Hayden man writes poem to help with war-related PTSD
November 9, 2013
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