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Contributor: Stacey L. Holley || Poem Categories

 Medals, Flags, and Memoriescountry as flag
When all is said and done, the services complete and you're left to self, what is there?
Tears - plenty, more than you ever thought were possible
Anguish - pain beyond belief, gut wrenching, heart piercing
Questions - without a doubt, many more than most could comprehend.
Answers - few, especially in the beginning and then you begin to pickup the shattered pieces, and the answers come slowly.

Medals presented in honor, on behalf of a grateful nation
There is meaning behind each, some going as far back as the Revolutionary War
A Purple Heart, awarded in the name of the President of the United States
Given to those who have been wounded or killed while serving our great country
The Bronze Star, The Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medals and Crosses or perhaps A Medal of Honor
Medals awarded to those who distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement
Extraordinary heroes who at the risk of their lives, went above and beyond in the call of duty
Various campaign medals which highlight the appreciation of a grateful country to the sacrifices made.

Flags, many more than you thought you could hold.
Oh the power in a folded flag, what symbolism, strength, and honor?
All of us would trade them to have our loved ones back
To see their smiles, their passion, their conviction and yes their heart
For you and I, for their fellow man.

And, then the memories flood... Initially with the greatest of pain, said to lessen over time
Memories of happy times, their youth, their aspirations for life
and for those they would come to influence
They were sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, a mother or father, a cousin, aunt or uncle and even grandparents
From many walks of life, many cultures, many ambitions, all tied to a common bond "To Protect and Defend"

Our days are taken up wondering, praying and hoping
No one wishes for war, no one desires the hurt and pain that accompanies
We can only pray that another doesn't hear that dreadful knock on the door
That statement "We regret to inform you"...
In the end it is the Medals, Flags and Memories that remain; How poignant if only we had known
If we could, would we have tried to change the path? Could we have changed the path?
Questions to ponder, all for a grateful nation.

In memory of our Son, our Angel, our Hero
Spc. Matthew John Holley
Combat Medic
101st Airborne Division
KIA � Taji, Iraq on November 15, 2005

By Stacey L. Holley
Copyright 2007
Listed June 11, 2007

Note: Matthew was the only child of Stacey and her husband, John.

Spc. Matthew John Holley - KIA Iraq 11/15/05
Spc. Matthew John Holley
KIA Iraq
11/15/05

It is illegal to use this poem without the author's permission.
~~ Send your comments and/or use permission request to
Stacey. ~~

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