Today You've Married a United States Soldier
To my new daughter-in-law

24 February 2003
By R. Craig Johnson, 2002, All Rights Reserved"

As you have entered this sacred trust,
Some words of caution, share I must.

Forged together, a bond this day,
To live your lives on soldier's pay.

A life of leisure's not your choice,
But eyes that often will be moist.

His talk around the house at night,
Will be of honor, of men who fight.

And of this soldier that you've wed,
Another mistress shares his bed.

That mistress, though, you cannot fight,
Her name is Duty, Honor, Right.

When sound the drums in distant lands,
A call to war in desert sands,

Of those who threaten freedom's ring,
Of those who want enslavement bring.

When come that day, and sure it must,
He from the closet, his war bags, dust.

In his eyes you'll see a look,
As he readies -- by the book.

That look so deep just you will know,
A place he must, but fears to go.

You're the reason, he'll come home,
He's the reason, your freedom's owned.

And though lonely in your house at night,
When dark sounds cause your heart to fright,

When hold you close your children dear,
When each house noise you startled, hear.

Take comfort in the guards who stand,
On cold dark walls in foreign lands.

For all around your house, you see,
Stand God's own troops protecting thee.

You are not the first in this,
You have joined an ancient tryst.

Soldiers all, both quick and dead,
Protect your family thus, it's said.

And if, in those far lands he'll toil,
To hold some worthless hill of soil,

With orders to that ground not yield,
Until more men, the troops can field.

When all around him, the dying starts,
Your picture's there, to guard his heart.

And if in conflict, is wounded he,
Nurse not just the wounds you see.

The harder wounds, much deeper be.
Of team-mates, friends and young lives lost,

In battles fierce. -- You'll glimpse the cost,
And if, perchance, the reaper writs,

And there alone in THAT crowd you sit,
And a folded flag in your hands is slipped,

Through your tears and sorrow deep,
When the wreath's laid at his feet.

You'll know his duty, he well did keep.
But if at last by God's own grace,

Retires he to a safer place,
Left then to others to carry on,

His country's battles, they'll have gone.
With you his labors, he will rest,

To you alone, he'll give his best.
And joy will fill your later years,

To shed no more, your lonely tears.
Treasure thus you must, all days like this,

A soldier's life, oft much is missed.
The lazy days, when summers there,

The autumn walks, the cold clean air.
So thrill and savor, this night of peace.

In our lives, these times are brief.
And proud and tall, carry high your head,

Today, a United States Soldier, you've wed.
R. Craig Johnson
Salt Lake City, Utah
November 2002

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