J.J. McCloud: 'Tis the Living Who Suffer


Take it from me; the soldier doesn't hurt once he's dead. Dead is dead but to have to tell his wife who is 5 months pregnant that he died "bravely and for his country" is the biggest lie in the world.

Yes he died bravely, but not for his country, he died trying to stay alive and to help keep his team alive. They paid a high price to take that team down but pay it they did and in the end it was the sheer weight of numbers that took them down. Wounded men can only fight for so long and each successive wound slows them just a little bit and dead men can't fight anymore; all they can do us give up their weapons and ammo to the living and let their team mates use their dead body for a shield. Only one out of 6 made it then, the rest were sent home in body bags to their families. I accompanied him home and helped his wife send him to his Gods as was the customs of his people.

I watched as the life-light went out of her eyes and knew that she lived for one thing and one thing only from that point onward and that was her unborn child and the faint hope that her brother was somehow someway still alive and would come home to her. I watched as she got the word that he was still alive and for a very, very brief moment her heart healed and then I saw the life light go out again, her husband was her life and her reason for living, without him she had no reason to go on except for their child and she lived for their child alone. Not even her brother could bring her back to us.

I watched whenever I was home as she went through the motions of life living only for her daughter never knowing that she would never live to see her grow up.

Yes it's those left behind who hurt, not the soldier, he's gone to his maker and is at peace with at least this world.

©Copyright December 04, 2004 by J.J. McCloud

A Response to the Poem, 'Tis the Living Who Suffer
©Copyright December 03, 2004 by Colin F. Jones

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