I have come to believe that in life, History is the fortune of treasures not yet found.
We all have a story to tell, chapters to embrace and shadows to cast.
Legends of lessons left forward
THE UNCLAIMED PURPLE HEART
I met a Vietnam vet today, He had found comfort
on the steps of a local shelter.
Such burdened thoughts, bowed his head in sorrowed shame. I offered him a pensive smile as he reflected his hunger for my attention. I paused my destination as his petitioning eyes invited my heart to hear his untold story that anchored each wounded word behind harbored tears.
I watched as his young arms held a dying friend, I witnessed his torment of his tale and question of patriotic reason.
Echo’s of heroic hell armored behind honor and childhood dreams.
The pain, quickly chased away by enemy fire challenged his faith of duty to a country not a god.
I heard his cries of questioned reason of each painful loss of fallen brothers, whispered hero’s of faded glory.
I felt the agony of loneliness behind his unclaimed Purple Heart as my tears offered reflected embrace and comfort, affirming that I had heard his untold story.
Our eyes locked for a moment, sharing a quest for hope and understanding.
I honored him as a soldier, an American and a hero.
He was a veteran, a stranger in a moments passing, a mentor of life lessons.
I was thankful for the gifts his story offered my own life journeys, yet we had not even spoken a word.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.