The road ends, but the journey continues...

Giving Voice: The Eagle Cried

The Eagle Cried, written and recorded by US Army Major J Billington (Iraqi & Afghanistan vet)

This song was written in honor of the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans, who did not receive the hero’s welcome that they deserved when they came home from the fight. This song was written for and performed at the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion Reunion at Fort Rucker, Alabama, held on May 15, 2010. To the Vietnam veterans that may find and watch this video, please accept my humble:
“Thank you for your service, and welcome home!” J Billington May 19, 2010


  1. Jennie Fitzkee

    Wonderful tribute, Laura. That’s how it was for those who fought in Vietnam. Back home, hubby and his squadron mates couldn’t wear their uniform off base. People would throw things at them if they did. Terrible. The song is beautiful. The message is important. Thank you!

    • laura bruno lilly

      So cruel…Yeah, that’s a big difference, seeing many returning vets deployed from various areas of the mid-east still proudly wearing their uniforms during ‘re-entry’ – seems quite common these days.
      BTW: I saw where a huge flag was unfurled atop the USS Intrepid for MemDay…I think it’s becoming a bucket-list destination for me…

  2. Deborah Brasket

    Thank you for sharing this, Laura. My husband was a Marine in Vietnam. I met him right after he returned. He was only 18 when he joined. So many of his brother Marines serving with him never returned. My deepest love and gratitude to them, and him.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Sounds like you two have had a strong, long, and adventurous life together.
      18…way too young.

  3. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! Wonderful tribute that you’ve shared today. Thank you for that. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      You are most welcome, Roseanne.

  4. Anne Copeland

    It is beautiful and such a wonderful way to remember the men who gave everything they had, likely some who did not really want the war either, but went and served as they knew how.
    My brother was greeted the same way as many of the men returning from Vietnam and he came home 100% disabled. It certainly gave me the heart to help others with physical, mental and emotional scars and challenges the rest of my life. That is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you Anne for such a dear response.
      Active protesters of the war tended to mixup their hatred of the war itself with those individuals serving duty in Vietnam. A mashup that was cruel and very un’peace’ful.
      A belated and long overdo thank you to your brother for his service…and its consequent affect on your life’s work which aided others so significantly.

  5. L. Marie

    So beautiful, Laura! My uncle fought in Vietnam. He died, unfortunately, years ago. I know he would have appreciated this song.

    • laura bruno lilly

      So sorry to hear of your Uncle’s passing under any circumstances. I’m touched to know it would have made a tiny bit of difference to him in dealing with all he and other returning Viet Vets encountered back then.

  6. Jane Chesebrough

    Heart-wrenching song. It is ironic to see the hate in the people’s eyes who protested in the name of Peace. We may not agree with a war but it is no reason to turn against the soldier and I will be honest, it took me a while to “get” that as a young person. I met a Vietnam vet while I was on vacation in the southern U.S. He told me something that I have never forgot and have tried to use in my work: that the best way to fight the system is from within. It is positive , constructive and you are in the best position to make a change for the better.

    • laura bruno lilly

      As a young person back then I was constantly torn with the how’s of making a difference, but I knew the politicians and politics were the ones pulling the strings and those serving in Vietnam were ordinary young men thrust into something they had to find their own sense of courage to survive.
      peace my Canadian friend.

  7. Jill

    Beautiful, Laura. Thank you for sharing.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re more than welcome, Jill.

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