Healer Heal Yourself

image: IWM

HM2 Yamato went down heavily.  Corporal Herrington ran to his side.

“You okay, Doc?” the Marine asked with concern on his face.

“I think so. What do you think?” the Corpsman said pointing.

“It doesn’t look good,” Herrington replied.

“You know, Steve, you could work on your bedside manner a bit,” the Corpsman replied.

“What do you need me to do?” the Marine asked.

“Go pick my bag up from over there and bring it to me,” the Corpsman instructed.

Herrington went and retrieved the medic’s bag from the roadside, where it had fallen.

Yamato pulled out a roll of tape and began wrapping his shoe.  “That’s the last time I’m going to let you talk me into buying cheap running shoes.”


Field Day (Chores)

Cleaning Up, Broom, Bucket, Home, Ground, Cleaning, Mop

“Okay Marines, liberty is scheduled to commence at 1100.  Unless this field day is finished, not a single one of you wastes of space is setting foot out of this barracks,” the sergeant snapped, before turning on his heel and heading back to his office.

“You heard him,” Corporal Chin said to his squad.  “Meissner and Reece empty those shit cans.  White and Cortez get this deck swabbed.  Doc, you and Smitty get the head swabbed.”

The head was a daunting proposition, but Hospitalman Davis used Navy ingenuity, finishing on time by overflowing the toilets to speed the mopping.


Flash Fiction Challenge: Chores

A sadly semi-autobiographical tale.


8d1e2241-5e39-4c4b-ae04-93b6b9034d02[1] (1).jpg

British NCOs WW1, Image – A family photo from Padre’s Ramblings

It is Armed Forces Day in the UK.  It is marked annually at the end of June to commemorate the service of men and women of the British Armed Forces.  It is similar to the American Veterans’ Day, though it is more recent, having been created in 2006 (as compared to the US’ celebration which dates to the 1950s).  Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK.


Service isn’t just a thing that you do

I really needs to be part of you

Prepared on behalf of other’s – to enter the fray

Waiting to count the risks “on some other day.”

To serve, to protect, even sacrifice

Is what it is to enter that way of life





Drum On

image: Chattanooga Times Free Press


Rhythmic drumming from beyond the glade

A snare call for those marching to its beat

Rousing courage in those afraid

As battle beckons their marching feet

Drummer boy  –  give cadence to all

For how can you possibly know –

You’ll be the first to fall?




dVerse Quadrille #106: Drum



Cruel and Unusual

Soldiers, Military, Usa, Weapons, War, Fight, Defense

Image by Defence-Imagery from Pixabay 

“Second Platoon, reporting as ordered,” Staff Sergeant Romero said in a clear voice.

“Excellent,” responded the civilian efficiency consultant, turning his back momentarily to pick up a large stack of fill in the blanks questionnaires.  “I have a PowerPoint presentation to explain these for you, and then . . . ”

He turned back around to find the marquee tent empty.

“That’s odd,” he mused out loud, “third time this week.”




Marines, Military, Drill, Marine, Usa


When ships were oak,

As were the hearts of men

Every man has his place

And every place its man

Perfect order – shipshape – Bristol fashion

Made for vessels always ready for action

Order is familiar to military men

Practice makes perfect

And then you practice again

When you wake up

When you lay down your head

What you will wear

And when you break bread

Every man has his place

And every place its man

It’s order you rely on

As a military man




dVerse – Poetics: Order, Order!








Girl, Portrait, Model Feelings, Passion, Erotica, Eyes


Carl had been deployed to an active theatre of conflict, and owing to operational security concerns his exact whereabouts, and the timings of his movements were withheld even from his closest relations.  But now after three months, he was safely home.

His younger sister, Denise was so excited by news of his return that she ran out to get a bottle of champagne to surprise him with.

As she let herself into his apartment, she was greeted by her negligee-clad sister-in-law.  “Denise, sweetie, I love you to death, but your timing is abysmal.”


Weekend Writing Prompt #145 – Abysmal in 93 words


Lullaby (SSgt Barry Sadler)

Lullaby - SSgt. Barry Sadler

1966 Album Cover

One of the most moving scenes of Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers is the depiction of Col. Hal Moore tucking in his children on the night before his deployment to Vietnam.  I have often told my students that one of the hardest aspects of being a warrior is leaving your family while you go to an uncertain future.  Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler released a song in 1966 which captures this, well before Gibson’s film, or my own military service.

Go to sleep
It’s getting late
My watch says
It’s half past eight
In an hour
I must go
When I’ll be back
Well, I don’t know
While I’m gone
You’ll be the man
Help your mama
When you can
It’s a big job
I can see
For a boy
Just pushing three
Son can I have
A little kiss
Just a small one
You won’t miss
That’s right close
Your sleepy eyes
You shouldn’t see
Your daddy cry
So go to sleep
It’s getting late
My watch says
It’s half past eight
In an hour
I must go
When I’ll be back
Well, I don’t know
Source: Musixmatch
YouTube Video Link:  Lullaby
Shazam Audio Link: Lullaby

The Guardian

Lakshmi Bhat

Photo Credit Lakshmi Bhat

The Guardian Tree stood his post on the edge of the wood.  Oh, how he had envied so many of the other saplings when he was in his youth.  They, with their green foliage and spreading branches.

Ugly, I’m just ugly, he had thought.  He had often repeated those words to himself, as he pondered his dull grey bark and stubby pointed branches.

When he was in his twenties these short branches began to thicken.  While still short, they had begun to harden as well, and the points upon their ends became more pronounced.

He still didn’t see himself as beautiful.  Oak and Maple, they still caught the eye of most passers-by, but Guardian knew he was appreciated by many in the forest.  His unassuming looks, and power of character often drew comments of quiet praise from those who knew him and his purpose.

When he was forty-five, he was proud to take the Guardian’s Oath.  He would stand firm, laying down his own life if necessary, for the “Good of the Wood.”  How many Birches and Willows depended on him?  How many saplings of every kind of bark and leaf stood behind his grey-spined trunk?

So for twenty more years he stood, silent protector on the edge of his community.  Many of the young still marveled at him and his brethren standing in their quiet vigils.  It seemed that the society as a whole, secretly even questioned why they were needed.

Then, un-expectantly the day came.  “Beavers!” the panicked cries rang out.  But there, when others cowered, the Guardians stood firm.


In tribute to law enforcement, the military, and others that quietly serve.

Sunday Photo Fiction