Tears in the Sand


There was a time not so long ago

When I was not the man you know

A very different version of me

That most will likely never see


And in that there is a hopeful good

Karma unforgiven even if it could

A time of such moral insanity

Riddled with crimes against humanity


Employed in a machine made to kill

Haunted by the memories still

The only excuse to make it just

It was either them or it was us


But that is the great hypocrisy

Of the oft repeated fallacy

Their wrongs I would never know

Just evil because someone said so


You can wrap it up in the flag

Or some patriotic hashtag

But just because you know the song

Doesn’t mean you must sing along


Each action taken by choice

Pretending I had no other voice

I did what was ordered of me

Now chained to gifted misery


A loved brother and son to family

And all those things he maybe

But gladly would I take his life

My contribution to continued strife


If amidst the dry and sandy sea

They could sit right across from me

Would we still kill one another

Or would we have seen a brother


I’d like to think as individuals

We would have set some new rules

A new course could then be found

Finding human common ground


Yet no matter how we wish it true

This flaw in man resists subdue

A hatred fanned so steadily

By men who take lives so readily


Around the world we would roam

Told we were protecting our home

But in this barren stretch of sand

It is they who fight for homeland


If the fight beset our own shore

Deadly evil knocking on our door

Maybe I would better understand

All those tears shed in the sand


20 Responses to “Tears in the Sand”
  1. beth says:

    so tragically and beautifully said by one who knows

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Brad, I shed tears reading this. Thank you for just everything. My heart can feel your words. ❤️

  3. Brother, you and all of your brothers-in-arms live with these thoughts and questions long after your time actively serving our country is over. My heart aches knowing of this strife that you carry and knowing that I cannot begin to imagine how heavy its weight. I hope you know that those of us whom you fought in serving our country do not hold you personally responsible for the things you were commanded to do. Love you and will always be proud of your service!

  4. Very well said my friend! All the best.

  5. kristianw84 says:

    Oh, Brad, this broke my heart. Not because of you, but for you. I wish that I could comfort you, but I know there is nothing I could do or say to ever take away those feelings. Only those who have experienced it can truly understand all the meaning behind your words. Saying “Thanks for your service,” doesn’t seem to be the “right thing” to say, but what else does one say to a vet? I’m not grateful for your painful memories, but I am eternally grateful for my freedom. I have never believed war is the answer, because I firmly believe only love can conquer hate, but I do not blame you or anyone else for obeying orders. Perhaps if our elected officials fought alongside our soldiers, things would change. Know that I adore you! The man you used to be has guided you to the man you are today, and I am eternally proud and irrevocably lucky to call him my friend. Sending you so much love. ❤🌹

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Kristian, thank you for your kind thoughts and warm love. “Thanks for your service” is all a vet really needs to hear. The simple recognition of their choice to serve the greater good and place themselves in peril simply because they love their country and the people in it. But it is I who is lucky to have a friend like you. I am sending love to you in return. It is wrapped in rainbow paper and being delivered by unicorn!

  6. petespringerauthor says:

    What a heavy burden to carry!

  7. jonicaggiano says:

    This is a beautiful piece, it’s no wonder I have never really understood how to talk to someone who has served. Are used to always think soldiers in the airport for their service especially when in uniform. Then I read an article about how some soldiers really don’t like people to do that. Your poem reminded me of the World War One Armistice where the German and the French song Christmas carols together on Christmas Eve. Thank you for sharing this and your heartfelt feelings that went into this beautiful piece. Have a blessed day, Jonikins

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Joni. I always thank veterans and service members when I see them. I am not sure where they scrounged service members up for that article, but I can assure you they are the vast minority.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: