Words of Major Michael Davis O’Donnell; KIA, Dak To, 1970

 

Major Michael O’Donnell

 

Major Michael O’Donnell was a helicopter pilot killed in action near Dak To, Vietnam in March of 1970. Although I did not know Major O’Donnell we were in Vietnam at the same time, and in some of the same places. This is a poem he penned several months before his death.

 

 

If you are able,

 

save them a place

 

inside of you

 

and save one backward glance

 

when you are leaving

 

for the places they can

 

no longer go.

 

Be not ashamed to say

 

you loved them,

 

though you may

 

or may not have always.

 

Take what they have left

 

and what they have taught you

 

with their dying

 

and keep it with your own.

 

And in that time

 

when men decide and feel safe

 

to call the war insane,

 

take one moment to embrace

 

those gentle heroes

 

you left behind.

 

~Major Michael Davis O’Donnell

1 January 1970, RIP

 

 

About the Author

Joe Campolo Jr.

Joe Campolo, Jr. is an award winning author, poet and public speaker. A Vietnam War Veteran, Joe writes and speaks about the war, and is a Veteran's advocate. Some of Joe's stories are gripping, some humorous. Joe also writes about other experiences, many of which are also humorous. Joe enjoys fishing, traveling, writing and spending time with his family. Joe loves to hear from his readers, please send him a note on this page or the contact page! (and order one of Joe's popular books from the link on his author page)

Comments

  1. Major Michael O’Donnell’s poem is very well known among veterans. He was killed when I was in Vietnam in a battle I was indirectly involved with.
    Joe Campolo Jr

    1. I would love if you were able to tell me some of your stories if you would/could. I am writing a book about Vietnam, and I’d like it to include some real perspective from the men who were there. I know several Vets who won’t talk about it, and that’s fine if you can’t.
      Thank you for your service sir.
      -Ryan

      1. I can talk about most of my experiences in Vietnam, Ryan, though some I will never be able to talk about. I’ll help you if I can, I’ll contact you via email.

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