When I was growing up, military was a part of our family. My dad was a Seabee (Construction Battalion), later, my brothers joined the Army and the Marines. My Grandfather and great Grandfather were both Army. It was just accepted that to serve the United States of America was a great honor. My family was lucky enough to have our boys brought back home safely. For that I am grateful.

But there are those like this: “I have a POW/MIA bracelet that bears the name of a Michigan Marine that never came home. Robert Curtis Borton Jr. Missing since 1966 during his first few weeks in Vietnam. Please think of his family that lost him and the future he never had.”–Ron Martell

I wrote this with them in mind.


The bagpipes howl

“Amazing Grace”

Drums beat hollow

21 shots placed

The blackened sky

hangs its veil

The heavens give

a hero’s hail

to fallen comrade

man of war

from his daughter

and wife he’s torn

by seductive tendrils

of patriotic pride

under red, white, and blue

his final goodbye

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