When Can I Stop Running?

Description

A vivid depiction of a terrifying night as an infantryman on a listening post during the Vietnam War.  Two teenage soldiers, friends and fellow Detroiter's, are alone and positioned in the dense jungle three-hundred meters beyond the barbed-wired perimeter and relative safety of their firebase - their assignment as a "human early warning system", is to listen for enemy activity and forewarn the base of any potential dangers.

As they were new to the “Iron Triangle” and its reputation, little did they know that units before them lost dozens of soldiers in this nightly high-risk task and referred to those assigned as "bait for the enemy" and "sacrificial lambs".

Sitting in the pitch black tropical jungle - with visibility at less than two feet - one character's imagination takes hold throughout the agonizing night, and at times, transports him back to some of his most vivid childhood memories - innocent, but equally terrifying at the time.

As kids, we instinctively run as fast as we can to escape imaginary or perceived danger, but as soldiers, men are trained to conquer their fears and develop the confidence to stand their ground and fight. At least in theory, this is how it's supposed to work.  But when enemy soldiers surround their LP - discovery or trying to run will result in instantaneous death...nothing in life had prepared them for this moment in time!

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About the Author

Author Name : John Podlaski

     John Podlaski served in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971 as an infantryman with both the Wolfhounds of the 25th Division and the 501st Infantry Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.  He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, two Air Medals, and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.  He spent the years since Vietnam working in management positions within the automotive industry and recently received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  John is a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 and lives with his wife of 43 years, Janice, in Sterling Heights, Michigan.  Both retired in 2013 and spend their days pursuing interests they enjoy.  John published his second book in June, 2016.

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There's a space

in my chest

where I feel

the absence of

my heart - that was torn out

by you.


The space is small

and insignificant;

trivial,

worthless;

like my feelings were

to you.


It wasn't always like that;

my heart.

It was big once...

big,

and full of love

for you.


Until that day,

when I saw

the truth

behind the lies

that were a part

of you.


Now I know

I was nothing more

than a puppet

to the devil

residing

in you.



Copyright by C. J. Spammer - 29 March 2017


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