Ode to Honor


The only thing you keep.
As an infantryman
I disdain stylistic verse
Shows of emotion
And pretension in all forms
But an image reemerges
The silhouette, the sound
A flash, explosion
A projectile grows larger
As if it were a 1980s arcade game
But no points float in the air
Only a man falls to the ground lifeless
A terrorist certainly
But by no mistake a man
He comes back every night
His family asks me why
I have no answer...
Though I’ve done no wrong
I feel such sorrow
Why should he hate me
Why should I kill him
I don’t know
But the men in my truck
Are still here
Finding their way home
Updating the world about Cowboys
Seminoles, Giants and Lions
Of friends lost lovers gained
I was there when they needed me
I will always have that
It helps me sleep
I may feel sorrow
But I have no regrets.

—Capt. Joe Miller, Infantry
October 2012


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March 2023