Left Picture: Marko between the M-60 squad leader, Cpl Tom Rollins and John Henry Phillips on the right. This was in 1965 when he was with 3/9, providing beach security at Chu Lai the 4th Brigade landed. Phillips also went to India 3/5.
Right Picture: Marko and daughter Kelley.
Below this page is the second poem Marko ever wrote, in 1975. It's called Thoughts of War, it's on the War Poem page and here's what Marko has to say about how it came to be written: I was going out with an English teacher in the early seventies who was interested in getting training in group psychotherapy. She was always impressed with my stories when I was willing or able to tell them. She encouraged me to buy a notebook and write them down. One night while working the graveyard shift I started thinking about Hastings and this poem came screaming out of me. I had only written one poem in my life but this one seemed to possess me. I finished it in one eight hour shift. Please excuse my bitterness, it's how I felt at the time.
Burgers and Beers in the Bush is a story about survival training in the Phillipines.
Ever done a favor for a friend? Harry still gives me the Finger is such a story and its permanent reminder of that favor.
Marko Whiteley says "I met this veteran while treating combat veterans from all the services. The subject of this poem was an Army tunnel rat who was my client years ago and now a dear friend and comrade. When he told me he found a box of Uncle Ben's Rice in a Vietnamese tunnel I grabbed my notebook and wrote this. Uncle Ben and the Tunnel Rat, a poem."
The poem M.I.A.
was written like this: On Veterans day 1992 during the tenth anniversary of The Wall I was working
at the VAMC here in Salem on the post traumatic stress unit. I was with a combined group of out-patients and inpatients in the dayroom. We were in a
circle giving time to our fallen comrades when the subject of a fellow but
homeless Marine named Bill O'hara came up. He served five tours in Vietnam and ended up on the streets of Washington DC. Someone in the group mentioned that Bill was M.I.A. Someone else said; "Yeah, he's missing in America. I went to the local chapter of the DAV, sat down in the lounge with a drink and wrote M.I.A. off the top of my head. I have always felt it was one of my better efforts.
The Trilogy is a set of 3 poems written about Hastings. Sgt. Andy, Billy and Jonny, and Where's the Band are the poems. Included are two pictures of the Vietnam memorial at Hyde Park...you'll see why when you read the 3rd poem.