"Hopefully this Buck won't stopone of the best damn MilBloggers to ever knock sand from his boots." -- The Mudville Gazette

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MIND THE GAP


photo by Buck Sargent

For God and the soldier we adore,
In time of danger, not before!
The danger passed, and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.
-Rudyard Kipling


Mind the Gap or
The Tao of Modern War
a Buck Sargent Epic

Until years have you spent ‘cross the world from your loved ones,
In triple-digit temps short on privacy and bank funds;
Unless mags do you load vice mugs before work,
Pressed with graver concerns than the Boss is a jerk;
Pay heed to the gulf between civvies and warriors,
American Citizens; Citizen Soldiers.

Forget not our spouses who’ve endured more than average,
They’ve suffered with dignity, expected to manage.
Sporting yellow-ribboned magnets so cruelly disparaged,
Alone through the pivotal years of their marriage.

The times they have ‘a change-ed since our granddads were lauded,
Their excellence, their fiber, their cause never doubted.
Did they know what it was to be disparaged by journalists,
Protesters, college kids, Red-diaper activists?

Bygone is the era of the Stars and Stripes raised,
Our flag flown in triumph along V-day parades.
‘Twas a rite placed in stasis lest talking head cases,
Deplored our galling lack of cross-cultural graces.

Academia nuts deign to denigrate our profession,
Haughty tenured fanatics with a 40-year obsession.
Rendered victims or villains, yeoman’s service demoted,
Our patriots as jingoes; passé, outmoded.

Sly congressmen posture to charm the most cameras,
Jousting and jockeying for electoral advantage.
Antiseptic tank thinkers who prattle on C-SPAN,
Play up to the crowds of American Grandstand.

See Tinseltown slander our time in the sandbox,
Conforming to type and in accordance with script docs.
"Feats are for Hobbits, real-life heroes anachronistic,"
Watch how they scorn what they view as simplistic.

Professional peacemoms, lunatic fringe neocoms,
"I told you so" prime-pumped and perched on their lisps.
Sardonic elitists, perpetual defeatists,
Invertebrate ideological wisps.

The critics, the cynics, the skeptics, dyspeptics,
So quick to condemn us as all misanthropic.
How doth they judge fighters when few have they met?
Longing for new My Lai’s,
Thirsting for new Tet’s.

* * *

Medieval incitements we neglected to answer,

Scoffing in the face of long malignant cancers;
Enthralled with our scandals, portfolios, and navels,
Heedless to warnings they’d hit us when able,
To claim thousands in seconds, twin missiles on wings,
And stir a colossus distracted by triflings.

Embassies, truck bombs, flattened barracks, busy flight trainers,
Diplomats, bureaucrats, waylaid airmen, ambushed sailors;
No indictments, subpoenas, nor G-men in Riyadh,
Could satiate the blood lust of Generation Jihad.

Cast now was the die as our armies set sail,
To correct with the sword where the pen thus had failed;
All the speeches and rallies and cable news fuss,
Spoke in terms of surrender,
But by George, they meant us.

"Bring the troops home!"
"Wrong war, time, wrong place!"
Tired bleats of "Are we there yet?"
Absurd on their face.
One thousand... two thousand... twenty-five hundred...
Grave markered milestones with little context warranted.

Editorial ire kept on stirring the mix,
Unfriendly fire, better cover our six.
ROE second-guessing MSM zeal,
Al Qaedist nihilism, to them no big deal.
"Upon our signal, unleash syndicated hell,"
Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves:

Pensioned general mutineers, inordinate theocratic fears.
Pop cultured vultures for months descended,Scavenged Abu Ghraib unended.
Recruiting depots placed under siege, KIA funeral-crashing sleaze.
Haditha jarheads, "hang ‘em high!" Murthacrats can’t wait to try.
Paper of Record free to choose, national secrets for Page One news.
Saddamized Deal Or No Deal trial, Iraqi justice: O.J. style,
From riches to rags to spider holes, to tailored threads/patent leather soles.
"Stop NSA!" "Close Gitmo Bay!"
Top antiwar accompli faits.
Patriot Acted kabuki dance,
Why can’t they just give war a chance?

On this the appeasers so desperately cling:
"Hostilities have never solved anything."
Except for:
British Crown colonialism... Soviet Block communism... Prusso-German aggression... Southern slaveholding secession... Holocaustic European tragedy... Rising Sun Bushido savagery... Generalissimo Italian fascism... Third Reich Nazi cataclysm...

Although horrid in deed, not the ugliest of things;
Fighting war on the cheap shot, waging politics by other means.

