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He sits alone shrouded in Memories. Some are dark, darker than the darkest night. Others are all color and light, the brightest days of his youth. His large, blunt hands rest. His thick chest rises and falls with the slow rhythm of effortless breathing, broken occasionally by a deep, soul-felt sigh. Some would say that he has earned his rest. How good it is that he can spend his "Golden Years" in comfort and peace. They cannot know the restlessness of the Warrior. Peace is not a tonic to the soul of the Warrior. The Warrior shares his appetites with few men. Only another warrior can know and understand. Food is energy to fight, to do battle, to conquer, to survive. He will eat his fill, or all that is available, he will do without if he must. His only exercise is surviving. Fight, Hunt, Fight, Love, Fight. His appetite for rest is a truce with the laws of nature. Enough to repair, to replenish. More than that is poison. His appetite for love is a ravenous passion. Beauty is cherished by one who has seen the limits of an ugly, brutal world. Softness, though despised in himself, or any man, is revered in the gentleness of his Lady. His Home and Hearth mean safety and comfort. His Love is here. His Life is here. The Warrior's need to protect is a driving force. Let nothing threaten His Domain. Yet, he challenges the world to offer a threat. His need to protect exceeds the perimeter of his Home. His Domain exceeds the perimeter of his Home. His Domain is on the Battle Field. His Love is at Home. His Life is at Home. He Thrives on the Battle Field. As Death and Destruction erupt around the Warrior, the thrill of Life and Living pounds through his veins. Never does he feel so Alive as when he is fighting for Life. Not just his own, but for the lives of his Companions, and the lives of the Oppressed. They are The Cause. They are the Wives, Daughters, Sisters, Children, Mothers. The Warrior fights for them. They are Sacred. He has been charged with their protection. The Warrior will not fail. He will not only Fight, but he will teach their men to Fight, that they may be Men. He witnesses the birth of new Warriors. Not all, a Few. He knows one day he will leave this Battle Field to them. It belongs to them. It is their Battle. He returns Home. He is happy. He Loves. He is happy. His charge is Safe, always Safe. He has his Memories. Bright, beautiful Memories. Brilliant, flashes of Memories. Dark, tortured Memories. Sad, lonely Memories. The Warrior recounts his Coups. He counts his losses. He recalls the Dead. He Remembers them. The Warrior sits alone, shrouded in Memories. Obsidian eyes ask, "Where is the Battle now? Who Fights? Are there enough Warriors? Am I needed to Fight? I will Fight! I am still Able! I Am The Warrior!"
I decided to resubmit this in honor of the Warriors who fought and are currently fighting for the freedom and protection of the threatened and oppressed. I wrote this for my dad and his fellow Special Forces soldiers, both active and retired. He shared memories with me of his 30 year career . . . not all . . . but enough.
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