Shells and men fall to the ground.



Take the hill the sergeant hound



Fear itself is my greatest foe.



Will I meet death? I do not know



Machine guns rattle, rifles crack



I charge the hill, I push fear back



I show no mercy for I receive none



Fear itself is on the run



I fire my rifle, I throw my grenade



I fire back through the haze.



All is quiet, all is still



I see the bodies, My heart goes chill.



I calm back down, come off my high



I fall to the ground, I start to cry.



I conquered fear, but death remains.



Oh has a heart ever felt such pain?



I stand back up. I dry my tears.



Still the sounds plague my ears.



They plague my ears they plague my mind



Nothing can erase them, not even time.



Now I march,



Back into place.



God give me strength.



God give me grace.



Houston Below, 17, a resident of Missouri, is the grandson of Jone Boettler of Destin. The poem was written on Veterans Day 2011.