Hayden man writes poem to help with war-related PTSD | SteamboatToday.com

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Hayden man writes poem to help with war-related PTSD

Hayden resident John Kregar holds a picture of his platoon from the Iraq war and his Marine photo. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder but found comfort and therapy in a poem he wrote about combat.

To Walk My Post

By John M. Kregar,
Corporal/ U.S. Marine Corps

The night watch starts without a sound;

But is quickly interrupted by an explosion that shakes the ground.

Our hearts pound as we jump to our feet;

And to the staging point our platoon begins to meet.

Before we have a chance even to ask;

The call comes out “We think there is GAS – GAS – GAS.”

We put on our masks and begin to don and clear;

We gather up our courage and try not to be overcome by our fear

As the Gunnery Sergeant glares at us with a hardened look in his eye;

His salty voice yells “NONE OF YOU IDIOTS HAVE MY PERMISSION TO DIE.” 
We receive our orders and assume our post;

Deep down inside we think about the things which matter to us the most.

We adjust our sights and check our gear;

And in a silent prayer we hope that the end is not near.

What will happen to us we cannot tell;

In death will we guard the scenes of heaven, or just regroup in hell

In the distance we see several small flashes of light;

Our platoon leader yells out “INCOMING CONTACT FROM THE RIGHT.”

We open fire and do as we are told;

There are no other options, because the line we must hold.

As quickly as it started, the skirmish comes to an end;

For now the nightmare is over, but we wish it was only pretend.

Each squad leader checks for casualties which may have resulted from this task;

Then the all-clear order comes out, and finally we are allowed to unmask.

We break the seal and take breath of fresh air;

We drink some water and rub the sand out of our hair.

Some Marines will go on react and some will return to the guard;

Some Marines will try to sleep, even though it will seem very hard.

People back home don’t know what to say;

Especially when they are told that this was just our Monday.

Each day that follows will repeat a similar scene;

Endured for an entire year by a person who is only nineteen.

There are many wounds which will be felt by this selfless deed;

It will wake Marines up at night, and make them scream their rifleman’s creed. 
Years from now it will be peace that each of us will try to find;

A difficult task, because the battle is still raging in our mind.

The battles endured won’t allow veterans to be fully complete;

Some days they need help just to get back up on their feet.

For each day they will beg God to be there when they begin to cry;

And in the shadows of darkness they will hear a whisper saying Semper Fi