we come back in from the field
You asked nothing but to be patted
And be hugged from time to time
You shared time with us that was
Difficult and hard
You gave us comfort, love, and face licks
That reminded us of home from time-to-time
As I look at your photo it brings a smile
And feelings of warmth to this old soldiers heart
Thanks for being there and making my time go better
You both gave us a sense of sanity in an insane world

Doc Donald Schmidt is a 1961 Combat Medic Veteran who is sharing his experiences and prose in the page titled Old Friends. Click on the pages to enlarge.

Not In Vain

​Doc David Rose

​Let the courage
of our fallen warriors
be our guiding light;
as we live a joyful,
free life, else our
protectors death
be in vain.

I Became

​Doc David Rose

Drafted from school to military service
I became a conscience objector

No weapon to carry no man would I kill
I became a combat medic

Deployed to Nam to support my brothers
I became an ER medic

Displayed some skills and moved on up
I became a surgeons first assistant

Medics are dead we need more help
I became a dust off medic

Have a special ops to do
I became a go to medic

Tour is over time to go home
I became a soul survivor

Flew back home to see my friends
I became a baby killer

Asked the VA for some help
I became an Oedipus Conflict

Placed me in a therapy group
I became a "no longer a fit"

When our troops came home from Iraq?
I became a cheerleader

The Cure For PTSD

​Doc David Rose

The rules say to
Toe the line
Get it right
Or pay the fine

1 is heavy
1 is lite
You shouldn't throw
With all your might

Arch it high
To stay on board
Hear the cheers
When you have scored

1 is on
3 is in
Make 15
You will win

There's so much more
That's attractive to me
I think it's called
Team comradery

So do your best
and you could win
Your dainty little crown
Will make us all grin

More than a game
It reduces stress
Could be the cure
For PTS.

Every Leaf I Shook

​Doc David Rose

I may not remember what I did yesterday
And I may not remember some words that I say

I may not remember your name
And I may not remember who won the big game

But almost fifty years after the war
I remember every wound I cared for

I remember every leaf I shook
I remember every breath I took

I guess the war impressed my young mind
There are some memories I can't leave behind

​Doc David Rose

I don't sit and think about my PTSD
My PTSD thinks about me and I sit.


Doc Kerry Pardue

It is Christmas Eve, so much to do
Baking pies, fudge, and cookies
Wrapping the last of the gifts
Watering the tree to keep it fresh
Dusting, vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms
Checking my list, almost done
Then get ready to go to church to welcome
Baby Jesus return to earth
I pour myself a cup of coffee
As I sit down to catch my breath
I think about the first Christmas
That I shared with my wife
She is Baltimore and me in Vietnam
It is the Christmas I found that I loved her
And I knew I wanted to spend
The rest of my life with her
Thoughts of first Christmas
Spent with our children
And see the look of surprise as they
Receive the gifts that they wanted
To see them as they are now grown
Carrying on traditions with their families
That they learned from their mom and me
I think about what I want
For Christmas this year
It is not some gift-wrapped
In pretty paper
It is more important than that
It is to keep our soldiers safe today
And not have that black car
Arrive at a family's driveway
Two soldiers knocking at their door
With the news that their child
Has died serving their Country today
That is the prayer I offer today


Doc Kerry Pardue

I was just 19 years old
When I answered my nation's call
It was time to put my life on the line
For a thing called liberty and justice for all
Went off to Basic then Medic training
But was not prepared for what was in store
Besides who knows the difference
Between conflict and a war
Youthful eyes turned very old
When I saw the horror on the battlefield
I became indifferent to the trauma
That was before me, at 20 years old
I returned home wanting to forget it all
But I was a different man
My mind and heart had aged an eternity
War had taken its toll
Life is now filled with sleepless nights
War still raging on in my head
And though I fear no one
I am afraid to go to bed
There are others just like me
Still fighting to stay alive
I certainly am not one of those
Who made widows of our wives
When our country called me
I went above and beyond and more
But when I called on the VA
They refused to answer the door


Doc Kerry Pardue

I awaken to a world of warm sunshine
The beginning of a brand-new day
The day can be wasted or used in a unique way
How I spend it will affect my attitude
For other tomorrows
The past is behind me
Been stuck there far too long
It is time for a new beginning
Seize new opportunity
Today is a guide to build upon future days
I choose to respect life
I choose to be more loving and kind
I choose to be loving in both word and deed
I choose to begin with changing me
I choose to be thankful for events in my life even PTSD
I choose by loving me.


Doc Kerry Pardue

Another night of little sleep
One of the endless nights of little sleep
Such is my life
Night, after night, after night
I dream about another place another time
Of taking lives
And losing others
The sounds, the voices, the images so real;
Then I realize that they aren't happening now
Wish I could leave them in the past
Almost asleep now
Did you see that????
A rat the size of a cat!!!


