Tuesday, October 28, 2014


image from forums.epicgames.cc 


“We will never be totally ready--so guess that means
that we are as ready as we will ever be.”
--Neal Shusterman.

Troy was from Tenino,
                        a tiny whistlestop rural town
                        in Washington, but close enough
to several military bases to feel/hear the shaking
from heavy ordinance, & often see choppers,
                                                        fighter jets, &
                         in the cloudy gray skies.

His father owned Thompson Garage,
                         & one day if he could,
                                    he would return there to
                                                    take his place alongside
his older brother, so that the old man
could                                           finally retire.            They were
            a family of hunters, which was the perfect
            segue into his military career. 

Today Troy is a weapons specialist trainer
            for the Infantry at JBLM.
He was the all-American poster boy
for those homegrown patriots
that quietly joined the armed services
in order to ready this country’s Military
                      to honor our obligations
                      in the Middle East,
                      Africa, & the
                      NATO countries, strapping
unsung soldiers that hoped to actively counterpoint
             the media attention on all the 
             fucking street thugs & illiterate
             gang-bangers who were being
             recruited on-line for Jihad;

and in his strong young heart
he believed that if there ever was 
            Peace in the Middle East, 
                       in his lifetime, then he would
train men to fight in the mountains & jungles
of South America, or the desolation within the
Korean peninsula.

In his spare time, he kept polishing
his own marksman skills, so
                               that perhaps one day he could join
                      one of the outstanding Sniper Squads;
could wear a rad Ghillie suit for concealment.   He was already
                                                   rated expert with the M24 SWS,
                                    with its light Kevlar, graphite, & fiberglass
                stock, its 100X scope, two-foot barrel & its detachable
bipod--able to hit a shirt button at a thousand yards.

Personally, his preferred sidearm was still the M1911 .45 ACP,
a bit bulky, but with twice the stopping power
of the standard issue 9 mm pop guns.        Sure, he could
          handle an M4 carbine just fine, but his
          220 pound, 6’3” muscular frame loved
                             to carry the M26 MASS 12 gauge shotgun,
outfitted with a clip; much sweeter than the old 500 MILL pumps.

He dearly loved to pull Outpost Duty, where
                          he could use the M249 SAW with the STANG
                          magazine, with three M320 hand-held grenade
launchers leaning up on the sand bags, armed with the old standby
M67 fragmentation grenades--& when he could manage it
he would keep a M3 MAAWS anti-tank recoilless rifle as a back-up. 

He felt confidant that single-handedly
he could hold off fifty Islamic commandos.    Secretly, he was more
                       than anxious to put his boots on the ground
                       in Iraq or Syria--he had already
filled out the paperwork requesting volunteer non-combat
               within the elite squads of weapons trainers
               who were already there in the shit.   Damn it,
this Raghead Rebellion needed to have every swinging
Islamic dick beheaded, then chopped up into camel meat
sandwiches that could be freeze-wrapped & sent to their
training camps. 

He proudly stood with, & was ready to lead
tens of thousands of others, all eager
                             to test their training,
                             to do their duty,
                             to preserve Democracy,
                             & kick some raghead butt:
Fuck yeah!

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this WAR Poem to you?


Brian Miller said...

it is the details that carry this story for me...as if you know him...and what his character is...what he believes and what he stands for...I am thankful for those willing to stand...to serve...I hope that he, and many others, are able to come home...and return to a life where they don't have to face the opposition....and maybe work in that family garage...

Björn Rudberg said...

Amazing how the name of guns can sound like poetry.. Myself I have limited myself to the simplicity of an AK-47... (rhymes with heaven).. I hope that he could return to his simple life one time..

Gabriella said...

The beginning of your poem made me wonder, once again, why people join the military nowadays. I know someone who did after watching a BBC series about the war in former Yugoslavia. He wanted to be one of these brave soldiers who do their best to put wrong right. I also had numerous students who wanted to be soldiers for the wrong reasons.

