As we look back in time the image of our youth is fleeting. Unless you were there in that Other World, you wouldn't understand when we say "We had no youth, just manhood within an instant."
When we gather as eagles, we talk of Brotherhood with a reverence and a hush that only we understand. Many ask us to share that feeling with them, but that is impossible because you had to be there in that Other World with us to feel the instant changes that took place in altering our hearts and our souls forever.
The scars that we carry within won't ever heal. There are no paths that come from this place, just the memories of men that yearn to be boys once again.
A memory of the dank and dying jungle. A place that shelters death on each and every path. Eyes keen, ears alert, senses are raw awaiting the horror that lurks nearby. This is how we lived, this is how we changed, and this was the ultimate Life Altering Experience.
There in the bowls of that Other World, Brotherhood was born. You ask; "How can that be?" We reply; "We were children filled with fright and nobody but each other to comfort us."
So when you see us together, try to understand that we're not shunning you or tossing you aside. It's just that we all still live in that Other World and we can't come home. We're still the frightened children of then and now.
Memories painted on the canvas of time by the ever changing hand of the distant past. The beauty of the beginning sketch somehow lost it's form and purpose as the artist's true identity began to fade away.
Dark cold unfeeling colors slowly engulfed the soft lightly brushed pastels of dreams, hope, happiness, and love.
The brilliant meaningful hues of new found emotion once tenderly applied with warmth and understanding, are now but a shapeless smear, forever hiding the mystical enchantment that used to be, but will never be again.
The easel of the artist's soul now stands unused in the shadow of the heart. Resting ever so gently in it's embrace is the portrait of dreams, a haunting reminder of the errors of a fool.
The portrait, although never completed, will not be destroyed or forgotten. Instead it will become a monument to the artist's inner self. Stored within, it will be referred to daily as a lesson in the artistry of life.
"Rise from your rest to greet him," came the call, and rally round him they did, comrades all.
"Welcome to eternal peace, its time for others to answer the bugle's call."
They embraced this warrior now tired and old, and surrounded him with warmth to ward off the cold.
He reverently whispered;
"Thanks for the welcome to this hallowed place." He gazed into the ranks of the fallen and saw many a familiar face.
They closed ranks to greet him his friends lost in time. The echo of distant taps began to chime.
"Join us now, your place of honor awaits." The warrior held his head high and followed them through the sacred gates.
Their figures fade as the gathering ends, they return to eternal peace after welcoming their friend.
Sleep now my Father, my Brother, my Son, home is the warrior the battles are done.