* * *

Jundis and shurtas, Iraqi patrollers,
Shot down and blown up or pelted with mortars.
Security forces trained from the boots on the ground up,
Uncredited valor amidst body count roundups.

Foreign jihadists and tribal omertas,
Turn on each other, both routed, Inshallah.
Though Arab versus Arab and Muslim on Muslim,
Long driven by the Prophet Mo (Peace Be Upon Him).

Shifty attacks from those dressed none more black,
Thy nature of the beast roaming free the Middle East;
Baghdad... Samarra... Fallujah... Ramadi...
Our rank and file hunters on insurgent safari.

Toting carbines and ‘fifties, 240s and SAWs,
Flashbangs and flex cuffs, and Kevlar and gauze;
Strykers and Bradleys, Kiowa gunships and tanks,
MREs, IEDs, Humvees... (no thanks!)

Though the instrument of warfare that 'ever dwarfs any gun,
To earn the trust of the people once the battle is won.

* * *

Whole seasons may pass without a trace of reporters,
From the streets of Mosul to the Syrian border;
Green Zone commandos lay sounder than embeds,
Though visions of Pulitzers still dance 'bout their tin heads.
Filing omens of doom like a skilled reverse-carpenter,
Drawing troop snarls of Thank you sir, may I have another?

Carnage attracts coverage like payouts tempt lies,
If it bleeds its gonna lead -- sunni outlooks won’t fly.
Objective J-schoolers with no dog in this fight,
Doling cash out to stringers who deliver on site.
Do such double-dipping locals with dubious ties,
Also moonlight as bellhops at the Hotel Palestine?

Plead my case, O Lord, with them that strive with me;
Fight against them, that fight against me.

Combatants in street clothes seeking cover behind women,
Still asserting all the protections of the Geneva Convention.
Fomenting chaos is the thrust of their aim,
Planting bombs on the corners, unconcerned who they maim.
The aged... young children... to them all the same,
For cowing of the masses through death in His name.

These long-time sufferers/first-time voters -- quite acquainted with fear,
Their ancestral lines calloused and accustomed to tears.
Out of a Baathist cultivation of decadence and violence,
Ran a Euphrates of blood demanding monastic silence.

But every dynasty has limits, brutal reigns that diminish;
A time to bury demons:
Sic Semper Tyrannus

* * *

Though their land is now free in the technical sense,
Rule of law not of men, outspoken dissent,
A swaggering press, a backbiting parliament,
All of the trimmings of consensual government;
A new dawn shall we see only after many moons hence,
When their Umma has chosen a side of the fence.

For only time will reveal what our actions have borne,
When old wounds have all healed, and the fallen been mourned.
Will seeds we have planted grow unencumbered and free,
Or sprout bitter fruit from an oft-poisoned tree?

Long hours, longer faces, routine tasks fraught with danger,
All of this and more for the benefit of strangers.
Our lives and our futures, our fortunes and honor,
Pledged till the charge is kept,
But not one day longer.

We’ll demand not of others, to have walked in our shoes,
Least of all once we’re privy to what’s been passed off for news.
We’ll expect no commendation for the impossible we’ve done,
Nor charity for all, so long as malice toward none.

We ask only for consideration of the veteran’s refrain:
Withhold judgment upon us -- give history the last say.

The benefit of perspective, the abstention from blame,
A courtesy we’ll gladly extend all the same.
Though an occupational hazard, the moral gaps that divide us,
Need not be a bridge too far,
To the ties ultimately that bind us.

OUT freaking STANDING.

Unbelievable Buck!! You can never stop writing! The soldier was a poet at heart. No wonder you are loved. Bravo and More
A&N

God Bless you Buck Sargent!

Nice job, Buck. Don't despair about your support back home, though. There are still many more of us back home who support you and are very grateful for what you are doing, and for how well you are doing it. I imagine there were even many naysayers back in WWII. Keep your head and your spirits up high. Hook 'Em Horns.

awesome work...

I will miss your wit and wisdom, but I am glad you will be safe at home.

Dear Buck Sargent,
The comments will be short and to the point on this one. Your poem should stop everyones mouths and just put us all in awe. Awesome!
Neatie

Brilliant work. Get home to your wife. Et USN 71-78 said it correctly. There are more supporters than you percieve and this you'll find out when you leave. (Couldn't resist) And seriously there WERE naysers during WWII. Joe Kennedy comes to mind. Godspeed.

That was awesome ~ thank you for everything :o)

WOW - and WOW again! Awesome!