Mary said...

I think that you have characterized a certain kind of soldier here, Glenn. He sounds kind of cold-blooded to me...more a killer type than a rational soldier.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, the details paint this portrait clearly. I do respect those who serve and know how they are trained to think in order to do what they re sent to do. Your poem makes me think of Bjorn's, that I just read, about us "shooting the mirror image of ourselves"........thinking how the thoughts in your soldier's head likely mirror the thoughts of the men on the other side towards him. Sigh. A powerful poem.

PirateGunn said...

Oh I know what you are saying there. He fits the description of a guy in Osijek in the early 1990s. Mercenaries fighting for Croats against Serbs - salary USD 100 per month. Nearly every man there because it was the right thing to do, in an oblique way. I know that guy. So well it is stunning. Very well penned.

Anonymous said...

We have to call the enemy derogatory names so they are not people with families and dreams while the enemy calls us derogatory names so we don't seem human either. Crazy cycle.

Anonymous said...

What a well done piece. Love the vivid details, and the well done portrait of this particular soldier- was really put inside his head.

Anonymous said...

Such a strong and truthful story.

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.

~Alexander the Great

Kathy Reed said...

This is so bad...I mean that in a good way..you shed light on the mentality of one soldier but it tells so much about what is wrong with the mentality so many have. Others surely feel more obligation and have a different attitude, but the whole idea is crazy and pointless and makes me sick to my stomach. And, I think of the millions of innocents forgotten. You hit the nail on the head with you sarcastic wit about their hubris.

Grace said...

I am assuming he is real person or that someone like him has these sentiments, ready for war ~

I wonder if his beliefs will change once he gets into the action & see death first hand ~

Enjoyed this Glenn ~

Abhra Pal said...

Interesting - and I am really impressed by the knowledge of guns you have - never read a poem that deals with guns at this level- talks about the oozing power in the right form...

ayala said...

A hard poem to write but you penned it capturing the hard reality .

Anonymous said...

I know some, especially some Marine friends, who have never lost that bravado. They are less romantic, more realistic of outcomes, aware of who and what gets left behind, but still ready to go.

Anonymous said...

I have a younger friend who left filmmaking to become a Seal, but rang out, and is now in Officer School. At the beginning of his tour we drank and he said he wished to be a warrior poet. Now... now, he's a warrior, and he's left his poesy behind.

As others note, a powerful pen, Glenn. ~

Kate Mia said...

Down to the 7th poem here.. at around 3:30am.. and getting to retire for the night.. i like your turn about here.. for truly the enthusiasm to fight that some have.. in love of gun and runs against the enemy line.. lining up to go back and back and back again.. as the truly strong and stone hearted can never get enough adrenaline no matter what the end result may be...

True warriors still exist.. and it appears you have captured one.. in this other side of the truth of war that some people do live for it.. day and night.. with love of gun over heart any day.. that comes...

Although never active duty.. working for the military for approaching 25 years.. i've met these guys and (i'm sure the gals exist too) up close and personal.. and for all practical intents and purposes.. they ARE a different breed of human and are not looking at mirrored faces of themselves for the MOST part in the killings of duty they do....as the stone face.. never truly sees a mirror outside of one's face....

Wolfsrosebud said...

sometimes it is forgotten what it takes to be a soldier... you've reminded us today

vb holmes said...

"Secretly, he was more
than anxious to put his boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria--he had already
filled out the paperwork requesting volunteer non-combat
within the elite squads of weapons trainers
who were already there in the shit."
Do these lines temper his bravado or have I misread them?
Great characterization here, Glenn.

Anonymous said...

I just had dinner with a man who had been several times in the big sandbox. He told me that he had told his wife that he felt he needed to go back.

Evil stops when good men do something.

Anonymous said...

wow, this is a great story. i like the details, not only of the personal part, but also the military part. it was like a movie.

Born to Strife and Contention

sreeja harikrishnan said...

enjoyed reading ... as if watching everything live....