I have more in common with a murderer than a minister

As the red, white, and blue wraps around the sinister

And evil is not evil when thought done for the good

So, we happily take lives as all good soldiers should


Given a uniform, the fatal skills, and a warrior’s mind

We are thrown into the fray and killing easy to find

While the fear races through the heart of a mother

It avoids the heart of her son who kills his brother


We see to complete our mission without taking pause

Survival overtakes any sense of reasonable cause

And in a battle won by only who kills whom first

An animal emerges that bears a bloodthirst


An inebriation of power comes at the taking of life

As another’s hopes drip from the edge of your knife

Here, where my greatest evils lie so unexposed

The light of the once good in me slowly erodes


I have crossed a line, where few others want to go

Heaven a wonder, yet the real hell is to know

That somewhere inside you, evil sleeps in the man

Who felt nothing for the blood and death on his hands


Fate denied me a regretless death in the field

And that extra time, no great good did it yield

For the rest of my life, whatever evils I resist

I will have to live knowing that man still exists


16 Responses to “Knowing”
  1. beth says:

    i cannot even imagine how that must feel, but you have described it so that i can begin to –

  2. I suspect this post to be more personal than many. I disagree only because that was the man you USED to be – by necessity and responsibility – but that is not the man you are today. 99% of us do the best we can within any given set of circumstances, but if we continually grow through life, we aren’t the person we used to be yesterday, nor the person we will be tomorrow. We both need to work on forgiving ourselves for choices we made in the past… of course, I have no words of wisdom for you as this is still a constant struggle for me. What I do know is that the man you are today would not kill with bold intent to do harm unless it were necessary.

  3. Jim Borden says:

    powerful words, Brad. you have put into words what many soldiers must feel. I hope you find peace …

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    Your words explain your understandable confused feelings. I don’t like that soldiers are made to feel guilty through decisions that others made for them.

  5. jonicaggiano says:

    Well written poem Brad. There are no if ands or buts when you join the Army or military which ever branch. During war times if you refused during combat to follow an order you can be shot. Brad you did your job and my guess is you did it not with pleasure but that you did it to save your brothers that you fought with and that is what you were trained to do. In terms of what kind of man you are – think of Saul in the Bible who killed every Christian he could get his hands on in the most horrible ways as they did not follow the “so called rules, he believed to be right.” That man was later known as Paul and he spent the rest of his life after talking to our Lord trying to teach people the bible and that loving God and Jesus was much more important then following a strict set of rules. Brad you did your job and my guess is that you have saved countless lives of the men you were with and I am sure their families were grateful. Sending you my love and respect Brad for your service and praying that one day you can simple acknowledge you did what needed to be done and allow yourself to find love and be loved. Big hugs, Jonikins xoxoxo

  6. Very well said Brad, those are the thoughts of a soldier and lamentably for all of us that have been there, it is all true.

  7. You may be a better man now but you were always a good one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: