The Nightmares of War Through the Eyes of my Father

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People sometimes don't understand why
Those whom survived a battle of War.
Can still cry and feel the pain of years past
Reliving the Blood and the Gore.
My Father speaks of his horrible nightmares
That are forever imbedded into his mind.
And reminds me that when there is a War
All that takes place isn't at all kind.
For your survive reliving the memories
Being repeated to the very end of your days.
And no matter what you do to try and escape
Those visions will never go away.
Everyone keeps telling just how lucky He is
That He survived such a horrible fate.
But memories keep playing over and over again
Unkind and never giving the survivor a break.
Invading planes coming from all over the sky
And everyone does whatever to protect and survive.
The deck is blazed with Hells own fire
And you can't tell the Dead from those Alive.
In shock, you watch as a Sailor goes running
Across the burning deck as if in a quest.
And bullets from the Planes come flying down
Through His back, then leaving His Chest.
And you wonder what keeps this Sailor going
In this World that has gone all wrong.
Till you see His face completely distorted
Realizing then He is already dead and gone.
For the Brain still commands continue to run
In a Body that has no longer a Soul.
And His feet are still running in mid-air
As over the Ship's side He now goes.
You can hear the screaming of those dying
Till you realize it is Your Own voice.
You are afraid at what might now happen
But continue fighting for you have no choice.
You see Other Sailors firing at the Enemy
With tears running down Their Face.
And then there are those lost in confusion
Forgetting how their connected to this place.
For the Blood blinds their vision
And the pain fogs the Mind.
There's the fear that Death now approaches
Proving again that War isn't kind.
The Deck isn't the only living Hell
That now exists upon the Ship of Doom.
For inside its belly cries the confused Forgotten
Their Floating Home now becoming Their Tomb.
Some try to fight the Sea that now approaches
Into the compartments ripped apart.
Their Bodies smashed against the metal girders
And Their Minds now entering the Dark.
Where the Sea hasn't touched as of yet
The Fire consumes all it now does past.
Leaving Bodies no longer unrecognizable
Burnt, Broken and Shattered like Glass.
As for the Pilots, One cannot believe
It's His Plane that plummets from the Sky.
You believe this only happens to others
Now that it is You, You question why?
The Waves seem to reach up towards the plane descending
And the pilot can't move but watch in fright.
There's no sound, vision nor beat of the Heart
For something has turned out the lights.
A Plane damaged makes an emergency landing
And a cable comes out to stop its flight.
For the Ship isn't long enough for descending
So the cable is used to make it just right.
The Cable has snapped and like an uncontrollable whip
Cuts all that gets into its path right then.
War is unkind and never gives a break
When it comes to the Death of Men.
A Sailor is struck by the razor sharp cable
Not realizing what exactly happened just yet.
Till His upper Torso tumbles over into the Sea
The lower Torso slowly slumps onto the deck.
And the Plane that hasn't been slowed down
Crashes into Others exploding in flames.
Causing more confusion in the destruction
Killing even more and causing great pain.
The Battle noise never seems to stop now
And the Death keeps climbing in tow.
And to stay on the Ship is no longer an option
So to survive, it's over the side you must go.
But the Sea, just like the Ship, is no safer
Than the destruction happening on the deck.
For the Sea holds also a greatest of secrets
Not being explored completely as of yet.
You’re a bigger target to be shot at in the water
Stained with torn bodies with the debris.
Again Death shows another way of dying
From the Sharks that smell blood in the Sea.
Sailors floating in the water now wait for rescue
And it isn't that no One is there at the time.
The War goes on and it stops for no one in need
It's the freezing Sea that isn't now kind.
When it is finally known that time has run out
And no One on the ship can be rescued anymore.
The order is given to torpedo the Doomed Ship
Adding to the Survivors more memories of Horror.
As the Ship flips as it goes down for all those to see
Waiting for rescue to come in Water so cold.
Thoughts are lost in matters now faced
And no One feels like the Brave or the Bold.
Holding on to others that need complete assistance
Or even showing signs of life still yet.
Decisions being made of Life over Death
Some will live forever with the regrets.
