Military Review


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Army Staff Sgt. Hassan Kafi shakes hands with an Iraqi soldier before conducting a weapons qualification on Camp Taji, Iraq, 8 March 2015.

Lord, break down the walls that came between
   As I walk through this life I am not really seen
I’ve built my façade so carefully crated
   Brick upon brick a warrior was grafted
on top of my soul, these walls block me in
   they keep everyone out, and protect what’s within.
These walls keep you all from really seeing
   my hopes, dreams, and fears, the core of my being
Walls that were built to protect my heart
   Have kept me from truly being a part
of deep fellowship with my brothers and sisters.
   I have become a lone sentry facing life’s twisters
When I open the door and let you come near
   I tremble and shake, paralyzed with fear.
But to my great surprise, I don’t find more pain
   What I discover is we’re all the same.
I find that these warriors are all just like me
   We all want our hearts to truly be free
The truth of the matter, we’re all so much greater
   Bonded in spirit, made by our creator
When I let you in, we all get to see
   Who I am, who you are, who we’re all meant to be.

—Lt. Col. Kevin M. James, U.S. Air Force


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February 2023