When 9/11 happened, we were an active duty Navy family stationed at a training facility in Upstate NY. While my husband was on a shore rotation, we knew there was a possibility of his being called back to sea – it’s part of the job. He didn’t leave, but instead, stayed where he was, training as hard as he could to make sure his students were being sent out as confident & prepared as they could be. Still, we were prepared for him to leave. This poem came to me one evening, just sitting on the couch with him, watching history enfold right in front of us.
While I don’t know anyone directly involved, we did have ties to all 3 locations. We were only 3 hours north of NYC; one of my husband’s former CO’s was working at the Pentagon at that time (his office was damaged, but he wasn’t there at the time); I grew up less than an hour away from Shanksville, and my dad was Westmoreland County Hazardous Materials Asst. Chief at the time (one county over), so I knew that he would be involved; not to mention the countless shipmates & former students that we knew. This day, at times, still feels like it happened yesterday with the way it tears at my heart. We will never forget, and I pray that few people do.
(this poem was read on 107.7, WGNA,in Oct., ‘01 and also won the first-ever (for this post) 2001 Commander’s Award from the American Legion, Post 70)
When Duty Calls
When duty calls
I will stand next to you with pride
I will kiss you goodbye
I will see that smile once more
And watch you go out with the tide.
While you are away
I won’t say there won’t be fear
But life must trudge on
And our family must continue
Even amidst all of the tears.
Yet in those tears
Not all are wept out of pain
You have a job to do
As your other half, so do I
And should need be, I would do it all again.
We are the same
You and I, together we will go
As you head off to fight
I stay here to maintain
As one, but apart, to conquer any foe.
The time will come
When the world will be quiet once more
Oceans will once again be calm
Nations will return to their ways
And times will be as they once were before.
But until then
I will remain devoted to you
At your side in support
In your soul for comfort
With our love, there is nothing we cannot do.
Submitted by Carrie M. Bolyard