For no One who has even been in a War
Can understand how choices are made.
Or have the right to judge these forgotten Men
Unless they have made choices of the same.
My Father is a most compassionate Man
Now trying to be a Dad that His Dad couldn't be.
And I have seen the pain in My Youthful life
From that time He was a Sailor at Sea.
From the wounds He received in that Battle back then
That caused Him great pain through His Life.
To those nightmares that would never end
That couldn't be shared with Family or Wife.
As Kids, wrestling with Our Dad still young in years
We would see the scars left on His back.
Scrap Metal, Bullets left in Him till his dying day
To the Steel Plate where the Skull had cracked.
Or Ribs that were broken and never put right
Scrap Metal still imbedded into His Spine.
Six months in a coma on his return to the states
From fighting a War that never was kind.
There are nightmares upon nightmares
That seem to go on through all time.
And then there are the secrets never told
That are kept hidden in Our Own Minds.
Years later Dad spoke of secrets He knew
That haunted Him for many a years.
It seemed to hurt but glad to finally speak
Showing me how much He was sincere.
When you are in icy water oh so deep
And don't know if rescue will even come.
Seeing the dying happening all around you
Makes you wonder if you’re the next One.
You look at the Stranger your clinging too
Going in and out in an unconscious state.
You wonder if you should just let Him go
And leave Him up to His Own ending fate.
For the Mae West Vests that You both wear
Holds no air to keep either of you afloat.
For bullets and debris has left them all torn
The thought of Rescue now turns into a joke.
You look at other Sailors in the Sea of Despair
Scared at the reality of the Death all around.
Some are screaming from wounds they have received
While others are tattered and floating face down.
You wonder if the Sailor is still alive in your arms
Or has He finally gone to God's Heavenly Home.
It would be so easy now to just push Him away
But you don't because of the fear of being alone.
Damn if You do and damn if you don't
There are no answers to justify whatever you do.
You continue holding on to an Unknown Sailor for dear life
And pray that God's belief turns out to be true.
If your mind would just stop and give you a rest
And if the water would stop numbing Your Soul.
If you could just get Your Mind to think again straight
Maybe then you could get some control.
But Your Mind continues its loud buzzing noise
And you curse at God for allowing such crimes.
Then you cry out for some kind of forgiveness
But you have now learned that War isn't kind.
It seems like days when it has only been hours
When You are finally taken out of the Sea.
And the Body lets the mind go into darkness
No longer caring as to what Your Fate will be.
Time is a funny game that God has created
For it can choose either to be good or bad.
It can speed up to cause us to be happy
Or slow down when we don't wish to be sad.
And the age of the Person doesn't really matter
When lives are connected to choices you make.
Wondering if it was better to die in the Battle
Or to die not living with the nightmares so great.
So you live with them as the years go by now
Examining the horrors over again and again.
Some you have finally accepted finding the reasons
And some just seem to never want to end.
You learn as you get older in life
That the health seems to get worse with age.
Life itself turns out to be the greatest battle
And you’re an Actor taking part on the stage.
For the wounds you’ve received in the Battle
Reaching its final climatic end of the play.
And the stage lights are starting to dim now
Like your shipmates you too will be going away.
The old Metals don't put food on the table
Nor stops the Courts from taking Your Home.
You've become a victim of society whom have forgotten
And just like the Battles, You die alone.
To my son I realize my comrades always remain with me
And if you believe in God, You know they’re fine.
But as a Veteran don't forget your brothers and sisters
In this World of Men that sometimes aren't as kind.

Submitted by:
James Eugene Fonder

About the author:
My father, James Louis Fonder was an orphan whom had no one that cared what became of him. He was put in the Guardian Angels Catholic Orphanage when he was 10 years old and he joined the Navy when he turned 17 years old during the Second World War. He never told me his story in the Navy till I got out of the Army during the Vietnam War. He recieved the Purple Heart and Silver Star and I never knew till I became a Veteran like him. Here is the story in Poem I wrote for him before he died.

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