In the thick of the battle, I felt the pain;
I thought to myself, this isn’t a game.
I staggered forward and then fell to the ground;
I tried to holler, but there was barely a sound.
As I lay there, I cried for my mother;
I thought of my dad and my younger brother.
I talked to God and said a prayer,
“Please, somebody help me!  Doesn’t anyone care?”
I opened my eyes, and whom did I see,
An angel, a corpsman, who would take care of me.
His hands were gentle; his voice was clear;
“You’ll make it son, for I am here.”
He gave me such comfort that I can never forget;
Even years later I think of him yet.
They put me on a stretcher and carried me away,
Back to the aid station, where the doctor would say,
“You’re badly wounded, and we’ll do our best.”
“We’ll operate on you and then let you rest.”
When I awoke and opened my eyes
I was in a hospital, and was I surprised.
They took care of me so I would get better;
Back at home my parents read the letter.
“Your son is fine, and you’ll see him soon.”
A lot of joy filled up that room.
I knew in my mind that I’d done my part;
I wear on my uniform proudly, my Purple Heart.

*     *     *
About the author: Frank Niader (Clifton, NJ) is the brother of Private William Niader (USMC), who was KIA on 12 June 1945, on Kunishi Ridge, Okinawa. Frank wrote the above poem in September 2000, in loving memory of his brother.

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page
Purple Heart