Doc Kerry Pardue

Uncle Sam called my name
I answered his call
My name was whispered in prayer
By my brother, sister, mom, wife, dear friends
Bullet with my name on it found me
In the jungle war called Vietnam
My medic tried to save me
But God called me home.
Dragged out of the mud, placed in a bag
My buddies are angry
But over time I am forgotten
As they can't remember my name
Buried away from home
My name is cold on some stone
Family and friends used to come to see me
Been many years since they have come
My name is placed on some dark blacken stone
Placed in a town called Washington, DC
50 years have come and gone since I parted this earth
Who dares to touch my name?
Hello Doc, Where have you been? Welcome Home

Deployed To America

​Doc David Rose

Thought I served my country well
Lucky survivor of that jungle from hell
Didn't want a shaded past
Chose to serve when I was asked

Coming home from that senseless war
Couldn't know what I had in store
Angry protestors threw food on me
Radical act you must agree

Damaged my life that moment in time
As I cleared the food, spit and slime
A personal war began in me
It's clear for all who care to see

Once at home about the same
Friends gave me a lot of shame
Stress so high I started to bleed
Asked for help in my time of need

VA said it all looks good
Shell shock is what they understood
I started to run with nowhere to hide
Couldn't find a doc to confide

All my life I kept so busy
Ran around in an unending tizzy
Couldn't face my feelings then
Intrusive thoughts again and again

Finally I had to seek some support
The VA was my last resort
"PTSD is what fills your head
Take these pills just before bed"

My hands and face all went numb
To these new meds I had just succumb
Tried to stand up but sat right back down
Because my head was spinning 'round

My pressure spiked to 183
How are these pills so good for me
Please just send me back to war
Better than these meds I abhor

300 hours of counseling endured
With no resolution being assured
Then a diagnosis of oedipus conflict
The deepest wound my Doc could inflict

We medics have a number one rule
"Do no harm" we learned in school
Perhaps the VA should adopt this saying
Might reduce the price we are paying

Some are hit and lost right away
Some come home and die a little everyday
But there's hope after that lousy war
Therapeutic writing can help us restore

I Know The Way Out

​Doc David Rose

​A PTS warrior fell into a well
Being trapped he started to yell

Many people walked by
But no one answered his cry

Finally a lawyer ran past
The warrior had to talk fast

"Will you help me out?"
"Here's my card. I'm on a steady route."

Then a priest heard the warriors plea.
The warrior knew he would be free.

"Will you help me out?" The warrior asked.
He threw down a prayer card as he passed.

The warrior then noticed a doctor walking by.
Surely this man will be my ally.

"Will you help me out?" The warrior said.
The doc threw down a script for two before bed.

The warrior was discouraged and about to quit.
When he noticed a war brother at the top of the pit.

"Can you help me out?" The warrior asked one last time.
"Please help me out of this messy slime."

The warrior on the top jumped into the well too.
"Why did you do that? What's wrong with you?"

"Rest easy my brother. Don't have a doubt.
I've been here before. I know the way out."

Inspired by Gunny Hammer
Written into poetic format by Doc David Rose
didn't carry a weapon in war
but all of that changed
when I hit my homeland shore


Doc Kerry Pardue

(About going to an LZ in the Plain of Reeds)
Line up; hurry up and wait
Weighted down battle gear packed soldier
Going on a mission in a God-forsaken land
Here they come, the copters
Huey's graceful in flight
With their distinctive song of Woop-Woop
The wind grabs dirt and rock
Hitting us all around
We board the copters one by one
Once airborne flying fast and high
I am amazed by the beauty of the land
Seems so peaceful farmers farming the land
Children and water buffalo
Playing in the paddies
Seemingly unconcerned by our approach
The signal comes to lock and load
We descend fast and low
Hovering above the earth
We jump off, landing in the mud
Then the bullets start flying
Oh God, it's another Hot LZ
Confusion is rampant
Explosions all around
Then the words, "I'm hit" echo from my throat
I call for medic then I realize I am he
I hear others call my name
I run to the voices rendering aid where I can
My wounds will have to wait
These are my men
It is time to do my magic medicine show


Doc Kerry Pardue

Once we served together
A bond that made us stronger than brothers
Some of us have not seen you for 45-50 years
Year by year, month to month, week by week
Sometimes day by day we see you come to the WALL
A family member or a friend brings you
Part of your ashes are left here, as this is, where you
Wanted to come to be with us once again
Ashes at the Wall, it only seems right that you come
To spend an eternity here with us
We have not forgotten and are glad that you made it home
To raise families and live the American Dream
We were cut down in our youth unable to live that dream
You lived it for us, we have enjoyed the journey that you had
We are dust returning to dust, you are ashes mixing with us
To join together in our final resting place
We will watch together as family and friends come to visit
We will hear their words of goodbye, the prayers of regrets,
The wishes that they wished to have spent just one more day
We stand there taking it all in with an inter-peace
And a spirit of thankfulness
We see them stop in front of the statute of the three soldiers,
Around the 8 trees at the Women's Memorial or somewhere on the lawn
To leave ashes, leaving a part of you to be with us
To become Ashes at the Wall, WELCOME HOME