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Price of War by Joe Henchy

What Price War?


The list is long.  I only saw a few.


Plastered to a hillside by H&I machine gun fire.

Each vertical and horizontal strafe coming closer.

Frozen with terror. Unable to move.

Six feet. Two feet. The next one kills me. The next...

Silence. Sweet, lovely, blessed silence.

Our machine gunners stopped just in time.


An explosion. The radio crackled, "casualty with two flat tires."

I went with the corpsman, carrying a stretcher.

The guy I came in the Corps with had stepped on a shoe box mine.

I brought his boots back to the stretcher, with his feet still inside.


An old mama-san washing clothes on a rock.

A horny Marine who needed some.

"Too old, sargie" she whimpered.

He left her a cigarette.



Ten minutes of shooting, shouting, screaming.

Pull back.

Three wounded, one dead.

"A perfect raid" said the Lieutenant.

Are you going to put that in the letter to Sam Brown’s mother?


But each war has its own twist.

This one's logo is emerging.

Limit the impact to the public.

Send the same troops back

over and over again. But the

Human mind is not a rubber band.

Stretched too often. It snaps.

Hadditha, Hamdania, Mahmoudiya.

Our kids did that.


You were against this war.

Did you do everything you could to stop it?

You were for this war.

Have you opened your eyes in the last three years?


No. There is plenty of room on the triggers

of Hadittha for all of our fingers.

We must now accept the ultimate price of war.

Our humanity.


                                                            Joe Henchy

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