Veterans Day Tribute

Houston Below

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.