Memorial day poetry- A witness to life
A witness to life…
I left the Army in 2000. I wanted to see my kids grow-up. Good friends didn’t. Old wars didn’t effect me. I fought the quick and easy wars. Just clean-up and I went home. My best friend of 12 year who was from Michigan sharing the same duty stations joined the Reserved. We had our Summer meetings. Our kids grew-up together. My friend Don went to Iraq for three tours. I send him books and letters. He didn’t write back for one year. I called his parent. His mother gave the phone to his father and the father told me. Don was killed last August in Iraq. I thanked the father and I went to my room. Me and wife cried tears for lost of a good friend.
I found his daughter on a poetry site. She wrote poetry for her dad. I track her down and I kept in contact with her. We did the norm. Facebook. I wasn’t right after learning of my friend death. I did research and I found more friends loss to war. Poor wife and family had great concern for me. Wife organized a meeting with Don’s parent. I went to their home and I met his sisters, brother and parent. They lived deep in middle Michigan. The parent were very kind and I told them many stories about Don. He was a pure country boy. Strong willed and strong as a horse. I told them how he took on three young soldiers on a bet and won. I told them. He was the instructor for the new drivers and the target range. Don could shoot a rifle and put down a deer at 500 yards. We shared stories and the mother gave me a video of the town grieving for a lost son and a round from the 21 gun salute at his funeral. The parent took me to his grave. Fresh flowers from his daughter lay on the grave. He was buried in a Military location and surrounded by the soldiers loss to many wars. I learn this day. Don was gone. I said a silence prayer for him.
I miss you my good friend.
You are always on my mind.
I promise to watch over your children and
I will ensure they know.
They were your life and you loved them with all your heart.
A few years later. His daughter invited me to her graduation. I was honored to go. I saw his daughter grew-up and became a beautiful girl. I told her. Her dad would be so happy. She was create a good life. Her sister was marry and had a child. A wild and running boy. I saw the boy and I saw Don. Long and slim. Wild eyes and fearless. I told the oldest daughter. Your daddy would be so happy. He would of been the best Grandpa. We embraced and I told her. If you need anything. Please call me.
I went to a Memorial day celebration. I went early. I don’t like the military holidays now. Just brought back memories of old friend loss to war. They had the photo of soldiers loss to war from Michigan. I stood with my Grandchildren by my friend photo. Just holding sadness and regret. Maybe If I stayed in. He would be alive. A WW2 Vet and a Vietnam Vet came to me. They both slapped my back and they introduced themselves. The WW2 Vet told me. Son, damn wars take the best from us. We cannot forget our friend. The Korea war Vet asked me would I care If he prayed. He prayed.
Together us old soldiers gather.
We pray old friend are waiting for us in the soldier paradise.
Lord, tell them we remember them and as long as we are alive.
We have a important mission dear Lord.
We are “A witness to a life.”
Ensure their family know. Their soldiers were brave and strong men.
We cannot forget.
I thanks my new friends. I told them. I needed their words. I learn this. We must not allow old friends loss to war to be forgotten. We became “A witness to life.” We must ensure their children know. A father’s love is forever.