Have you ever asked a soldier why he does what he does?
And the answer you get is a shrug and “because!”
“That’s not an answer”, you say to yourself, an aside.
Well friend, that’s our answer and it suits us just fine.
Would you understand that old Cav soldier, head bowed in remorse;
“It’s fast and made of steel but it shor ain’t a horse!”
Or the Infantry First Sergeant as he puts up his bayonet;
“Hell, it’s not right when you shoot ‘em and ya caint see ‘em yet!”
“But those are just the killers”, you say with a grin.
No man, you just don’t get it, let’s try this again.
That Cavalry guy, the Infantry one too?
You’ve gotten one thing right; they’re different from you.
In their minds, those steel “horses” are embodied with life.
If one lets the other down it could mean their life.
And what of the support folks who haul bullets and beans?
Or those that turn wrenches, operate exotic machines?
The Doctors, Nurses and Aviators too.
None of these can ever again be like you.
Because they all understand the shrug and…… “because”.
They KNOW why a soldier does what he does.
They know that some will never come home.
They understand the meaning of being alone.
They know that there’s a homeland that’s in need of defendin’.
And the medics all know that it’s not fences they’ll be mendin’.
And that’s just a part of why we do what we do.
“Oh” you reply, “I never really knew…..”
“We know”, says I, “there’s millions like you”.
That’s why we’ll continue to do the things that we do.
And we’ll continue to do them………
© 1SG J. D. Garrett
Memorial Day, 1994