Mark I. Kirkmeyer

STAFF SERGEANT PICKLE

He is the epitome of a mountain man.
Joined the Corps to escape the mines.
West “By God” Virginia
A bulldog tattoo on his forearm
Set him apart from the other paratroops
“Welcome to the third herd”
“I’m your squad leader”
“I can be your best friend”
“Or your worst nightmare”
“You already have one strike against you”
“You’re married”
In the early 1980s military
He is and anachronism
Since the end of the Vietnam War
The military had become a
Sweeter gentler service
They don’t fight wars anymore
They just guard posts
The Marines in Vietnam taught him
Everything that war is about.
His eyes cloud with the memories
Brother’s lost and left behind
Enemy, women, and children
Haunt his sleeping dreams
When the shit hit the fan
He is uncompromising in training
Demanding and thorough
He is the leader I follow

Submitted for the September 2002 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “My Inspiration