Operation Freedom Bird

Operation Freedom Bird, is a non-profit, therapeutic program aimed at helping combat veterans, from all wars, continue the process to heal from their symptoms of PTSD and unresolved grief/loss. 

My Story   by, John DiGiacomo

I once walked in the bright sunlight,

Here in the land of freedom and might.

Then came my day of a long, long flight.

 

Touching down into a land of pain and sorrow,

Hoping I'll see another tomorrow.

My enemies languish near and far, 

With rice paddies and jungles everywhere.

 

Upon this ground I won’t be long,

For I have a little gray boat to float upon.

My little gray boat goes up and down river’s shoreline.

The boat patrols East and West, 

I like going North the best.

 

Two tours later, I’m out of here.

As I board the plane and sit and think,

“Hope my little gray boat did not get hit or sink.”

 

Sailors and friends I leave behind.

Up, up away we go from this ground.

Can't wait to get back in my beloved hometown.

Thank you God we are home at last,

But as I stepped onto home ground

a crowd gathers all around.

 

They are not here for me or my brothers,

Cursing, shouting, “Welcome home you

Baby killers and their mothers.”

 

I stood my ground, I did not waver.

I served my country when I was called.

I did not run to Canada or burn my draft card.

 

A different time, as I move on,

I still patrol in a car, going from place to place, East and West.

I like going North the best.

Still in the line of fire,

But I’ve never tire

 

Then one day without warning, I heard the shots, so loud and clear,

Back to the Nam, I feel the fear.

A voice called out, “Are you hurt?”

I could not speak and did not say, 

Where I traveled back to this awful day.

 

Things started happening I could not see

Someone told me I think you have P.T.S.D.

 

I needed help, so I called the Vet Center

And met with a fellow named Joe Little.

Into his office we did go.

I told him of my sad day, and asked,

“Can you help me find my way?”

 

Then one day Joseph said,

“It’s time to put you in a group.”

So I sat looking around at vets from different wars,

but all bear the same battle scars.

 

Then the best was yet to come

Joe said to me, 

“I have arranged up flight, a trip for three.”

It included Bob, Doug and me.

 

So we took the flight, 

Landing in the night.

And then we stood before The Wall

This very night, I could not speak, I was in awe.

So many heroes upon this Wall.

 

My friend a sailor was on this Wall.

I found his name in front of me. 

I started crying and as I fell to my knee,

A voice called out to me,

“Don’t blame yourself because I fell, after all it was not your call.

Thank God, Joe, your name is not on this wall.”

 

I felt my heart, it felt like it was reeling. 

I guess this is why they call this “The Wall of Healing.”

So I never will forget this trip to The Wall, 

To see so many who gave their all.

 

Thank you God, and you, Joseph Little.