Mark H. Wilson
Another late night “Freedom Bird’ flight.
Dover, Delaware, flights no longer rare.
As more flights they add from Baghdad.
Full C-17s are more routine:
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines fulfilling their dreams.
Been gone too long, now back home.
Family and friend wait as their long journey ends:
As with most nights, with no camera lights.
Slowly down the taxiway with the same display.
This last military group formation for their dedication.
Flags blow gently in the night breeze for the returnees.
Coming to a stop, the rear ramp slowly starts to drop.
The number of personnel starts to swell.
Awaiting hands quietly squeeze as the temperature drops a few degrees.
No young sons salute their dad with a few words to add.
In the night air chilled, for each his duty finally fulfilled:
Special transportation for each from this location.
No media, no cameras, no family, or secretive night can hide this more frequent rite.
No masking as they quietly unload each military casket!
©Copyright 2004 by Mark H. Wilson
Author’s Note: For the U.S.A.F. Port Mortuary at Dover A.F.B., Delaware, which will quietly suffer its own internal casualties.