Doug Soderstrom


This thing called war,
Believe me, it’s no fun… found out the hard way that it was very hard core,
Yes, I was eighteen when I left home and walked out of that door,
Mom begged me not to go… she said, “Son why are you leaving, what are you looking for?”
Told her it was time I had to go, wanted to serve my country, wanted to join the corps,
So I went to see my recruiter, “Sign me up like you did for my buddy next door,”
Got shuttled onto a bus to San Diego, an hour later arrived at my base of operations by the shore.
The first words I heard were not what I’d expected, “Give me fifty damn pushups, get your ass down on that floor,”
From now on you’re a recruit, and your mama’s not here to take care of you any more,
And if you think you’ve got it tough now, then you’d better get your shit together cause there’s a whole lot more in store,

Before that night was over, I realized that I’d made a really big mistake… ‘cause with these folks, believe me, there would be no rapport,

Just a bunch of bums who had only one thing in mind, destroy this kid’s conscience so he’ll never have anything to feel sorry for,

So I was trained… learned how to shoot a rifle, throw a grenade, and how to never be bothered by blood, guts, and gore,

They sent me off on a ship to Iraq, placed me in a tent and said “good luck kid, it’s time for you to go to war,
‘Twasn’t more than an hour before I got my first kill, shot a damn Moslem, blood and guts all over the floor,
Was proud to call myself a soldier, was no longer afraid, cause you see now I had become a man, my honor had been restored,

The next day was really no different at all, killed three more, had becoming a marksman, and, no doubt, mightily adored,

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I was getting tired, killing was no more fun… I was getting bored,
Every day the nights got longer, found I could hardly sleep, cause all I ever dreamt about was bloody guts and gore,
My feelings were beginning to surface, they could no longer be ignored, this infernal was more than I’d bargained for,
With only a week before I was to come home, got caught in a terrible battle, man was it confusing, the drone of the bullets, it was a terrible roar,

Thought the guy in front of me was the enemy, he wasn’t, turned out to be my buddy, the guy next door,
Shot him through the neck, severed his spinal cord,
Felt like my life had come to an end, why him and not me, “God help me, I can’t take this anymore,”
Having become a basket case, got shipped back home to Mom, she said… “Son, did you ever find what you were looking for?”

“I don’t know mom, but believe me you were right all along, cause when I left home a year ago I sure as hell didn’t know the score,

Went to see the parents of my buddy next door, told them their son would be home in six months, but not the way he was before the war,

Lived with Mom for about a year, wasn’t very happy……… too many questions I had no answer for,
Decided to live with my buddy, the quadriplegic, next door, got a room across the street from the corner liquor store,
Five years later hooked up with a lady I once knew, my buddy’s second cousin who had since become a whore,
We lived together, had three kids who I learned to love and adore,
From then on things never seemed to change very much, life never returned to what it was before the war,
Couldn’t seem to forget about all the things I’d done, you know, the things so very difficult to forgive one’s self for,

Couldn’t stop the dreams about my buddy, the quadriplegic, and the guy whose head I’d blown off as he fell to the floor,

Now that I’m much older, I try to live with what I’ve done, hoping that The Lord might forgive me so that peace might be restored,

Well, I guess that’s about all I have to say, there’s really not a whole lot more,
Just one more thing though………… you know, if it wasn’t for the memory of my mom, my three lovely kids, and that woman, my wife, the whore,

The Lord, my best buddy, the quadriplegic, and, of course, our friend, the corner liquor store,
Well, if it wasn’t for these things… blessings I suppose you’d call them, there really wouldn’t be a whole lot left for me to live the rest of my life for.