The soldiers had obeyed every order so far, march, shoot, eat, sleep. But now they faced an enemy that was little older than their kid brothers and sisters back home. The prisoners cowered unarmed, some facing them with hopeless eyes and some turning with eyes shut tight. Intel said they were rebel-friendly, they supplied food and shelter, they were kith and kin. The commander had been on the radio all through the night, his troops keeping guard. Every time to order came to fire he put in for another clarification but he was running out of options. There was the chain of command and he just wasn't a high enough rank to get the general on the line. At this rate there were only three options; give the order to shoot, shoot them himself or disobey. None of them good options. The first would be the ruining of his men, the second and third the ruining of himself. But perhaps the last one was the least awful of the three. One casualty.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, November 26, 2014.

In the half-light of the breaking day the soldiers stand around us, at ease, but still armed. Each face is impassive, not a trace on it to say they know where they are or what they are about to do. I wonder if they were trained that way or if they are just like that where they come from. Is there a boy inside each man that knows his gun is no longer a toy and that his foes will not get up laughing and slap him on the back? Because if there is I see no trace and that scares me more than anything. It is as if with the uniform came a mind-set, a way of coping with the task at hand, but how can killing be a job with a salary? How will these soldiers sleep at night after this day? When our troubles are over their nightmares will just be beginning. Our faces will haunt their minds, every back-firing car will invoke this moment. This moment. It is all we have left. I feel the fingernails of my sister press into my arm and I know she is drawing blood, but it doesn't matter now.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, November 26, 2014.

Have you ever felt the steady, heavy-spirited drumroll of a soldier's march? It bleeds, rumbling, into the very bones of the ground and presses into your bootheels at each pace, drowning out each and every wandering thought with an insistent beating akin to one's heart. It is unflinching; unwavering; unfaltering; and, even before the ominous certainty of impending suffering, it does not yield. It is the persistent single-mindedness of iron will, and yet in the same moment the hollow echo of many thousands of men across many centuries who have died long before it was their time. What symphony, what percussion, more resolute than that of soldiers' weary feet?

By aduialithil, August 6, 2013.

The advance guard of the expected procession now appeared in the great gateway, a troop of halberdiers. They were dressed in striped hose of black and tawny, velvet caps graced at the sides with silver roses, and doublets of murrey-and-blue embroidered on the front and back with three feathers, the prince's blazon, woven in gold. Their halberd staves were covered with crimson velvet, fastened with gilt nails, and ornamented with gold tassels.

By james, May 1, 2012.

Found in The Prince and the Pauper, authored by Mark Twain.


I have been a military child ever since I opened my eyes, so I have grown up hearing chronicles of my grandfather and my father after him.
Growing up in the military, I believe I have absorbed its true essence. Of course I didn’t put on a uniform and combat boots myself, but I saw it all real close. It is because of that experience that I now carry sheer compassion for soldiers, and am forever appreciative of their sacrifices.
For I have seen men make them myself; my father and my grandfather have both been to war, for which they left behind their newly wed wives, parents of old age and their infant children, all to fight in faraway lands. Once it hit me, I asked them ‘why’.
To which they smiled and replied,
‘To serve.’
And that- was my epiphany, one that made me realize the true spirit of a soldier.
Of a soldier that lays himself out, so people like me, people like you can occupy our mere brains with ordinary problems, one’s which do not concern life or death.
How these humans willingly compromise their comfort and stand guard, let alone going to war when need be, will always continue to inspire me. Inspire me not only to look over others like I’m being looked over myself, but to believe that there is still brotherhood left in this world. And not just any brotherhood, blind brotherhood; for those men in uniforms know nothing of me, yet- they stand through cruel sun beats and blizzards to protect people like me, people like you.
Even though they well know they might breathe one second and the other not, they stand. Stand in the name of their nations, in the name of their people. For they would rather die on their feet than let the people live on their knees. And that-truly makes me proud of the legacy I carry.
Hence, ‘to serve’ is now my motive too. For I shall strive in all ways that I can, be it to serve my legacy, or the world at large.

By malaika, December 17, 2017.
War & Military

“Come back soon Daddy”
His words barely a whisper in the howling winds. Those soulful eyes that held pure innocence gazed upon him. Outside the weather was brisk. The force of the wind was scraping his face.
Michael hugged him once again and willed himself not to cry.
“I will, son. I will” he promised.
He pulled away and kissed James forehead.
“Take care of your mom, okay?”
“Okay” the boy replied.
It was cruel to part a father from a three year old child, but he had to go. He picked his bags from beside him and turned around to face his destiny.
These types of farewells always pained him. It was the 3rd time he was leaving his family like this. But his job requisite him to. After all he was a soldier, and his country needed him.

By sofia, January 7, 2017*.