4:38 a.m. EST, January 16, 2013
As a machine gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps, Janos Victor Lutz called John or Johnny, survived combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq while earning 13 service commendations and the respect of his buddies. "He was a Marine to the fullest," said fellow Marine Kevin Ullman. "He was someone who could lighten any situation with witty sarcasm." Ultimately, however, Lutz could not escape the demons he carried back home to Davie after his discharge 18 months ago. On Saturday January 12, just hours after a lunch with his mother in which he chatted about his classes at Palm Beach State College, Lutz swallowed a handful of pills VA doctors had prescribed to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Lutz died in his bedroom, in the house where he grew up. He was 24.
" The front page article, Marine Loses His Battle with the demons of war in today's Sun-Sentinel is just so powerful and sad. It stopped me cold. Now I send you a poem to share, which seems to speak for this issue."
--from Poet David Plumb to the NASFL Museum
News On A March Full Moon
by David Plumb
Somewhere in a nearby yard a blue jay
yaks and yaks the morning quiet
way beyond the clicking news of smiles
and banks washing profits off casket walls.
Mid morning and the news reads
Sarandrea, Jessica Y., 22, Pfc, Army; Miami
First Cavalry Division. Killed in Iraq.
Marjorie Pollock is text messaging
by the organic oranges at Whole Foods.
Neal Bellenger holds a two pound
ground buffalo package in his left hand
a cell phone in his right.
The newlyweds contemplate organic cane
sugar as second ingredients in yogurt.
Daniel B. Hyde, 24 First Lieutenant, Army,
Modesto, California is dead in Iraq.
Beyond the three dollar collard greens
traffic zips and tears the afternoon.
No need to signal or cut off the competition.
It’s only three lanes and four hundred yards
to the gas station and a cheap hoagie.
A homeless man passes out a newspaper
at the traffic island. Put a little in the pot
please, and God Bless you Jeffrey Reed 23
Army Sergeant, Chesterfield, Virginia dead in Iraq.
Late afternoon stuffs the mind, wipes
pleasure off a job that may or may not
exist in a few days, or tomorrow.
Lorna Guzman, social worker for Women
in Distress hopes Day Care is taking care.
Keisha wants to tell the M.D.
with 40 patients a day that
she missed another period.
She has to get home.
She has a class tonight.
Patrick De Voe, he’s dead in Afghanistan
Twenty-seven, Private First Class
from Auburn, New York.
You know where that is, but then
It’s almost dinner time and Shirley
brings in take out hot and sour, lo mein
a side of barbecued wings.
Did you hear Tiger’s back?
TVs blink the news, the news, the news.
Who did what and who said if?
She’s a Democrat underneath.
How about that short horse in England?
They think it’s stuck in mud.
George Clooney may show up on ER.
You know Rush Lim and the other one
who took all the rich guy’s cash.
He’s going to plead and Jay Leno
will have his say later on.
By the way, it’s a full moon.
Look out the window at the perfect sky but
don’t forget the names whispered in the stars.
Jessica, Daniel, Jeffrey, Patrick
echo in blood, in guns, in storms.
They’re coming home.
Thank you for all.
Copyright © David Plumb
The Lost Pilot, poem by David Plumb
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