Thank you, veterans

Wes Tangard
Wes Tangard

On Veterans Day, we honor the brave men and women of the military who have gone to war in service to our country and its ideals. Veterans face challenges and sacrifice both during and after battle that the rest of us can barely imagine. For that, we are grateful.

For this Veterans Day, we present some of the writings  of one World War II soldier, Einar W. (Wes) Tangard. Wes was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army 413th Infantry Regiment, 104th Division (Timberwolves); He was awarded the Bronze Star and other military honors.

These poems paint a picture of wartime experience that cannot and should not be forgotten. To all the veterans out there, thank you.


Long, long road
Rutted deep by the wheels of war
Village after village
Pale and crumbling
In the wake of ten thousand boots
Tramping through a sea of dust
Grinding relentlessly toward the war machine
Ahead a frail figure in black
Poised at an open gate
Arm raised in tribute
Offering a wine toast
Blood-red against a dirty sky
Bright eyes in a wrinkled face
Alive with memories of another war
Perhaps her soldier passed this way
And tarried a long time ago


 Long low buildings, row on row
Thin dusting of white on the ground
To silence a footstep
Transplanted to this quiet place
On sweet white sheets
Clean, warm, dry, belly full
Someone close
Soft hands of a woman
Back rubs and quiet talk
Is this real?
Will I awake to the smoke of battle?
Will I see again the dead and grotesque?
Soldier! Not your burden now
Christmas feast on the way
Paint candles and holly on the windows
Think of home
Evergreens and Silent Night

By Einar W. (Wes) Tangard