Juan L. Torres

Juan entered the Army from Puerto Rico and has served for 18 years including an assignment at the DMZ in Korea with the 506th. His current assignment is with a Training Support Division where he is involved on the training of Reserves and National Guard in a four state radius (TX, LA, AR, OK). One of the units he helped train has recently been deployed overseas and another is to be sent soon.

Married to the former Lisa Gonzalez from New York, they have five children ranging from 16 to 10 years of age.

506

As we find ourselves on this strange soil
uncertain of a future that is yet to unfold;
we cross a bridge that leads to hell
and hope our presence can make things well.

We train our soldiers with sweat and pain
in the heat of summer and Monsoon rains;
the cold of winter now far away,
bruised our spirits nearly every day.

We hear the voices across the land
and feel uneasy for we don’t understand:
is it talk of peace or cries of war
or our neighbors singing a lullaby?

From my bedroom window as I search the skies
thinking of my loved ones with tears in my eyes;
I see two flags rise to new heights
as these two countries try to unite.

New soldiers come to this rare breed
world wide know as Curr-Ahee;
we always wonder if peace indeed
between North and South was meant to be.

Author’s Note: At the DMZ in Korea with the 506th as you can imagine, the unit is always on alert and in training, hence the uncertainty of war. One thing we don’t know for sure is if North and South Korea are ever going to unite, there are meetings at JSA all the time, but we all know this is a political nightmare I would not want to touch with a “ten yard stick.” The term Curr-Ahee is the Cherokee word for “Stands Alone”, the nickname of the mountain where COL Sink trained the first Airborne soldiers of the 506th. That is our nickname for the soldiers of the 506th, Curr-Ahees. Once we encounter an officer, we greet them with a sharp hand salute and a loud “Stands Alone,” they reply with “Curr-Ahee”, just like a sign and countersign.