His name is Robert.
Captain Robert.

We’ve never met, yet I have known him for years
& I carry him with me in my mind, in my heart.

Robert was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.
His was the name on a P.O.W. bracelet I once wore.

This bracelet was originally Uncle’s.
Mom’s brother was kind enough to gift it to his teenage niece who wanted, needed, just had to have one.
P.O.W. bracelets were the style to be wearing back in the day
& wear, I did.
I wore that bracelet so much, I almost broke it.
I removed it from my wrist only because I feared it would snap apart
& the last thing I wanted was to ruin my Robert bracelet.

I was a teen though
& I really knew nothing about him, about wars or about being a prisoner in a war.
The bracelet was the cool thing to have and I had one.
I was cool.

The older I grew, the more intrigued I became with this P.O.W. named Robert.
I knew he was from New York because Mom’s family knew of his family.
Gramma’s local newspaper would offer occasion updates on their town’s servicemen and women
& conversations with Gramma almost always included Robert.

Sadly, the day arrived when we were told that Robert would not be coming home.
It was said Robert’s mama kept the faith, certain she would one day see her son again.
She lived her beautiful faith until the day she died.

Many years later, when my parents visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mom found Robert’s name on that sacred wall of heroes.
I still have that pencil rub along with information about Robert
& his bracelet quietly rests in my jewelry box.

I think of Robert often, especially on Memorial Day.
He pops into my brain to remind me he was a very incredible human being
& he’s opened my eyes to a most powerful realization.

Thank You Robert.
Captain Robert.

For your service.
For your courage.
For your sacrifice.

You are so much more than a name.

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