The below message was sent to The Old Guard Public Affairs Office:

I met some of the Old Guard on my way to work this morning and felt compelled to write this poem.

I retired in 1997 and my son is with the 1/36 at Ft. Bliss with a tour in Iraq and headed back again.

Take care of the guys!!

LTC Charles M. Herbek
US Army (Ret).

Guardians of the Realm!

They came before me this morning
These guardians of the realm
Each man resplendent in the early morning light
Their battle uniforms at peace this day
At least in the place we stood

A journey lay before them
This but a ration stop along the way
Quick smoke and coffee
And then a return to guard our honored dead
Amidst the gardens of marble

Could not help but speak to them
Who stand now where I once stood
Who carry now the righteous burden of protecting the realm
As I once did, ages past
Yet theirs is so much greater now

Has anyone told you yet today that you do a good job'
No, Sir, not yet
Well you do

We spoke shortly of service present and service past'
And these guardians thanked me for mine
I did not expect their words of praise
But simply chose to give that to them

Five guardians and a Leader at the helm
They are so precious, so strong, so willing
They are the best of us
Of that, let there be no doubt

Willing to stand before the forces of chaos
And stare down the flames
Many times trading their life for ours
And their future, in a moment gone, yet ours remains'
And so many that do return bare the scars of some fateful day
In a land so far from the realm they guard

They came before me this day
These guardians of the realm
And we parted in the early morning light
Me to cherish that which they guard
And they to stand again
Throughout the night watch

There is no praise that reaches their sacrifice
No real words of comfort for those they may leave behind
Yet, what must always be there for them
Is our unfailing faith
In them, and the cause they serve so well
These guardians of our realm