They'll Stay With Me Forever

December 18, 2008
By Ashley Moreland, Arnold, MD

From time to time I reach towards my neck
And grab the pair of dog tags hanging there.
I trace the engraved letters of my name
With the tips of my fingers and smile.
Such small pieces of stainless steel they are
And yet they can tell my entire life’s story.

A scratch in the metal can remind me of a fight
Where I, like my troop, came out on top.
A dent can remind me of every time I fell
Or every time I went prone to get out of sight.
The tarnished chain is a symbol of what I had to do
And that was to just hold on, and never let myself break.

They went with me on every mission
And stayed with me no matter how tough things got.
Even when times were bad and others tried to run
I could always trust them to still be hanging on.
There was no end to the battle for them
As long as I remained enlisted.

They saw every field I ever had to cross
And every river I ever had to trudge through.
They have been tugged on and beaten around
And put through just about anything you can imagine.
But I know that even when my battle is over and I lay dead
They will still hang on and stay with me forever.

The author's comments:
This piece is dedicated to all the men and women who serve our country and who sacrifice everything just to let us keep our freedom.

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