There are those who stand, those who,
when the screams of their brethren ring in their ears,
will never submit, never falter, remain forever true –
for their country, they fight through their pain and their fears.
These champions, these guardians of our lives
cast their fates in the fray;
leave behind their husbands and wives
to serve their fellow man, keep danger at bay.
I can't imagine what it's like to kill others,
and yet they do what they must, taking that eternally final shot;
to defend those next to them, in burden their brothers –
their sacrifice cannot be for naught.
They suffer through every last circle of hell,
physical, emotional, spiritual, mental;
again and again, another's hopes, dreams, and life they quell –
the ravaging effects on their soul anything but gentle.
To these, I say, when your friends fall,
when their fight is finally over, their duty done,
we will recognize that they answered the call –
let them be in peace, at last lay down their gun.
We will sound the bugle over them, give our best salute,
and watch over them always, as is their due;
and when you likewise are finished, in need of tribute,
Taps will forever play over your final post too.