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by Cameron Filas

I once knew a man who wanted to enlist
And left for training with a goodbye kiss
It was a stern finger that convinced him to join
He was promised adventure and fame and coin
And once he was in there were fingers still
Pointing at people he was ordered to kill
Some were old and some were meek
It’s far too easy to slay the weak
Medals were pinned for these acts of valor
He shot them dead as they prayed and cowered
When he came home on Christmas leave
I asked what it is was he wore on his sleeve
It was a patch for fighting terror
He shipped back to battle and I said a prayer
I prayed to God as his enemies did
And hoped he’d come back to his little kid
And come back he did in a casket for one
Leaving behind his only son
And after the war when all dust has settled
Will it have mattered that he earned some medals
There is them
And there is us
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust

Cameron Filas enlisted as an infantryman in the U.S. Army after graduating high school. His hopes of a military career were cut short by a serious back injury which resulted in an honorable medical discharge. Despite this setback, he has gone on to college with the hopes of one day teaching history. You can visit his corner of the web at

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