At peace at last

At peace at last

A Story by Coyote Poetry

A story for a good friend. Soldiers need to remember the old timers who taught us respect and how to lead.


                      At peace at last

The Soldiers gave him a 21 gun salute.
Only young and old Soldiers came to say goodbye.
Old Sergeant Major finally drank himself to death.
35years a Soldier left him waiting for death to come.

I met him a early morning walking into the base.
He told me they take your license away with 5 DWI's.
I told him I come this way everyday from my girlfriend.
I would be honored to pick him up.

He told me "You are alright with me Sergeant C
I will meet you at the gate."
I answer no problem Sergeant Major.

He laughed.
Told me to call him Paul in private.
He slapped my back and smiled.
"I will call you John, my friend."

He got demoted to my company.
He told me in private.
"I'm glad the Army kept me around.
I have no place to go."

He was my First Sergeant now.
At the company picnic.
We partnered up and kick everyone a*s in horse shoes.
We sat and talks with me.
He told me. " I will be dead soon.
What will be left of me?
Will you remember me Sergeant C? "

I wrapped my arm around him.
I told him " You were with my father on the boat to Korea.
Us young Soldiers need to take care of the old one."
He smiled.

A young Soldier was going to lose everything.
First Sergeant asked what do you need?
The young Soldier told him too damn much.
He looked at me.
Handed me his checkbook.
Told me take him home and pay all his bills.

He told me write his name for him on the checks.
Add it up right.

He has close to $30, 000 in a checking account.
I paid the debts of the Soldiers.
The Soldier and the wife were very thankful.
I asked them never to say a word.
First Sergeant wants this to be private.

I drove him home now.
He was looking bad now.
The whiskey and beer would kill him soon.

I asked him to quit drinking for  a while.
He looked to the ocean in our view.
He tells me.
"Drinking blind me from the s**t I have seen.
Wasn't for you s**t head Soldiers.
I would have no purpose."

He drank at the bar around the corner from his small apartment.
I started to meet him there.
He had many friends.
Old Timers who had retire.
He loved to sing Hank William, Jr.

Karaoke was his favorite.
It was funny to see this 6 foot 4 inch man
sing and dance to the old music.
I would drink slow to ensure he would get home.

He told me in my truck.
"I'm being booted out.
Doctors told me liver and kidney are gone.
I reached my goal.
I will join my friends soon.
I drank myself to death."
He gave me a big Texas smile.
"Don't worry John.
I will save you a seat.
Soldiers must take care of Soldiers."

I became good friends with him.
We drank together till one day he told me.
"I can't walk anymore.
Need  a Soldier to do his duty.
Take care of a old Soldier."

I asked what did you need?
He smiled.
Told me.
"Bring me cold beer and whiskey to my home.
Don't ever pity me.
Soldier must die.
Some are lucky.
They died on the battlefield."

I sat with many old timers.
They came by to show respect.
We drank and laugh by the Sergeant Major bed.
He was content to be with Soldiers.

I got a call at work.
Old Sergeant Major was dead.
He left a note.
Sergeant C. will take care of my final desires in my Will.

He left me a letter with a thousand dollars.
"This is for your inconvenience.
My Will is simple.
Half my money to the Old Soldier home.
The other half to Red Cross."

At least 200 Soldier stood shoulder to shoulder.
Most of us were crying when Taps was played.
I smiled and thought what would the old Sergeant Major say.

He would tell us.
 Be good Soldiers.
Take care of each other in War and peace.

         22 January 2010  

© 2012 Coyote Poetry

Author's Note

Coyote Poetry
Please advice me of mistakes. Never too old to learn.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Featured Review

Its all to much to see, wasted lives spread over many killing fields, drink may help to erase but cant vanquish the memories of deeds done.
then having survived, to be left, for no purpose, people shun you, dont wish to no, just want you to go.
Its all just to much for me.

heartfelt writing indeed

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


I think I know the Sergeant Major. I know so little about poetry, but I don't see a lot of rhythm through the verses, Length sometime is more harmful in the short form, but what the hell do I know, or what I know doesn't make a damn. I still like it, shows your compassion and appreciation of those who stayed around too long, they normally fall in the cracks where we find them, somewhere between his demons and the taste of the drink, it is the sleep he misses, it is hard to wake up in sweat and blood thinking it is the harbingers of things to come. Sleep or the lack of it feeds our demons and the devil. Ernie

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well thank you for making me cry at 12:47 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. This was truly truly beautiful. What a testament to the Band of Brothers and bonds created through a shared service to country. Thank you. All I have here.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Such a sad and tragic end for soldiers whose lives were bound in the military service. My Dad was a Korean War vet and he too had terrible memories, war is a cruel Tormentor of the mind. Your narrative poem is complete as it is written, I would not change a thing. The style is simple and easy, conversational and random, but intense and gripping with emotions. I like the honest simplicity of your word choice, and that's brilliant.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. That was such a heartfelt story, I absolutely loved it. You could feel all the pain and sorrows of having to be in the war, of having to drink yourself to death because the nightmares haunted at night. So touching. Love it, thanks for sharing!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a heartfelt tribute this is! So sad to know that millions go through the agony of remembering the ones who gave their lives...but memories will go on forever. Thank you for sharing this powerful story.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So many, it's always sad to remember those who gave all for us but the memories live on as well. great tribute!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Beautiful Story, Played the whole thing in my head...It's a real tear jerker... thank u sir for sharing!!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Beautiful, amazing story.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I am speechless. Beautiful story. I am moved to tears.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

First Page first
Previous Page prev
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


100 Reviews
Shelved in 8 Libraries
Added on January 22, 2010
Last Updated on January 7, 2012
Previous Versions


Coyote Poetry
Coyote Poetry


A Poet and writer who love to read and write. My pleasure is reading about the bad and good in a life. Also to honor the Poets/Writers of the past by reading their words. Remembe.. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..