a flag of stars and a flag of strife.
The man encased there in pine
he was my equal, a brother of mine.
We met one night on a bus
because to training, it was for us.
We had both signed papers with words that said,
“I will protect my country, even ’till death.”
Through the shouts and the screams,
that persisted all day it seems,
my brother would smile and say,
“To me, it’s just another day.
I’m used to hollers and screams,
to being told nothing is what my life means.”
I would look at this man with a frown;
a brother from another town.
Then the day we became men.
Our families and honeys, greeted us then.
“My little boy is now a Soldier.”
wept my mother on my shoulder.
Then one day the orders came,
and we knew things would never be the same.
“Pack your bags!” said our Commander.
“We’re off to war, because of slander.”
We fought and fought, through blood and dust.
With all our brothers, made through trust.
And then at once, it happened fast,
a shout, a blur, and a blast.
In the building in which need clearing,
around a corner I was peering.
And blind to me in another room,
sat an enemy, waiting in the gloom.
I heard my brother yell at me,
to turn and look that I might see.
Yet I was slow on my turning ’round,
but I saw my brother take a bound.
He threw himself in harms way,
he disregarded where danger lay.
I closed my eyes as the shots rang out,
waiting to feel the pain about.
But when I opened my fearful eyes,
my brother lay there to my despise.
He looked at me with a grin,
“I’m going home, to live with Him.”
His eyes they closed there with peace
he died it seemed, he died with ease.
I yelled for Doc, our combat medic,
while I held him there feeling pathetic.
And now the Sargent gives his command,
Five Soldiers grip their rifles in hand.
At the coffin’s head is where I stand,
his wife and mother hand in hand.
I raise my arm in a stiff salute
that I might follow in his boots.
“Fire!” the Sargent uttered.
Each shot hit me with a shudder.
Great was the man which lay before me,
a man who thought so selflessly
upon his own life that other might
continue to see each day’s new light.
Days with freedom, and with peace.
That everyone will live to their each.
But yet I’m saddened with this thought:
That only few truly know the cost.
And yet they yell and scream and shout,
for they know not what we’re about.
Yet we continue on each day
doing, each, what we were trained.
That they will continue to exercise their freedom,
a freedom they use just to condemn.
And I will stand here and understand
the price at which freedom costs.
(c) Copyright 2016 Walker Andreasen