The song playing is "Send in the Clowns".
I feel the tune conveys the sweet and sour sacrifices our soldiers valiantly make and endure in the revolving door of peace and war.
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Marine Cpl. Robert D. Adams struggles through a water-filled ditch on the endurance course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Okinawa, Japan, on Aug. 3, 2001. The week long training is capped by an endurance course designed to test the Marines' endurance and leadership skills. Adams is a heavy equipment operator with the Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group-31 deployed from Camp Hansen, Okinawa, for the training. Graphic designed from DoD photo taken by Lance Cpl. John Hoellwarth, U.S. Marine Corps.
Original Photograph By:
Lance Cpl. John Hoellwarth
U.S. Marine Corps

For a Thankless Job

God bless our brave soldiers
wherever they are
be it home, on leave
or serving in fields afar.

Mere thank-you's do lack
the true gratitude we feel
unable to fully convey
what our hearts don't reveal.

But how do you thank those
who put their lives on the line
in seemingly endless,
and often deadly rhyme?

Sure, you can pump their palms
give them bear hugs, too,
but are these enough to show
how much they mean to you?

Pray tell, where would we be
if they should ignore the call
by this nation under God
with liberty and justice for all?

You can search the world over
but will find merely a few
willing to risk their lives
for what our forefathers knew.

Some kings are just clueless
on the right path to choose
thus more reason than not
to challenge their views.

With one eye toward Heaven
the other on a bush somewhere
soldiers get stuck in the middle
on this board of life unfair.

So, dig deep into your hearts,
thank them for doing your job
for there go both you and I
except for the grace of God.

A soldier from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Avaition Regiment mourns following a memorial ceremony for six fellow soldiers who were killed in a Blackhawk helicopter, April 2. Photo by David K. Dismukes.

Before You Go

'Tis only a matter of time
'til you meet your bros again
leaving life's bitter rhyme
to those who must remain.

The love you carry inside
will sustain you 'til the end
'til palm and palm collide
with no more wars to tend.

You'll leave us and not look back
at the cares shackling us still
for Heaven would be slack
if that was ne'er God's will.

We'll drop a tear...or maybe two
because we loved you so
and wish that we had told you
before you turned to go.

We'll miss you in this space
but wish for you God speed
for Heaven is a better place
if ever there was need.

A Soldier pauses to remember a fallen comrade during a memorial ceremony held for Sgt. Leonard Simmons of Company C, 3rd Battalion, 502d Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Wastler. This photo appeared on


"Before You Go"
has received the
IWVPA's prestigious...

"Double Tap Award for War Poetry".

Click on award to visit the archives.

International War Veterans' Poetry Archives

I welcome your comments:

Click On Dove To Return Home!
Castle Chambers...Poetry by Lilripple

'Where My Heart Belongs'       'Brothers One'...'In His Eyes'...'Just Between You and Me'

All poems on this page
© Nancy L. Meek 2004

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