WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM-25) — Memorial Day is a day to remember America’s war and the sacrifices they made to keep all of us free.
Bud Ryan, an 88-year-old Korean War Veteran, put his thoughts down on paper in a poem called, “A Soldier Died Today.”
“I remember when I was a young GI, the stories I would tell.
“some about Guadalcanal, I went through a living hell.”
“My comrades remember too when they sat around the post. Some remembered experiences they were known to repeat the most.”
“When a combat soldier is sent to a country in conflict, he will do his part in lands far from home, protecting freedom in a war he didn’t start.”
“I hear people talking about me and pity the way I look.”
“If only they knew my experiences in life, they would write a book.”
“On Iwo Jima, many would fall while holding the line that day.”
“It’s as though I was there only yesterday.
“The trauma of war never leaves you. Only a fellow vet will understand.”
“Your mind filled with demons of war, returning from a war-torn land.”
“Before the war, I enjoyed a wonderful life. I had a lovely wife.”
“My dying won’t be mourned by many as I think about my life.”
“Only a few seem to honor our heroes in a manner of which they should.”‘
“As a homeless vet myself, I am scorned by my neighborhood.”
“You know I could really care less about what is said as I continue my journey of strife. I was among the few protecting my country’s freedom; offering up my life.”
“The years of strife has taken its took now that I’m getting old.”
“I fear that I will die this winter somewhere out there in the bitter cold.”
“My country will not be mourning me. The headlines will not say he was a courageous hero. A soldier died today.”
Bud served two combat tours aboard USS Eldorado. He was in the command and control ship during the Korean War. When Bud wasn’t at battle stations behind his 20-millimeter anti-aircraft gun, he was the ship’s barber.