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


12 Responses to “Knowing”
  1. beth says:

    I cannot even begin to imagine how this impacts you and others who find themselves in the same place. your intentions were not evil, you were in a situation not of your making and have the rest of your life to be the good person who you really are.

  2. TanvirKaur says:

    Impactful post shared

  3. Brother dearest, these words always haunt me to the core. Though the thought process can help you see that you did not choose to kill for killing’s sake but through orders given by the government you swore to protect, the heart will always have a place that is forever burned by the knowledge of having killed another. I wish I could carry some of this weight for you!

  4. kristianw84 says:

    Oh, Brad, this moved me to tears. I can only imagine how heavy this is for you to carry. I will not argue that you have a dark side (we all do), or try to convince you that your feelings are not valid (they are). What I will do, however, is remind you of the good I have always seen in you. You are not evil. Evil is the person who takes a life for their own sake. You took lives for the sake of everyone else. I can’t even imagine how it feels. I wish I had words of comfort. If you ever feel like you can’t see the light within you, just reach out, and I’ll happily tell you what I see. ❤😘

  5. I am not convinced you have more in common with a murderer than a minister. It would make for an interesting conversation. Even a minister can be a murderer.

  6. Bridgette says:

    Extremely powerful, vulnerable words. Thank you for your service and for sharing these words here.

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