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Poem: An Army Dad

An Army Dad

Once he lived at Fort Lewis Washington.
It was mostly cloudy, cool, and rainy.
Through his window was Mount Rainer.
With a snow capped top all year around.

Young soldiers came into the army,
And in the morning they would be running.
You could hear the sergeant calling cadence,
Troops with antiphonal voices responding.

So far from home and yet not lonely,
Many others would miss their family.
His wife was there to love him.
He never asked if she missed her family.

The thump and boom of artillery,
Could be heard during the night hours,
As could the whoop whoop of the helicopters.
He had America to defend.

She found a church and had her faith.
Tobacco and alcohol helped with his stress.
She would pray and cry for him,
While he volunteered to deploy again.

So far from home and yet not lonely,
Many others would miss their family.
His wife was there to love him.
He never asked if she missed her family.

He could run almost forever.
She ran to her friends at church.
He was named the outstanding young officer,
Married to the army more than her.

Then he became a first-time father.
By four months, she was not a teenage mother.
Then he volunteered to deploy again,
Volunteering without ever thinking about them.

“Who’s that?” the little boy asked as he pointed to his father?
The boy didn’t have a clue who the man was exiting the airplane.
And it broke the heart of the Army father,
As he realized the years he had thrown away.

© 2007 – Jimmie A. Kepler

The poem was originally published as: “An Army Dad,” Poetry & Prose Magazine, June 2011. Volume 1, Issue 9, Moonchild Designs, page 35.


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