Nancy Ruschin


I chose this life
It didn’t choose me
Somehow you need to understand
That being a soldier is who I am

There are peoples voices strong loud and clear
Saying what I do is wrong
That carrying a gun in another’s land
Isn’t my place will bring more harm
They don’t get it
My vision is clear
That I close my eyes and still see
The eyes of the children looking at me
How much longer must they live in fear
Of people who they cannot see
Who’ve started wars
Brought terror and strife
Into their very young innocent life
So I’ll live my life
Hope to bring right from wrong
Cause being a soldier is who I am

When I sit in the desert late at night
The stars above me twinkling bright
I cannot sleep
I’m not alone
My fellow soldiers need me strong
We all believe in a common goal
Maybe from this mission we’ll get home whole
I’ve carried the fallen on my back
Fought when I’m wounded
Gone right back
To carry another
Bring them home
Cause being a soldier is who I am

I’ve left my family in loving hands
They know I love them
See them when I can
They understand what I do is right
For them, for others, it’s a long fight
I put up walls in all parts of my life
It keeps me safe for another night
I can only think of the task at hand
Cause being a soldier is who I am

I live with the knowledge that it might be my time
That I may be the next in line
They’ll give the flag draped over me
To the family I hold dear
The gun fire shot will not be for war
But for the soldier who is no more

Wipe your tears
My path is clear
I chose this life
It didn’t choose me
Somehow you have to understand
That being a soldier is who I am.

Author’s Note: I have been given pause to reflect due to a friends action in the current world situation…and it has made the words just have to come out…

This poem is for those of you who have served…or know someone serving…

Webmaster’s Note: This poem was submitted on behalf of Nancy by a retired Canadian Defence Forces Master Corporal, Ken Ferris, who writes:

“As a former member of the Canadian Military I read the poem and the first thought that came to mind is someone actually gets it. This poem was written due to a friend of Nancy’s on a tour in Afghanistan, I am proud to call the author, Nancy Ruschin a friend. I hope that others reading the poem, military and civilian alike get the meaning and many people get the chance to read the poem and reflect. It is actually nice to see Canada finally behind its military.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter and keep fighting the good fight.


M/Cpl Ferris K.L. (Ret) CD
April 3, 2009”