To Judi, whose love and support sustained me during the most difficult days of my Navy tour. In many ways, she endured Vietnam just as I did. One evening in 1985, she saw that I was upset and concerned about a friend from Vietnam who was having a difficult time. She asked, "Why not forget it? It happened long ago!" I struggled to find the words. That night, I put the following thoughts down on paper...                 
She said "Why not forget it? It happened long ago!"   The deepest wounds, cut to the heart,
Will always heal slow.

The nightmare of the Mekong,
Of death, despair and fear,
Could not be left in Vietnam.

It's fresh.
It's crisp.
It's here.

My body's strong. My mind is sound.
I suffer from no pain,
But once a man has been to war,
He's never quite the same.

For I know war for what it is.
No glory in the fight.
It's friends who die, and crippled kids,
And voices crying in the night.

I know the chill of Monsoon rain,
The heat of tropic sun,
The loneliness and heartache,
The power of a gun.

For some it never happened,
And most will never know.
Except for those who fought the war,
It happened long ago 

                                   By Terry Sater
Poetry & Stories
It Happened Long Ago   
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