I wrote a poem about "The Broken Toy Soldier" for my daughter after her Father served in Viet Nam.

Bobbie Benedict


Dedicated to Jerry Wayne Stone

They called it an "era" not really a war Yet it took him away from his family afar He fought for his country, yet he gained no glory, It was called "really sad," Just a terrible story! He left home at nineteen with a sparkle in his eye But he returned with a hollow inside, and no one will try. They taught him to kill, to mame, and destroy This little toy soldier no longer a boy! His manhood felt threatened, as fear gripped his mind, This awesome battle, never clearly defined. This killing was useless, the time spent seemed a waste And then it was over, it ended in haste. But what of those feelings the soldier still felt? He questioned the reasons to God...as he knelt. It felt so " unfinished," so futile to him, His courage now shaken, his hope now grown dim. He remembered his child bride left lonely "stateside" He remembered his family, their fears trying to hide. He came back to it all, as if nothing had changed, Knowing deep down inside himself...he'd never be the same! I then watched from a distance, his life as it unfolded. And then I kept praying to God that his dreams would be molded. He deserved so much more than life had dealt to his hand. This "little toy soldier"...this young "broken" man. Yes, I was his first love, his child bride, you see That young girl he had left at stateside was me. I vowed my allegience, to await his joyous return But we were robbed of that moment...to this day I still yearn. To see that sparkling-eyed sapling that strode off to war, Come home feeling victorious, being a "star" But instead he returned with disgrace in his eyes, And his all those painful memories behind a disguise. My "soldier boy" left...determined to defend Yet it gnawed at his spirit, right up till the end. All his dreams, all his hopes, were now covered in sorrow. He couldn't face his "today," much less plan a tomorrow. I sat silently watching with tears streaming down my face. At this wasted young human this "war" had disgraced He was given no fanfair, no honor at his grave, No one stood shouting, about him "being brave." No one applauded his "life's sacrifice" Yet not many knew...he'd long ago given his life. His country had claimed it in a "gloryless" fight God, where is the justice? This just isn't right. But in my heart, knew that "early young lad" Who would have made a fine person...a husband...a Dad... So, in my silence, gave him his honor...his praise... One final "salute" for this war...his disgrace... My "Broken Toy Soldier" didn't die on the field in Nam... He died long and suffering, the disease lingering on... Agent Orange had claimed his lifeblood and joy... Had taken my darling, my green-eyed handsome boy. No one can 'ere know the pain unless they've walked down this path, The hurt, the pain, the trauma, the wrath... I knew when the thud of the casket hit that dirt floor... My "Broken Toy Soldier" would suffer no more. Bobbie Benedict

Copyright © Aug.1989 By Bobbie Benedict, All Rights Reserved

You can contact Bobbie at: bobbiebenedict@hotmail.com or her daughter, Kim at kimj3005@hotmail.com