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Elizabeth Evelyn Stember

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A soldier is a soldier
by Elizabeth Evelyn Stember
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
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"Shame of what you are means you are a fraud, to be proud of your path means accepting the truth in both praise and criticism: a soldier can be a murderer, a theif, a rapist, and a liar as well as a protector and dependable is all Perspective." - Misali-aka-Besu

A lot of people might get mad at this, since it seems to slander the common soldier, but it doesn't. It tells the truth, the complete truth. I am only the writer, blame the insperation.

I am rather young
But I have seen War
Not from TV, Games, Books, or Songs
Though through memories I live in
When I slumber
For a soldier is a soldier
No matter how and the battles they wage

I know the inner turmoil of taking the corpse of a friend
And like a sack, carry the carcase, though carefully,
Tossing it up upon a fire to be burned, robbing the dead
As a common theif; as mercenaries instead of a warrior clan
Bringing unknown shame to myself and those that know me
Only monsters loot and kill and shame the fallen

I once killed for a god I never really loved
Only because that god was killing
Yet I have slain thousands with no thought
The heathen gods would gladly accept me if I was of them
But I fight for the crusade against them
A Demon is my label and reknown
For only Devils take glee in Death like I

In this time I am rather young
But I've seen War in a way you would recoil to know
For I am a Soldier
That is my curse
For a soldier is a soldier
No matter how and the battles they wage†

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Reviewed by Kalikiano Kalei 2/27/2008
Rather interesting reflections, I think. Kudos to you for not being afraid of your admirable mind and for using it as effectively and expressively as possible, in verse. This is, of course, the main challenge facing everyone in American society today (the challenge of thinking reflectively about life), since it is so fashionable among immature and arrested personalities to affect anti-intellectualist postures and dumb-down the larger concerns of life. War was, is, and ever shall be a terrible thing. That having been said, it will regrettably always be with us and is even at times necessary. Seen in one context, war is simply a collective, mass expression of the sort of extreme personal intolerance and flagrant social ignorance that underlies all individual acts of brutality (viz. murder, rape, torture, and gratuitous cruelties of all types). The point that is missed by so many people in considering war is that most declarations of war are not only unjust, but unnecessary. The best example of this at present is the war in Iraq, which never should have taken place in the first place; the fact that is did is a reflection of the massive and pervasive social and political ignorance found today among most American citizens. Vietnam was another excellent example of an 'illegitimate war' fought principally for ulterior purposes and hidden corporate agendas, as was the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Defensive war to defend the physical borders of one's nation may be excusable in certain circumstances, but wars of capitalistic imperialism are most definitely neither excusable nor allowable. This distinction appears not to register with so many of our myopic flag-waving patriots, who seem to have no problem sending their children off to die in a useless, inexcusable war simply so that corporations may continue to profit obscenely from the continued gullability of simple-minded people who have been socially conditioned to feel they still need to lead wasteful lives (i.e. the 'bigger is better' anthymn sung by so many Americans). Whenever I personally consider war, both as a former participant in Vietnam and the Gulf War I, and as a present military historian, I am invariably reminded of Danish classical composer Carl Nielsen's famous quote: ďPatriotism has become a spiritual syphilis that devours the brains and grins out through empty eye sockets with moronic hate!Ē And so will it ever be, unfortunately. Thanks for bravely putting your thoughts down like this. There are a few mechanical problems in the poem that need to be addressed but that should not detract from your message, which comes through loud and clear. By the way, don't let yourself be put off by those who are critical of your sentiments expressed here: they're probably the very ones Carl Nielsen was referring to! Bravo!
Mahalo and malama pono, Kalikiano
Reviewed by Axilea MU 1/20/2008
War is meaningless, any more. I don't think this poem vilifies the soldier... war does. It vilifies humanity. There are no soldiers; only exploited, manipulated and sacrificed young men and women. To the profit of one God: the God of money and power.

Your poem is clear and effective, honest above all.

Reviewed by Savage Grace 11/19/2007
You said you love to write. That's good enough for me.
Michael H. Pounds
Bravo Company
2/22(mech) Infantry
Vietnam 70'
Reviewed by Joseph Manzo 11/7/2007
No doubt your liberal teachers at school have given you great accolades for your poem that vilifies soldiers.
In the real world that is at war it isnít an eye for an eye; itís kill or be killed. A soldier has to kill so that you can stay safe at home and not experience the horrors of war. While they protect you, you thank them by connecting them to all the criminal acts that your misguided thinking compelled you to write about in your poem. By the way, I didnít like your poem.
Reviewed by Kathy Armijo 9/7/2007
I don't think being a soldier is a 'curse.'
In each of our daily lives we fight for what is right. We may not have to kill, but we DO have to take a stand or be forever damned.

Consider our police officers who may have to kill in the line of duty - they, too, are soldiers 'of a different kind.'

Consider a grieving family member having to disconnect life support - they, too, are soldiers 'of a different kind.'

Reviewed by Bennett 5/18/2007
Reviewed by Muhammad Al Mahdi 5/3/2007
A very courageous statement. All due respect.
Reviewed by Johann Louthan 3/7/2007
Very good work Elizabeth. History needs to be learned in just this way by all of our world's young people. How anyone would take this as a slam against our soldiers is beyond me. Some people are unable to see outside their little box they inhabit, I suppose. As for looking to the "Lord" for help, I'm sure the Goddess and the God smiled at that line.
Reviewed by Louisa Dobbins 2/19/2007
I wore the uniform of a soldier and I am still proud to be a soldier.
I served my country well. When my professional duties were completed, there was still plenty to do. There were other soldiers to encourage. I certainly hope you find some encouragement soon. It is dangerous to hold gruges. Unless I read you wrong, you may need to look to the Lord from which will come help. "Don't intend to be a dingbat". Get some help soon please. In the name of love.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Stember 12/18/2006
Can I just make a comment to everyone before some other dingbat jumps down my throat? I just spat up some right wing republican George Bush supporter and just want it in the open that this poem is in NO WAY SHAPE AND/OR FORM about the war now. Because the fighting stopped, and the only reason the soldiers are still there is because of political bs. This is MOSTLY about the crusades. Trust me, the "terrorism" war was already won, but not by the US. And if you have an ear of Bush's, tell him that, cause I would not mind telling him that to his face.

If I seem snippy, it's because I'm tired of stupid people thinking I'm only talking about current issues in half my work. It drives me past all thought and through a wall of pure mythril. Also, someone I was close to died and I'm trying to get some applications so I can fill them out and ship them off to the colleges I want to go to...senior year seriously sucks at this point....
Reviewed by Leslie Weddell 10/9/2006
You have made a good start. But DO check your spelling before posting.
Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 7/18/2006
A different prospective on an old subject....Thought provoking........M
Reviewed by Augustine Sam 4/30/2006
Strange work for a girl and for one so young, yet powerful enough to raise curiosity. You've scored a point, Liz, for daring to be different. I enjoy this verse.
Reviewed by Rohit Bhuta (Reader) 4/16/2006
when was the draft of your poem written. I am sorry to disturb you but I need to know so I can give a speech about your theme,etc. If you could give me the date it would be a pleasure
Reviewed by Peter Paton 2/22/2006
A good soldier fights the good fight, and you have to fight it to the end !
God bless all our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for justice and democracy.
You dream and imagine a good, combative composition Beth !
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