Our kids in the military..

The average age of the military man is 19 years.  
 He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy  Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough
to die for his country.   
 He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either. 



He's a recent High School graduate;

he was probably an average student,

pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year
old jalopy,

and has
a steady girlfriend

that either broke up with
him when he left,

or swears to
be waiting when he returns from half a world away

He listens to rock and
roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or
15 pounds lighter now

than when he was at home

because he
is working or fighting

from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling,

thus letter writing is a pain for him,

but he can field
strip a rifle in 30 seconds

and reassemble it in less time
in the dark.

He can
recite to you the nomenclature

of a machine gun or grenade

use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines

and can
apply first aid like a professional. 

He can march until he is told to stop

stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,

but he is not without
spirit or individual dignity.  He is self-sufficient

He has two sets of fatigues:

he washes one and
wears the other.

He keeps his canteens
full and his feet dry.


he sometimes forgets to brush his teeth,

never to clean his rifle.


He can cook his own meals,

mend his own
clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with
you; if you are hungry, his food. 

He'll even split his ammunition
with you

in the midst of battle when
you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons

and weapons like
they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it,

because that
is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian ,

draw half the

and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering
and death then he should have

in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies,

and helped to create them.
He has wept in public and in private,

for friends who have fallen in combat

and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate
through his body

while at rigid attention,

while tempering the burning
desire to


'square-away' those around him

who haven't bothered to stand,

their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out,

far from home,

he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather,

and Great-grandfather,

he is paying
the price for our freedom.  Beardless or not, he is not a boy.


He is the American Fighting Man

that has kept this country free

over 200 years.


He has asked nothing in return,

except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always,

for he has earned our respect

and admiration with his blood. 

And now we even have women over there in danger,

doing their part in this tradition

of going to War

when our nation calls
us to do so. As you go to bed tonight,

remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets


"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families

for the selfless acts they perform for

in our time of need. Amen." 


Dennis Chapman