Send them out while they’re young

8 Jun

Send them out while they’re young
and very naive;
when their senses of fear have not yet begun,
and we still can deceive them
to make them believe in
invincibility —
and the ability
to see there is nothing to fear
except fear itself.

And,
as the flags are draped over
and honor those truths,
that ever have marched forth our youths into fray
into fields where their bones lie at rest, and decay,
where the bugle call fades
at the end of the day
and all who are left
continue to say
they were there to protect and defend our right ways
as we stand and defend
and display their brave feats
while they silently lay near the soles of our feet.

Send them out young, and very naive
while they are still fearless and can still be deceived.

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19 Responses to “Send them out while they’re young”

  1. Devan June 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow! So well done. 🙂

  2. jasonbladd June 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    What are they being deceived about?

    • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      You served, then?

      • jasonbladd June 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

        Yes sir. Currently.

      • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

        My comment is more for the senders than the soldiers. I watched as soldiers who served valiently in Viet Nam came home to an awful reception at home.

        Your desire and willingness to serve is heroic, and I salute you.

        I wonder why we are in Afghanistan as a country. I realize protecting and equipping the civilians there is essential to their survival. When we pull out all troops, what will the country look like in five years.

        Where do you serve, sir?

      • jasonbladd June 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Yes, the decision to commit American lives must be weighed heavily. We can only pray our leaders have the guidance and wisdom to make the right call. Thanks for the clarification!

      • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

        And part of the problem is the diminishing number of government servants in Washington with military background.

        With Syria rumbling, will we commit American lives once more? A country that struggles with a ruthless autocrat?

        I guess, Mr. Bladd (rank?), I would as soon not send you or others into that country.

        If there is another way — through supply, perhaps — then I’d rather not open a third major front. But history has shown that the US has willingly supplied revolutionaries only to have those same forces turn US guns on US soldiers.

        The Sunday before Memorial Day I photographed dozens of veterans from WWII, Korea, Viet Name, Iraq and Afghanistan flag the grave markers of fallen heroes.

        I watched as a Gold Star mother and her son marked the grave of her eldest son, who died in Afghanistan two years ago.

        I interviewed a 96 year old Marine vet who was in the Mariana Islands and Iwo Jima as he recounted being on the first troop transport to arrive in Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941,

        I read and reread my own father’s accounts of the South Pacific as he told of serving on APA-1, an attack transport, in a book after the war.

        So, never the soldier would I do anything but salute.

      • jasonbladd June 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

        Well said. It’s great to see WWII veterans being honored. I salute them!

      • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

        I wrote on a local decorated WWII Marine.

      • jasonbladd June 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

        Wonderful article. Thank you for honoring our veterans. I look forward to more of your writing.

      • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        The honor is mine.

      • skipmars June 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

        You are welcome, sir. And you have my gratitude. Be safe, sir.

  3. skipmars June 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    By the way, I am very aware how controversial this poem is.

  4. Little Butterfly June 9, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I liked this, it speaks to the heart and the soul of the soldier, their commitment and dedication to their country. And to the senders, those left behind, in a sense. Afghanistan is no longer the great worry it once was, now that so many lives have been claimed there. Syria I think should now have us all quaking.

  5. cpsingleton42 June 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    A very well thought out peace! Well done.
    some people judge the soldier and not the greed who sent them there.
    Mr Bladd. Stay safe. Remember there are those, like the author, who recognise what you lay your life down for. My thanks to you and all those around you.

  6. cpsingleton42 June 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    “Include this in Slices”

  7. cpsingleton42 June 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    BTW I wrote a similar piece called, Mrs Norris’ Boy, in my collection called Life Before World’s End.

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