If you see Helen (Audie Murphy tribute)

I recently read Audie Murphy’s autobiography, “To Hell and Back.”  He became one of the most decorated (according to some accounts the most decorated) World War II soldier.  This major feat was accomplished before he even left his teens.  This man saw a lot of death and suffered from PTSD before there was an acronym to describe it.  One of the accounts he described is meeting a nurse named Helen.  He later found out the area she served in was bombed heavily and a lot of nurses died.  Though he tried, he never found out if she was one of the fatalities.  They never met again.  I recommend reading this increasingly forgotten book.

This war now long fought

I entered once as a naïve youth

but war has been my mentor

and has taught a pervading truth.


Death will visit us all

the final discharge will surely come.

After what we lived through

it may be our chance at freedom.


I no longer think

there may be a way out for me.

I accepted that truth

and will let it all just be.


The odds are given

I will join my brothers in a shallow grave.

This war has robbed my hope

that I will be lucky enough to save.


I am no longer tired.

Perpetual exhaustion is my state.

I no longer worry

or contemplate my final fate.


If you see Helen though

tell her I think of her and wish her well.

We may not meet again

but I sure hope she made it out of hell.

© 2019 ck’s days

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