I Salute You! And only You.



Join up and be a man. Join up and see the world. Join up for the adventure. Join up to learn a valuable trade. These and many more PR tidbits still ring in my head. It’s funny; no one ever said, “Join up to stick your hand inside your best friend’s chest cavity in a futile attempt to save him.”

Where was the commercial about only sending us to the shittiest assholes around the globe? To the most god-awful heat and humidity; which was actually sub-zero compared to the hellish and volcanic emotions vomited on us by the locals: and those were supposed to be our allies.

Where was the commercial about the exotic cuisine… both eating and being eaten by? Monkey brains, insect stew, tarantulas, snake, maggoty meat pies, and gallons of blood… to keep you full and enticing to the swarms of kamikaze mosquitoes from the air, and the submariner legions of leeches infesting nearly every putrid waterway you’re forced to traverse.

Where was the commercial about the people you were helping betraying you in every way imaginable? The lovely ladies with soulless black hearts that would tempt and seduce the lonely GIs, only to surprise them with razor-sharp blades placed in their pussies for a sensual mood-killing surprise; or worse, those truly sadistic that would literally bite a mouthful off in the middle of fellatio. Or the men and women that would send their own children wearing the latest explosive fashions into a group of GIs to blow them to kingdom come.

Where was the commercial about “all is fair in love and war?” Which, when translated, meant we were expected to follow the most restricting rules of engagement while the enemy, so-called allies, and any other trigger-happy, booby-trap rigging, motherfucker could make up their own rules as they go, while our Brass-Hats mutually masturbated to please whichever politically correct puppeteers are in power at the time.

America is a country that lies, cajoles, seduces, and manipulates its bravest and finest young men and women to wear the uniforms and bear the burden and responsibility of fighting for our freedoms, and cleaning up the messes around the world that our politicians and corporations continually create or exacerbate for political or financial gain. And yet I still run into people who have no clue why we honor our fallen heroes, or why they should respect anyone that willingly puts on a uniform. Go figure!

To all my fallen brothers and sisters, who understand my rant—I salute you! I do not salute you for this country or its leaders. I salute you for your willingness to bear the burdens, to accept the responsibility, and to sacrifice for an ideal that this country and its leaders have tarnished beyond all repair. I salute you for your youthful exuberance, your dedication, and your professionalism. And, most of all, I salute you for your courage to stay beside your comrades in the heat of battle, to save many of your brothers-in-arms, and to willingly pay the ultimate sacrifice: making sure that it costs the enemy dearly. In short, on this day, I salute you and only you, my fallen brothers and sisters.


Way of the Warrior


The way of the warrior is only honorable

in defense of oneself or others

Not for the theft of nations –

the rape of neighbors –

the acquisition of slaves –

the burning of babes

To follow a fool into battle

is to be a fool

To be led by those with greed

against lesser foes with need

you must sacrifice your soul

as fodder

Tell me, my people

when to the Great Spirit

your voices call

Does He answer?

Or does He turn in shame?

© JW Thomas

Realistic perspective

Jerry GI #1

I awaited the arrival of a good man bearing my personal effects and a fond farewell as I am about to go help my Uncle Sam. From my lofty perch I had a bird’s eye perspective of the downtown street beside the Conestoga.

A conversation by concerned citizens – concerned for what I have no clue – was beginning to boil over as the ground heat mingled with humidity as the bright June day morphed into a muggy night.

The simple scene shifted surrealistically to suggest a somewhat satisfactory slant to my present predicament and perspective.

Below my third floor window the party of the first part pulled a pistol and took a pot-shot at the party of the second part. And the party of the second part, now understandably pissed, pulled his piece and popped away at the party of the first part.

A mere five rotations of Mother Earth since turning seventeen and I found a peculiar pleasure in the cordite perfume and pop-and-pow performance. It was the Spirit Guide confirming my decision to leave.

