Young man, you ask me who I am,
and why I wear this faded yellow ribbon...
I am the woman, who held your dying uncle's hand,
and wrote a letter once that broke your grandma's heart.
I am she, who met the 'Dust-Off' at the door,
and carried bloodied, broken bodies through to triage.
Then cut through muddied boots and bloody combat gear,
and washed away the blood and fear and jungle.
I kept the faith when even hope was lost,
and cried within, as young lives ebbed away.
Those hours when death, frosted dying eyes,
mine, was the last smile many young men saw.
I have the voice, that blinded eyes remember,
and the touch of reassurance through the pain.
In darkest night when combat would return,
it was my name that many soldiers called.
I have dressed their wounds, and wiped away their tears,
and often read them letters sent from mum.
I hugged them close, and willed each one my strength,
and smiled and prayed that each boy made it home.
And here today, you ask me who I am...
I am the Nurse, who served in Vietnam.
(Tribute to Pam M-T and all the Kiwi Nurses)
Mike Subritzky 2001