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|A Poem by Kathy Hufford
the daughter of WO Kent Hufford - 68th AHC Pilot 1967 - 1968.
There is an old black and white photograph on my dresser.
I love to stare at that photograph,
At the mystery and the puzzle,
To look into the eyes of a soldier who died young.
I’ve often wondered why he went to war…
To fight for peace?
To fight for dirt?
To fight for freedom?
To fight for capitalism?
To fight for God?
To fight for country?
To fight for the ideal or the reality…
I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter why.
The professor never fought for God; he fought for the divine spark of man.
And the old man fought for his country, but he chose one over the other.
But I guess it doesn’t really matter why,
And I never got the chance to ask.
I look into the dark, clear eyes of a soldier who died young and I see so much…
The daring thirst for adventure,
The loyalty to country and the fellow man,
The awkward load of knowledge, death, and destruction on the naively strong shoulders of youth,
The love for a grandmother,
The anguish of being left behind,
But most of all,
A look of self-sacrifice.
The soldier who died young knew he flew with killer angels.
Because heaven must be up in those clouds somewhere.
And he would gladly die for whatever it was he was fighting for
If only his soul could fly through the sky forever.
The soldier in that photograph did die young.
But the reason I love the photograph is because the death was a happy one.
He died for peace.
He died for dirt.
He died for freedom.
He died for capitalism.
He died for God.
He died for country.
He died for both the ideal and the reality.
He died along with the professor and the old man.
And he died for whatever else he fought for.
But most importantly,
He died for his future and that of his family.
The young boy left behind grew up to be a soldier.
And the soldier died young to become a man.
And that man became a husband,
I love the soldier who died young
Even though I never met him.
Not just for what he fought for,
But what he fought to become.
By Kathy Hufford
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