04 August 2009

Final Journey

Tears stream down the face of a Canadian soldier at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan as he helps carry the flag-draped coffin of a fallen comrade to a waiting aircraft to begin the final journey home. Photo and story: Drew Brown / S&S.

Sunset Vigil

The news is spread far and wide
Another comrade has sadly died
A sunset vigil upon the sand
As a soldier leaves this foreign land

We stand alone, and yet as one
In the fading light of a setting sun
We've all gathered to say goodbye
To our fallen comrade who's set to fly

The eulogy's read about their life
Sometimes with words from pals or wife
We all know when the CO's done
What kind of soldier they'd become

The padre then calls us all to pray
The bugler has Last Post to play
The cannon roars and belches flame
We will recall, with pride, their name

A minute's silence stood in place
As tears roll down the hardest face
Deafening silence fills the air
With each of us in personal prayer

Reveille sounds and the parade is done
The hero remembered, forgotten by none
They leave to start the journey back
In a coffin draped in the Union Jack

Written by Staff Sergeant Andrew McFarlane of the British Adjutant General's Corps and posted by his wife to her FaceBook page. Staff Sergeant McFarlane, 47, based at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, composed this poem last week after learning of the death of his eighth comrade within a 24 hour period.

God bless all of our coalition partners. We value your friendship and are so very proud and honored to stand with you.

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