A Minnesota PBS Initiative

For My Scouts

I have built a house within my heart
where all of my deceased Highland Scouts live. 

The house is a permanent home, built on stilts,
though the windows are draped in black
and the tenants are never coming back.

Grief is mine... and I am selfish...
I hoard their memories with relish.

Inside are stored essences of each
...of good times and bad
of all the things that have been.

I can lift the curtains when I am lonely
and they all laugh and live again...
Many of my Scouts have lived there a
long time... with a Black Panther
painted upon their doors. 

Inside I can hear their laughter
and my tears fall upon the floor...

I'm on the upper left- sitting with Montagnard children and friends on the steps of a Montagnard Rung House or Happy House.

Biographical Details

Primary Location During Vietnam: Kon Tum, Vietnam Vietnam location marker

Story Subject: Military Service

Military Branch: U.S. Army

Dates of Service: 1966 - 1968

Unit: MACV Advisory Team 24

Specialty: Infantry

Young G.I. smiling.

Me in late 1967 or early 1968 before Tet.

This story is part of the Spotlight on Poetry collection.

Story Themes: 1966, 1967, 1968, Army, Art, Brotherhood, Charles Schwiderski, Death and Loss, Grief, Kon Tum, Kontum, MACV Advisory Team 24, North Dakota, Poetry, West Fargo

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