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Apr-26-2010 18:15printcomments

Louis Maxwell (In Memorial)

Poetic verse about the tragic friendly fire casualties in the current wars, and the accompanying lack of justice.

Louis Maxwell. Lavena Johnson and Pat Tillman
Louis Maxwell. Lavena Johnson and Pat Tillman

(LOS ANGELES) - Salem-News.com conveys and expresses news and information in ways that most Americans are not accustomed to, but still need.

We use video, photographs, words, slideshows, audio clips and more to help tell a story, In the beginning there were only words and an occasional image. Then video came onto the scene and were were among the first to present this moving image format as a regular aspect of Internet news.

Now that we are more on top of the technical side of it, the timing is good to remember the importance of creative writing.

Poetry is a magical, artful way of communicating and we are all great admirers of poetic verse. More than anything, we like the messages of a poet like Luke Easter.

He reaches toward pain filled stories and delivers them with a certain amount of grace and respect that reaches people on a different level.

We see poetry becoming a bigger aspect of Salem-News.com over time and we also plan to develop a special section just to showcase this work.

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Louis Maxwell (In Memorial) LaVena Lynn Johson and Pat Tillman, is there still another story to tell,
Well, ponder the “friendly fire” assination of U.N. Guard Louis Maxwell,
That’s so right, exactly like the first two it was murder in the first degree,
In mathmatical terms a murder, plus a murder & one more murder = 3.

However, what makes the latter more astonishing is that there is a video,
And not almost, or slighty, even a maybe, the actual shooting it will show,
Articles in the news media claims Louis “may” have died from friendly fire,
Oh, “the disturbing possibility” that a U.N. staff member accidently expired.

I have seen enough ganster movies to know what is a, “murder for hire,”
Only heard of Pat Tillman’s but no doubt this was not any, “friendly fire,”
The biggest question is why these incidents are being kept under wraps?
Here’s another funeral for a brave American as the bugler plays, “Taps!”

This happened October 28, 2009, today is April 22, 2010, 6 months later,
His heroic actions saved seventeen lives okay, how come all the haters?
Have a question for you, had Louis’s killing not been available on video,
May there be discussions going on now from an incident we didn’t know?

We knew about LaVena Lynn Johnson and Pat Tillman where’s their case?
Hey! Not just me doesn’t anyone else feel an ounce of shame or disgrace?
These three died needlessly in a war zone like being stabbed in the back,
By those supposedly on the same side instead of through mortal combat.

Not from a terrorist bullet or explosives as the Afghan government claimed,
During the attack Afghan Police & NATO Forces were called but never came,
Louis & Laurance Mefful of Ghana held off attackers as colleagues escaped,
No one can even remotely explain why back-up was more than an hour late.

Help was minutes away from the Taliban attack in this “secured” Afghan City,
Appearently, response wasn’t immediate because it’s only done by committee,
From Miami Central High he had a full scholarship to Floridia A & M University,
Yet, this outstanding trumpet player in the year 2000 enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

As family & friends gathered at his parents home, a wreath hung on the door,
Their beloved son now declared a hero would be coming home, not any more,
At least to the house where he was shown abundant love and taught to respect,
His mom Sandra decorated a memorial tree in their front yard lest anyone forget.

By Luke Easter

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Pat Tillman (In Memorial)

What kind of person would turn their back on,
Three point six million genuine American bucks?
Then go through a rigorous military boot camp,
Where passing it has nothing to do with luck.

This was unheard of about three years ago,
That amount could be almost ten million today,
Someone who’s unselfish, a hero, a statesman,
Just a few of the thoughts we might very well say.

To become an elite US Army Ranger no less,
Not carry the flag and march in some parade,
Enlisting to fight in a war that was his to avoid,
Not hiding in Canada where draft dodgers stayed.

It was more than type A, B, O or a rare blood,
That ran through this dedicated young man’s veins,
It was a sense of patriotic obligation and tradition,
Turning him away from a multi-million dollar game.

Parents, family, friends, many others want answers,
Two and a half years later and I can understand why,
It’s not that he perished in combat on April 22,2004,
But, from friendly fire should any soldier have to die?

A modern world of high tech gadgets filled with sci-if gizmos,
5,000 miles away an egg is measured exactly how high and wide,
Yet less than a few clicks away in a remote place called Afghanistan,
It’s impossible to tell whether or not soldiers are on the same side?

One of the servicemen who shot at him, recently had laser eye surgery,
Tiger Woods had a similar operation yet he’s the best we will ever see,
Four soldiers firing failed to identify themselves so there was no repeat,
It’s the enemy and not your own Army seeking to kill the Ranger elite.

So here they are just before Veterans Day desperately trying to figure out how,
Special agents and investigators like Hyenas or Cheetahs on a mid-day prowl,
If what happened is discovered, to the public all will not be made known,
Where are the referees and line judges? A penalty flag should be thrown.

Pride will never be measured or counted in dollars and cents,
Giving up a carefree, professional, lifestyle in Arizona, not content,
It’s a faithful & spiritual value connecting one’s mind to the heart,
An American soldier in a foreign country is only one of many parts.

The United States Military doesn’t need an infusion of athletic heroes,
Just those who are not impressed with $ signs followed by a lot of zeros.
Going through recruit training then to different bases the Army will send,
The sports world needs more players with the courage of such unselfish men.

Three years later several U.S. Army Officers supposedly will have to pay,
An alleged verbal reprimand might or might not be listed in their resume,
Heck, why not just do it like in day care and slap those nasty little hands?
Even in death compared to Pat Tillman they can never be half of that man.

Hoover Dam Bypass completed late 2010 will be the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge,
Well, it kind of reminds me of the old adage, “too little, too late” for all that he did,
Prayerfully his family, friends and fans will enamor this honor long after the fact,
And the 1st thing to do is throw off the bridge those who stabbed him in the back. by Luke Easter

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Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke explained what drives him to try to heal the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: lyricsfromlucas@aol.com




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.