This is an excerpt from the September 2010 issue of the 2/503d News Letter
Those Darn Kids
I thought this might be interesting for our newsletter. I
walked into my daughter's room the other day and
hanging on her wall was a narrative poem that relates to
all of us as brothers in arms. That night at dinner I asked
her where she got it and I found out that she had written
it herself. I was blown away that at 16 years old my
daughter could come up with something so amazing.
This goes to show you that you never really know how
your children feel and understand things. Airborne All
By Chantal Starrett
We grew up with it, it was normal for us, even
something we smiled at every once in a while.
You know what I mean, Soldier Talk.
It happens often when walking out of a gas
station or grocery store. One man is putting
away his items and shifts the Ranger hat on
his head. My father sees this and walks up.
"When did you serve?"
And so the talk begins.
I sit in the car and watch them. Each one
spinning tales of where they went, what they
saw, what they learned. I watch them laugh at
things that most men would shake
remembering. I watch them stand a little bit
taller, raise their head a slight bit higher.
They feel whole again, as if they aren't alone
in their own pasts. They feel a part of
something bigger than themselves, something
to be proud of. They bare the right to identify
themselves with a band of heroes that
distinguishes them among many.
It isn't only talking though. They honk their
horns when they see each other’s bumper
stickers, the dog tags hanging from the
mirror, the badge covered cap, they nod at one
another in the VA. It is all Soldier Talk.
But what do I have? I have no band of legends
to be associated with, no badge of honor to
adorn my wall, no dog tags from a mirror, no
badge covered cap, no memberships to the VA,
no one honks their horn when I drive past for I
have no service sticker.
Who do I nod to when I walk past? What
strong service of courageous beings am I a
What makes me stand taller and hold my head
higher? What makes me proud of whom I
I sigh and sit back in the seat as I wait for him
"Well, thank you for serving."
And then it ends.
The other soldier smiles and nods to me before
getting in his car.
And all I can do is nod back, for I have no
“Soldier Talk” Copyright © Chantal Starrett 2010