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Contributor: Ken B. Harper || Poem Categories

1/2 Percentcountry as flag
One half of one percent,
Defending you and me.
At outposts in the desert,
In planes and ships at sea.

Every one, a volunteer,
The reasons why are varied.
The burden borne, for all of us,
Is quite a load to carry.

Never knowing, minute-wise,
What will happen next.
Will today, be the day,
They draw their final breath?

Wearing masks of macho,
They go to work each day.
But folks back home are scared to death,
And n'er forget to pray.

Friends go off to college,
At Ivy Leaguer schools.
To learn the art of drinking,
And then call soldiers fools.

Soldiers, who can field-strip,
A weapon down to parts.
Then put it back together,
While sittin' in the dark.

Soldiers, who with bare hands,
Can save another's life,
Then stand in line for hours,
To read e-mail from his wife.

Soldiers, who hear loved ones talk,
On signal-dropping phones.
And cannot give an answer to;
"When ya comin' home?"

Soldiers, with esprit de corps,
And shared camaraderie,
Who love the taste of freedom,
Life and liberty.

Soldiers, who, when things get rough,
Won't turn their backs and run.
And if they lose their life,
They'll die, their duty done.

Some are "only" wounded,
Blasted, burned or maimed.
Facing years of coping,
Daily with the pain.

Because of TBI,
These valiant girls and boys,
Feel like cast-off rejects on
The Isle of Misfit Toys.

Some will try to keep their problems,
Buried deep inside.
Then, when finally overcome,
"Escape" through suicide.

Despite the missing parts,
Pain and grafted skin,
Most will NEVER surrender,
Their foe will NEVER win.

Blow US up, break our bones,
Cause the loss of hearing.
NOTHING you can ever do
Will break our fighting spirit!

Young men and young women too,
Standing in defense.
Hero's, every single one,
This half of one percent.
By Ken B. Harper
Copyright 2011
Listed October 28, 2011

It is illegal to use this poem without the author's permission.
~~ Send your comments and/or use permission request to
Ken. ~~

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