Differences Between Old Soldiers: Filmic & Actual


IS SURPRISED by untimely visit from government agents, descending by helicopter to give him one last secret mission. IS SURPRISED when VA check arrives timely.
KEEPS a roomful of firearms in every known caliber and format. KEEPS a freezer full of ice packs to fit every joint on her body.
IS NEVER caught without half a dozen loaded magazines in his tactical pants. IS OCCASIONALLY surprised to discover that his fly is unzipped.
FINDS A WAY to kill even the most evil and resourceful adversary. FINDS A WAY to love even the most devious and irresponsible teenager.
ENDS EVERY scene with a snappy line. HUGS YOU without words.
DIES heroically, or lives happily ever after. LIVES next door to you. Cusses the crabgrass.
DELIVERS A SOLILOQUY about patriotism and brotherhood. LAYS A WREATH on a comrade’s grave without a word.
KILLS more bad guys in 90 minutes than an entire deployed company kills in a year’s deployment. LIES AWAKE thinking about a young man who died screaming in the courtyard of his mother’s house.
BRUSHES HIMSELF OFF and walks away from towering explosions that blow him straight into the camera’s eye. STILL HAS TROUBLE remembering things that happened after he “blinked.”
CACKLES “git some!” as he sprays fire indiscriminately across the countryside. PRAYS “please don’t” – but still moves his weapon off SAFE as a little car hurtles toward his checkpoint.
AVENGES his kidnapped daughter, girlfriend or wife by killing dozens of the villain’s stooges. ATTENDS his daughter’s orchestra recitals with his girlfriend, still unsure of how to deal with his post-deployment divorce.
DRINKS everyone under the table, but it doesn’t slow him down. DRINKS everyone under the table. Ends up in treatment.
PRESENTS her lurid collection of scars as a resume of her experience. BURIES most of her scars between her ears and in her heart, and only looks at them in dreams.

Iraq War Memorial hat boots


  1. Thank you Jack and all those served, are serving and will serve. I hate war because I lived in it and so did you.

  2. Finnbhear says

    Nicely said Mr. Lewis and so true.

  3. Nicely done. Pray can you tell me where I might find the pictured memorial? I should like to visit.

  4. Dave Gomes says

    Thanks Jack for reminding us that some gave all, and some are still giving in ways they never thought they’d have to. There’s a lot of both wrapped up the article linked below. One particular picture, that of Mrs Cathey and a Marine beside her husband’s casket hung above my desk for seven solid years to remind me, and hundreds of others who came through there every day of the un-payable costs of war. I believe that the unbearable burden of grief is lightened a little by sharing. So please read this article, grieve, and share to provide support in one way that we all can do.


    All the best,

    -Dave G.

  5. Mark Royer says

    Eloquent. Words that need to be read and understood by those that have never worn the uniform. They won’t, and that is sad…for them. Thank you for the thoughts.
    Vaya con Dios.

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