He thought that his service,
would make him a man.
Before he got there,
he didn't have a plan.

Full of testosterone,
he stayed on the lamb.
His grades were deplorable,
his life was a sham.

With no prospects for college,
and job opportunity dim.
His girlfriend knocked up,
and creditors after him.

A beautiful picture,
of order and style.
How, as a soldier,
he'd go the extra mile.

He'd gain strength and discipline,
and learn how to fly.
The adventure of a lifetime,
all he had to do was try.

He signed in a minute,
and his buddies joined in.
What greater escape,
from the fix he was in?

Basic was tough and,
he almost washed out.
He learned how to follow,
and not think or doubt

Before he was ready,
they shipped him out,
to a place so foreign,
he never figured it out.

His girlfriend and baby,
on food stamps to get by.
Stayed with her mom,
and learned how to cry.

Firefights were few,
but when they came.
His firepower was immense,
and who was to blame?

If  women and children,
got in the way?
No time to think,
or you're blown away.

Just collateral damage,
is what they'd say,
but the damage was real,
and it worked its way.

Inside his head,
where  he unraveled,
in dreams of dread,
and hopes trampled.

He began to live,
for the adrenaline high.
The rest just boredom,
and waiting to die.

For death would come swiftly,
from the corner of his eye.
With no rhyme or reason,
and without saying goodbye.

He returned home a hero,
with the look of a star.
But inside he was broken,
and didn't have to look far.

Before he knew,
that his life was in vain.
He had killed so many,
that they still came.

In his dreams so violent,
wife and baby ran away.
Moved in with his mom,
and wasted away.

Until he put his 45,
to his head, and,
with one trigger squeeze ,
he was dead.

His family still comes,
each Memorial Day.
To pray at his grave,
and send honor his way.

For peace, hope and valor,
are what we all seek.
Unfortunately, the warrior,
is often not strong, but weak.

21st Century Warrior
Image Courtesy US Army


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Copyright 2007 © Ronald W. Hull