SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Brothers

by Jeffrey Brierton

Where do you find all the courage
in the terrible dark of the night?
How do you find the strength you need
to steel yourself for the fight?

At your back the sun is descending
and the shadows are growing tall.
You know when the daylight fades to black
they’ll rage through the breach in the wall.

What do you say to your soldiers
who remember their brothers who died?
How do you tell them how scared you are?
That your stomach is churning inside.

You can’t help but see across the sandbags
and you try not to count all the dead.
But you notice the look in your soldiers’ eyes
and you try not to mirror the dread.

How do you tell them you’ll carry the day
and pull them back from hell’s door?
When they know that too many have already died
and you can’t lose a single man more.

So you scream that it’s time to lock and load
and saddle up for the fight.
You tell them again that they’re all going home
that the dying is done for the night.

Where do you find all the courage?
Does it come from deep down inside?
From a place only history’s heroes have known
Where bravery and fear collide?

Well, we learned where to find all the courage
in the terrible dark of that night.
We found it alongside our brothers
back to back in the thick of the fight.