Reporting From The Front

Reporting From The Front

This is a discussion on Reporting From The Front within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I got this in an e-mail, God Bless all the Men and Women in Uniform all around the world. Monsters and the Weak 1/25/06 by ...

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Thread: Reporting From The Front

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Out side of Richmond, VA

    Reporting From The Front

    I got this in an e-mail,

    God Bless all the Men and Women in Uniform all around the world.

    Monsters and the Weak 1/25/06 by Michael Marks

    The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
    The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.
    With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
    I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "stay low."

    My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
    the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
    He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of grey and brown,
    that hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

    He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
    but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
    "About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
    "beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device."

    A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
    "You think he's gonna set it off along the crowded street?"
    The sniper gave a weary sigh and said "I wouldn't doubt it,"
    "unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."

    A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
    while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
    Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
    The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

    And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
    instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
    "Hey, I could put you on TV; that shot was quite a story!"
    But he surprised me once again -- "I got no wish for glory."

    "Are you for real?" I asked in awe, "You don't want fame or credit?"
    He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "you just don't get it."
    "You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?
    before a mortar hit, it used to be a grocery store."

    "But don't go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
    the rubble just across the street -- it used to be a school.
    The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,"
    His head hung low, "They never thought a car would just explode."

    "As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,"
    He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
    "Today the fight's on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"
    "I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fight's back at home."

    "And I won't let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
    don't wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
    I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
    nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."

    "So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
    I don't care if I make the news, or if they speak my name."
    He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
    "If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot."

    "Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
    that most of us are OK and we're coming home again.
    And why not tell our folks back home about the good we've done,
    how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."

    You tell 'em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
    without the fear that tyranny is just a step behind;
    Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
    or ask a soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."

    He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
    then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added;
    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak."
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

  2. #2
    Lead Moderator
    Array Tangle's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Kinda puts it into perspective doesn't it! Good read!

  3. #3
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    That's great Mike - I received it too yesterday - it is ''going the rounds'' I guess. Great verses.

    Let me add a smidgeon of bio for interest' sake.

    Mr. Michael Marks, 41, a Leesburg, Va., resident, says he has been
    interested in poetry since sixth grade, when he won a school poetry contest.
    "I guess it stuck," says the defense consultant and author of "The Emergency
    Responder's Guide to Terrorism."

    Thanks to the Internet, his poems have made him something of a holiday hero.
    A Google search for his poems turns up 1,000 links to "A Soldier's Christmas
    <> " written in 2000, and 800 links
    for "The Sands of Christmas <> "
    written in 2003.

    He grew up in "a very patriotic household," Mr. Marks says. His father was a
    Marine veteran and missile engineer. Mr. Marks recalls going out, at age 5,
    "in my best little suit with my grandma selling red paper poppies to fund
    raise for the American Legion Auxiliary."

    He turned to poetry on Pearl Harbor Day -- December 7 -- in 2000 to express
    concern after some soldiers' absentee ballots were questioned during that
    year's presidential elections.

    "Sitting here listening to all this, I started thinking about ways to say
    'thank you' " to the troops, Mr. Marks says. That inspired 'A Soldier's
    Christmas <> ' about a dream
    encounter with a soldier who says, "to know you remember we fought and we
    bled is payment enough."

    "I put it out on the Web. I didn't think it would draw the level of response
    it did," Mr. Marks says. "I started getting e-mails from everywhere --
    Bosnia, Okinawa, everywhere you could imagine."

    That reaction encouraged him to write more poems, including 'The Name on the
    Wall <> ' about the Vietnam Veterans

    "The 390th Strategic Missile Wing contacted me and asked me to write a poem
    for the dedication of the Titan Missile Museum... That poem, 'When Titans
    <> Walked' was read at the
    dedication and hangs framed in the museum," Mr. Marks says.

    His work is posted at the International War Veterans' Poetry Archives
    ( <> ), but also is all over the
    Web -- with the poet's generous permission.

    'The Sands of Christmas <> ' was
    inspired when Mr. Marks compared his problems -- he is a fan of the NFL's
    Miami Dolphins, who had "lost by six" -- with the challenges faced by
    soldiers who have "no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs," or meals ready
    to eat.

    His works have earned him no money, Mr. Marks said, but that doesn't matter.
    He gets paid in grateful e-mails, like this one:
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Damm the poem says it all imho .

    Thanks for the background with the links chris .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Central FL
    You know in the convoluted paths of my past I've had the priveledge of knowing people who were involved in CT long before it came out in the open. To a man they were some of the most dedicated and proffesional people I've known and that poem about sums them up.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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