Showing 26 posts tagged poem
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Out of the night that covers me.
A U.S. Army soldier from the 3rd Special Forces Group stationed out of Fort Bragg manually calls for fire from an AC-130U Spooky during a call for fire exercise on Hurlburt Field, Florida. The 3rd SFG trained on identifying a target for over-seeing aircraft without the use of radios.
(Photo by Airman First Class Christopher Callaway, 26 APR 2012.)
Their shoulders held the sky suspended.
Underground Vietnam Military Patches
These patches were not sanctioned and approved by the United States Army. Handmade patches for soldiers began during the Vietnam era. Some soldiers wanted unique patches to represent significant events in a soldiers tour — an unrecognized battle, a particular subgroup or unofficial unit. These patches were worn secretly, on the inside of hats or the inside of shirts. They were secretly flashed to other members of the group or unit, but these patches were basically a private affair. In fact images of skulls on patches or insignias were officially forbidden by the military.
Awesome bit history right there.
Fun fact: this tradition still exists.
Although today, it’s migrated towards “tabs” more than full color patches.
The bottom-left one is my favourite.
“What God abandoned” is a reference to “Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries” by A.E. Housman, which was a poem written as a tribute to the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force, who were the first British troops to see action in the First World War. The BEF was made up of professional soldiers rather than conscripts so German propaganda slandered them as mercenaries, and this was Housman’s response;
These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when Earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and Earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.
Curator’s Choice: March 2012.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Henley 1875
An Air Force Pararescue Jumper trainee surfaces for air as he swims towards the finish point at Calaveras Lake, Texas. The PJ indoctrination course at Lackland AFB is nine weeks long and consists of intense physical and mental training requirements. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Jonathan Snyder, 17 August 2011 via DVIDS.)
#Luck be a lady who hates my guts#
This is that moment
when the world goes silent
and everything slows down,
time stretches out, the fabric of reality warping,
every dust mote that floats in the beam of early evening sunlight
dancing as though to a melody of blood thrumming through veins,
the rhythmic rise and fall of your chest serving up the bass line,
stretching out that moment before
the bullet rips a burning line
through living flesh,
whipping your body around
like a careless dance partner
to slam the world back
into full speed.
In Flanders Field
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
"Behold, the barren beach of Hell at ebb of tide."
-Author unknown, Artist unknown.