BAGHDAD, Iraq - My prayer/poem for this week highlights those quietly steadfast professionals in the Division Band who proudly honor our fallen warriors.


I am easily forgotten in the crowd,
A lone figure hidden in the CG's entourage,
praying for a ride
from the helipad to the chapel.
I stand by as a final rush
of Colonels and Sergeants Major
roll up in NTVs and hustle through the door.

And the ceremony begins...

Once more, a unit honors a fallen hero.
Once more, they choke back tears
as soldiers say goodbye
to a beloved battle buddy.

You alone know how my heart aches
at the grief in the voice
of the Company Commander.

I watch in awe as the First Sergeant
stands before the troops to call the roll.
Shoulders flinch as the rifles fire...
Three times.
And then, in the hush of the moment,
all ears turn to me.
My years of training and practice
have brought me to this point.

I cannot fail this mission, Lord!

Make my notes clear, unwavering.
Grant my bugle a tone that would
make an angel smile.

And after the last haunting note
fades slowly away
May the memory of my music live on
As a solemn testimony
to the brave soul we honor this day.