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December 02, 2007



Like Billy Walkabout's Blues
I shipped out to Vietnam. I wanted to serve my nation and protect my people. I found myself in the jungles of Vietnam, ten thousand miles from home. Under monsoon rains, under a painted sky, leeches crawled on my arms. The little blood-suckers fell off into the night. The rain fell all night. Back in the world, no gal danced the southern dance for me.

And the clouds hid the sun. I was burdened with separation from my family and the rez. I couldn’t wear an eaglefeather on my steel-helmet or tear that peace sign away. My war-shirt had blood all over it. I had blood on my hands. I saw people die. I saw medevac helicopters air lift them out. Those guys would remain in my memory. I didn’t have time to grieve then. Firebase on the distant mountain. The jungle was full of mountain ghosts.

Sweet Lady, I never had your love to get me through, Nor did I ever receive any of your letters. You still were so far and so many years away on the great turtle island. I had to go through a year of combat, I came home to a hostile and ungrateful nation. I was treated like a war-criminal. I felt like I didn’t even belong in this land of my ancestors,and all the way through, I was a wounded warrior struggling with PTSD. I tried to get back on track, But I had too many 'nam flashbacks. Not even Ojibwe dreamcatchers could catch all the nightmares.There were years of drug use, alcoholism, homelessness, and racism, Before I found my way to you.

Larry Mitchell

Bury my heart with "Wounded Knee"!

The Local Crank

We are all fortunate to have known Larry and we are poorer for his passing onto the next world. Our thoughts are prayers are with you and the rest of his family. a-(nv)-da-di-s-di e-di-lv-quo-di-ha. e-me-na.

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