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As I walk the path to the Black Stone Wall, 
Rage and ruin, shame and regret was all I could recall. 
Twenty years, haunted by the shadow of death, 
I prayed for strength and courage with each ragged breath. 

As I saw the names carved in the Coal Black Stone, 
Time slipped backwards and I stood alone. 
I heard and saw the forgotten past, 
And I wondered how long haunted memories last. 

As I looked at the wall on that cold gray day, 
I wondered what these men, to us Vets, would say? 
So I reached and touched the Black Stone Wall, 
And I heard their ghost speak from the Heroes Hall. 

Now I know the Black Wall was meant to be, 
The price for freedom isn't free. 
For their lives cut short, America will mourn, 
And for that they showed the way through Desert Storm. 

A lesson learned from that Stone Wall – 
I'm an American Son and I'm standing tall, 
For me no more shame and no regret, 
And by God I'm proud to be an American Vet !  

Louis "Tex" Balas
Vietnam 1967-68
Recon 2nd Squadron
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Recon HHC 5th/60th Infantry
9th Infantry Division