Bagram AFB is seated within a valley in Afghanistan of several million acres. During the 1980’s when Russian soldiers were stationed in this area, they seeded the surrounding ground and the mountains as much as twenty miles away with over twenty-four million mines. There was even a time when small bomblets were place within stuffed animals and dropped for the children to pick up, what happened all too often is obvious.

When the American soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan, many of the casualties of the war were from the mines we did not know were there. After ten years, and hundreds of contractors from Africa, America, South America and even Asia working sixteen hours a day seven days a week, the fields for the locals and our own base are starting to be safe to walk.

This poem was written while on patrol. It is common for the locals to graze their cattle and other herd animals into the fields we are clearing. The ground is soft, and the constant contraction and expansion due to weather changes push mines deeper or sometimes into shallow areas. The animals mean life to the people, so it is also common to have the children using long sticks to pace the ground ahead of the cattle, so as to save the cattle. It is not uncommon for us to call for the medics to remove a child, sometimes dead, sometimes a lost limb.

The Sociopathy of their parents a trait of the times and hardships, which the locals have gone through for decades.

Sunrise comes to those who wait
They see the light as others take
The nature of life so sweet to bare
A child’s cry harkens to my ear
A crimson seed a herd of life
For a child a labor of strife
The fields are green where animals graze
The things below a tragedy awaits
One false step and nature cries
Another child dies from a Russian mine
A spray of blood the fountain of youth
A scarlet pose for deaths décor
We watch him come as the body grows cold
The walk of death the flight of life
In our pose we watch it all
Sitting atop our kingly throne
For all of life toils to seek
The eyes of God in our time of need

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