Thanks for all you do - we appreciate you and are proud of you!!!!

Most sincerely,

Kat in GA

http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com

ROCK ON BROTHER!

Buck Seargent,
You are truly a wordsmith of extraordinary ability.

I appreciate all you have done over there and what you have done for us over here in terms of keeping us informed of the realities of what is going on.

You and your troops have a lot to be proud of (despite the best efforts of the MSM to tell us otherwise), and we welcome you home (I wish it were with a ticker tape parade - maybe one day).

I hope that you will continue to blog on.

Todd Snure
CDR USNR

Wow, Buck! Loved the "Academia Nuts" - another phrase I'll probably steal..er..borrow. I sure hope you don't quit blogging when you're home. If it were up to me, we'd have a parade for every person serving!

Safe travels,
Katy

God bless you, Buck Sargent. Commendable verse you have wrote.

Great post, thanks for spending the time it took to write out your feelings this way. It had to have taken a *lot* of time!

Let me echo one of the comments above - there is a *lot* of support here in America. The news doesn't report it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. My husband and I travel the roads of America full time. In small towns, on farms, along U. S. highways, state highways, county highways, over and over, we see it. The sign that says, "We support our troops." The row of yellow ribbons on a schoolyard fence. The flags waving on front porches . . . and it isn't even Memorial Day or Veteran's Day . . . or the 12th of June or the 4th of July!

The news castigates you, and it ignores us. But we are both here, and will be here when the news is dried up papers blowing in the wind. We *are* America.

Good stuff Buck. I've appreciated your words, will miss your insight on Iraq, and feel confident you will take your leadership, vision and mentoring skills back to the States and continue to use your influence there. Thanks, stay safe, and God Bless. mamaworecombatboots

outstanding, Sergeant!!

Well done.

Darling, You're Fabulous! I'm speechless (and you know that's hard for me!)

I have so many favorite lines and passages I can't site them all -wonderful, wonderful!

Love,
Your Adoring Wife

Thankyou for sharing your work. It is absolutely beautiful.

And Thankyou many times in many ways for everything you do.

Buck-

Damn it you made me shed a tear! Mostly 'cause I will miss reading your posts, for as CDR Snure said, you are quite the wordsmith.

You are not only A CHARACTER, you are full of OUTSTANDING CHARACTER. Despite the reality of what you were going through, you managed to put a smile on many faces I am sure.

May you find your post-war experience includes the well-wishes and sincere gratitude of many grateful and proud fellow Americans.

As one of those grateful and proud fellow Americans, I salute you. Rock on and to Mrs. Buck-thanks for all your sacrifice, too.

Once again you,ve brought tears to my eyes. Well done!
Thank you!

Beautiful, thank you so much!

I wrote this latest piece last week while on frontgate guard duty. At least I got something out of it. I'm a poet who don't know it!

Not to worry, I have no plans of falling off the map when I return home. (Although I will be taking a bit of a hiatus). Not to mention, the ongoing film project that demands my attention.

Plus, I have at least a couple more posts in me until the Freedom Bird gets here, so stay tuned for those.

Hope you don't mind. I printed this out and handed out and pinned a few on some bulletin boards. Great stuff for those willing and able to listen.

Have a safe trip and glorious return. Job well done in all aspects.

You're the man now dog :) Look forward to seeing you soon.

LeMaster

I walked in your shoes in 66 and 67, long ago, and have two sons in Iraq and one in Afghanistan in combat roles. I'll send them your epic poem. Having said that, I'm now speechless.

Not a Marine, but Semper Fi says it all...

Rhod

You are certainly Kipling's progeny testifiing to the leftist dimming vision.

True freedom loving people are your support and together hoist you up in prayer.

Fight on brother with sword and pen.

May our sovereign God richly bless you and your family.

Best regards,
Patrick Mulligan

Hi Guy,

Keep the faith and as the Brits used to say when I was your age -- keep a stiff upper lip!

Pray for you and all in harms way every day.

Don

BUCK~

That was truly a well crafted peice of work that hit every "nail on the head" as it were. Thank you and yours (family & fellow soldiers) for their support and duty for our country and the Iraqi people.

This may not be a popular war for the MSM and those that ingest it's biased drivel whole heartedly, and even worse without question. But it isn't about a popularity contest... But then again you know this better than most all ready and speak of it with far greater whit than I, lol...

"Fair winds, and following seas" may they find you home at last...

Bravo Zulu!

ET2 Nickle USN

i just found your column!! outstanding. i know you hear it everyday, but thanks to you and your wife. stay safe and God bless

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"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln