Leaving the Wire
A professional soldier doing what he is called to do
Is hard to comprehend unless you are one of the few.
Some draftees felt the momentary flash of that desire
To save the world, help people, set an enemy on fire.
There is a young soldier, an old timer in that world,
Who is in the middle of a rush, fighting, all a-whirl,
Doing things he trained for, despite danger and all.
He lives a motto, to be all that he can, to stand tall.
Weeks without much word, left my heart disturbed.
It is hard to describe being the parent of a believer.
He has seen the results of our soldiers’ work, knows
They can succeed, making a difference if left alone.
The electronic age is enlightening but ignorance is ok.
There was an e-mail that turned on a bright light today.
He shared his ambition, his goal and a step in his plan.
I cannot ask him to back off; I must be more than dad.
When the warrior leaves the wire he enters his realm.
He is the captain and the battleship; he has the helm.
They who trained him well created someone to defend
The defenseless of the world, badly in need of a friend.
There is feeling ignited in him when leaving the wire.
Every nerve, every sense, every fiber is transformed.
He leans forward with eagerness, ready, embracing
Any action that unfolds when protecting this nation.
He is very ready, with his skin tingling; his eyes seek
Any sign of opposition and danger within their reach.
Excited, he would quiver but that is misunderstood.
Adrenalin and pride demand he prove he is that good.
Leaving the wire leaves a soldier wired, invigorated.
Outside the wire a soldier is challenged, motivated.
Inside the wire a soldier is just another garrison grunt.
Outside he is the king of the jungle, alert, on the hunt.
Leaving the safety a life changes, expands, demands
That he be prepared for anything in the air or on land.
It is hard to tell how a fear of death makes him alive.
His task is to break things, win, protect, and survive.
He stands beneath a flag flown over other heroes too.
Soldiers do not want to kill but do what they must do.
Inside that wire is his country, outside are invaders.
Home must be held, his heart and soul do not waiver.
I do not want him to prove that he is alive by dieing.
I pray he walks with care, his job not caution-defying.
He has a wife and son he loves, but he has a mission.
We all pray for his success and want him here, living.
I can see a white-knuckled grip on his ready weapon.
His mind does an inventory as he searches the horizon.
I read his mind as he hopes his men are as ready as he.
There is no question; the task is to keep all people free.
Has he taught them enough?
Are they tough enough?
Can he handle losing one of his own?
Are they with him, in that warrior’s zone?
Leaving the wire is, is for him, going home.
It is his world, a place he understands, he alone.
Others like him know what he knows, are linked
To him with a bond others do not understand.
They are not savages, war-mongers, haters of men.
No, they are the opposite; they love humanity.
They want people everywhere to have freedom,
Choice, joy, a chance; those things are the things
When they leave the wire.
Mike Mullins, 6/24/08
author of Vietnam in Verse, poetry for beer drinkers...Dco. 3/7 Inf., 199th Light Infantry Bde.
Thank YOU, Mike.