combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 04 Number 03 Summer ©Jul 2006

Friendly Fire
Heroes All – Lest We Forget

      Sing a sorrowful song and play
      the pipes for the fallen soldier
      who dies in the field of battle
      lost in the chaos, thoughts of
      home racing through his head
      On that bloody

      Bullets fly past, and the rockets blast
      All around the guerilla's attack, knowing
      That the soldiers cannot defend
      Through the chaos and reactions, the will to live drives
      Their actions and guides their arcs
      to the enemies hearts

      Battling valiantly the soldiers stand shoulder to shoulder,
      Back to back, the enemy is losing heart and they are starting to depart
      Melting into the mountainous hills, waiting for another
      Chance to make their kills

      All is still; all is quiet except for the sergeant's shouts
      He demands a count; sounding off the count is done
      The battle won, except for one who lays still on the
      Cold ground, all is quiet not a sound except for the tears
      Of his platoon, the wounded stand and come near to shed a tear
      For their friend who met his defending them

      A hero, a friend forever lost and forever etched in their
      Hearts a sacrifice that will never depart
      Them, a call is made and report given
      Secure the site and ready a pad
      To pick up all the wounded in dead,
      To take them home, to get them help and
      For some to rest their heads, their duty done
      The price is paid and as they are laid to rest the
      Call of hero is forever made.

      Investigation for the action, re-enactments
      A plenty and with the science of forensics it is
      Determined that friendly fire brought him down
      All are sad and question whether it was them that
      Hurt their friend, that brought an end to this young father
      Who felt pride stopping the Taliban.

      Take heart, a soldier knows his part
      When a battle is about to start
      They know that some may never come back,
      Friend or foe no fire is friendly and its intent
      Is deadly. The job done, the battle won until the
      Next day, no matter what the reporters say
      The soldiers know their part.

      A young soldier at home, with full ceremony
      As the tears stream down and national anthem
      plays, the priest says that his bravery and
      pride is beyond compare. Pride is all
      is left, sorrow deep – sacrifices all too steep.

      Look into her eyes, and say it was all
      because of friendly fire. That he was not brave or
      proud – that it was a friend who fired in despair.
      Not fair, no not ever. But look into your soul
      and wonder if it would seal away
      your sorrow.

      Would it bring him back tomorrow? Were sorry to say
      that today, he died because of friendly fire.
      Dedication forgotten and controversy begotten, news
      teams scour and search from perches high and all the
      lessons are lost in a mire of controversy.

by Terry Joseph Hamel
... who is a Canadian military loadmaster on active duty at an undisclosed location, after serving on several peacekeeping missions as a support trade in Kabul, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Mogadishu, Beladola, and Nairobi. His first composition was scrawled on his crib, and he's endeavored in writing pursuits ever since. His work has previously appeared in this magazine, and some other selections are available under the pen name of Neanderthal Man at the All Poetry website.

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C O M B A T, the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones