Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Gift. Freely Given


From the Stoop of PJH:

A Gift. Freely Given

On the first day, the drill instructor told us that some of us might die
It was a risk that I knew I needed to accept
Honestly, I never thought it would happen to me
I never really did
I was wrong.

One of my brothers in arms holds my hand
Tightly
He tells me to hang on
He tugs at my body armor
I cannot really see him
Everything is a blur.

There is no pain
There was for a second, but now, it is gone
A Navy Corpsman works on me
He shouts something
It is hopeless
I feel my life fading.

It will be all right
I knew the risk
I signed up for this
I am a volunteer.

The sun fades
I see my lover
I see her lovely face
I feel our passion
I see our daughter
I will never see her grow up
I will never see her laugh, smile, or dance.

 I see my mother, my father, and my sister
My best friend
They will cry
They will miss me
They will stand by and weep as they lower me into the cold ground
 They will fly the American flag from their porches
It will fly free and it will fly proud.

It will be all right
I knew the risk
I never thought it would happen to me
I was wrong
Some Marines must pay the price
There have been many before me and there will be many after me
Those who are willing
Where others choose to hide and to pretend.

I am only twenty-two years old
That is how it goes
I did this for you
And for him and for her and for them
I don’t even know your names
I never will
Please never waste this effort
This life.

I gave you this gift and it was free
It is my life
My commitment to you and yours
So that you could live, free
To do as you please
As you, choose to do.

I knew the risk
No one made me sign up for this
Everyone must die
My time is now here
Remember.

Yet, as I lay dying and bleeding,
I only wish for one thing
That you know that I did this for you and yours and for them
I did this, not for any specific color, or a man, or a woman, or for any race, or for any religion.

For you
It is a gift. Freely Given
It is my life.

Cheerio for now.

  A Gift. Freely Given
Copyright © 2020 by Paul John Hausleben
Published by God Bless the Keg Publishing LLC
Henrico, Virginia, U.S.A.
All rights reserved


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