I’d meant to publish this in it’s musical format in memory of my Brothers, but I’m just not there yet.  My voice is still shot, my guitar work is shaky, so, I decided to let it go as is for today and I’ll get back to the musical version as I can.  They wont mind as long as I didn’t forget.

RIP Santi.  I know you’re watching.  I miss you Brother.  Hi to Prince and Rex.

Engage Me

What was the price I was supposed to pay?

What quest did I fail, to whom should I pray?

Did I come back too whole to warrant your greetings?

Was my soul not enough, or were your graces too fleeting?

Best friends dying, some gone in the head

Others are drowning in poisons instead

No one back home cares a damn for this mess

They wish it was over they do confess


Engage me

I’m not a name on a wall

Engage me

Just one little call

Engage me

Why do you stall

Engage me

This will end in a fall


If you live through the chaos and make it back home

They’ll think you’ve been brainwashed, a killer drone

If you don’t conform and act just like them

You’ll be banished for life, scorned and condemned

People will leave you without recourse

No one will show one bit of remorse

They’re done with you now, you’ve outlived your need

Move along soldier, we’ve got a new breed


Engage me

There’s a price on my head

Engage me

I’ve made mistakes that I dread

Engage me

I’ve been so scared that I fled

Engage me

Give me some purpose instead


Once you were golden, the cream of the crop

The best of the best that no one could stop

Your buds had your six, they kept you alive

Twenty-four seven, three sixty-five

Now you’re a nothing, you’re on your own

Left for dead in the VA zone.

Nothing can be done, there’s nothing we can do

Just roll over there, boy, join the twenty-two.


Engage me

I cannot live in this place

Engage me

So, I don’t fall on my face

Engage me

My choices end in disgrace

Engage me

Give me a chance in this race


Nobody warned us how you would turn

That in a moment you could burn

All that we gave, and all that we saved

You’d be happy to lend us an early grave.

What if we didn’t answer the call

What if we turned away from the brawl

How would your towers still stand tall

What good would be done if we all fall


Engage me

I don’t want to be through

Engage me

I am one of you

Engage me

Can’t you see that it’s true

Engage me

I bleed red, white, and blue


I am just like you


Just yesterday (for Santi)

I saw you yesterday

You weren’t so far away

Not as far as most

But still, not so very close.

If I could have touched you

The ripples would roll through

To the end of days

And in so many ways

Make our spirits one

Our time would not be done

You wouldn’t be so far away

I saw you, just yesterday. 


Please remember my brother with me today.  Santi gave all on this day in 1972.  We all lost that day.

SP4 Santiago Herrera Escobar, US Army Scout and Patrol Dag Handler, 34th Patrol Dog Platoon, 3rd Bde., 1st Cav., Bien Hoa, RVN.  RIP Brother. 


The day after

WhySoldiersCryI’ve not held California responsible for the way they vote since I’ve been here (1987). This ain’t Reagan’s California, not by a long shot. This is more like Che’s California. There’s an epic battle coming here in a few days regarding the next democrat to run for president. Killary has her fair share of followers but I have a feeling a lot of young and Hispanics are going to be feeling the Bern come June 7. This socialist leaning state is going to choose a socialist I believe and that, coupled with the renewed call for Killary’s head over her misuse of a personal server to do our county’s business, might just be enough to make the DNC a rather entertaining side story to the general election.

That’s not why I’m writing today though. There are other things Americana that I don’t see here in Cali or pretty much anywhere very often, if at all.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, I witnessed something I’ve not seen in years and it warmed my heart. I’ve been to ceremonies on this solemn day across the country. At most there have been a few hundred folks in attendance. Mostly older Americans who probably struggled to make it but make it they did. This has been a severe test of my endurance over the years. The more I believed you all didn’t give a damn, the less I wanted to be part of your world… and I would isolate until late June at best. To ease my pain and prevent catastrophic meltdowns, I’ve stuck with my hometown ceremonies here in Livermore since about the year 2000. There are never big crowds mind you but there are 3 of them and each carries several hundred participants each year. That seemed to appease the beast within that wants all of your attention on the fallen for this day.

This year has been a kind of awakening for me so at the behest of some really wonderful new veteran friends, I branched out once again and attended the ceremony in Danville, CA at the “All Wars Memorial” run by the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley.  I was astounded.  I was in tears. I was prouder of my America than I’ve been able to be in a while. There were a thousand people there at least. Not just old folks but whole families braved the sun and heat for a few hours to pay their respect to the best of us no longer with us.  Danville, a little town with a huge heart made my day. Thank you Danville. Thank you VNDVD.

I slept good last night. My brothers and sisters were remembered and they let me be.

There is hope…

Why soldiers cry

No one strives for glory
It comes at too great a cost
For buried in that story
Are lives forever lost

Smiles and pride for those who survive
On the surface all is swell
Deep inside where memories strive
The soldier flirts with hell

A battle never ending
Rages on within
Past and present blending
Neither one will win

The moments few without care
A soldier’s strength decays
Another brother is always there
Or a sister in harm’s way

The soldier watches in abject fear
As others enter the murk
Of battle’s grind, of rend and tear
Where grief and shadows lurk

Sentries we wait for the return
Of any who may survive
Dying more with each soul turned
Crying for those still alive

There are no words, no prayer will do
No song that soothes our pain
When a teammate falls we fall too
Our hearts are one and the same.

No one told us the reason why
The price we paid was right
But now we know why soldiers cry
For the souls in eternal night.