It was not an abundance of patriotism that initially prodded me to answer Uncle Sam’s call. I figured if I have to live where there’s shooting… I might as well get paid for it.

Fly the friendly skies0001


© JW Thomas

Found Wanting

Running errands

Being productive

A chance crossing

Her and me


Mere glimpse

passing by

Her smile fades

Smirk forms

Brow dips



turns head

rolls eyes



I have been judged

and found wanting

Filled app out

Handed in

Don’t call us

We’ll call you

If interested



Look good on paper

Just what we want

That’s great

Don’t be late


Hardly ever


the punctual

Selling self





Ushered in

No time to shake

First glance

a glimpse


Tells all

I am not

what he imagined

I have been judged

and found wanting

I marvel at the audacity

that accompanies

their skill

Seconds too long

Briefest moments




They know all

there is about me

in their minds

Their actions judge them

and they are found wanting

©JW Thomas

Wisdom of wounds

Per Imp #180001

The innocence of beauty

and the wisdom of wounds

can be a powerful combination

when harmoniously balanced.

Yet beauty’s teaching will always be

inferior to the wisdom of wounds.

Beauty is fleeting.

The wisdom of wounds endure.

The wise learn from their wounds:

yet fools see the same wound multiply,

since wounds, untreated,


Per Imp #70001

However, only a masochist seeks pain.

Like a society worshipping youth

and beauty above experience and wisdom

forever doomed to repeat

its self-inflicted wounds.

How many of tomorrow’s pains

could we be spared if we’d only

learn from the wounds of today?

There truly is…

wisdom in wounds.

Per Imp #110001

© JW Thomas

Fashionable or not

Per Imp #20001


Fashionable or not,

faith in beauty remains as fickle

as the ever-changing fads it inspires.

After all, fashion is merely another person’s

opinion of how you should look or act.

Find what makes you happy

and ditch the rest.

Outside or inside,

if your reflection isn’t perfection

you’ve got no right to judge.

And what good is a high IQ

to anyone dumb enough to judge others

by the way they look?

Condemnation of another person’s

imperfections has always been

a sign of simpletons.

Per Imp #140001

No matter how richly they’re adorned.

To those unable to see the beauty here,

come back when you mature.

To iterate; it’s overlooking imperfections

which draws us closer to perfection.

Especially since no one honestly relates

to Madison Avenue:

scars are the “Real Thing”.

Our differences make us special: unique.

Not our similarities, but our differences

which perfectly distinguish us.

Hate me for my differences

and you hate yourself.

Condemn me for my imperfections

and you condemn yourself.

Only by accepting me

can you truly accept yourself.

Per Imp #40001

© JW Thomas

Ballad of J-Bear

Plenty Horses tried to stampede over J-Bear with Mad Dog 20/20 instigating fluid reasons for drunken nonsense.

All present not stupefied or catatonic had to marvel at the audacity to bust a move on the soberest among us, and the only one who has been more than a weekend warrior and survived.

Bird Man tells the tale of J-Bear’s first encounter with Spirit Guide within the magic flames of the elusive fire dance from the bowels of Alaskan tundra… and again on the Midwest plains in the eye of Twister.

Born beyond the captivity of the rez’, yet still a prisoner of poverty in the land of the greed giants.

We have witnessed his ability to soar; his talents are worthy of the one-percent realm, but he is of the Earth and has no stomach to dishonor his Mother for filthy lucre.

J-Bear found humor in the equine invasion of privacy – as did we all who watched the scene unfold through glassy eyes, clouded vision, and lost or forgotten dreams.

We saw a bruin bask in utter confidence, toying with prey at will – with a hearty laugh and joyful smile – we became further intoxicated on the after-glow; that is, all but Plenty Horses.

Salivation over stallion status proved too much to carry when confronted with pony presence at pow-wow.

Viewed with jest by J-Bear and us all was burr under saddle, prickly pear, and thorn bush to Plenty Horses: who bid hasty retreat from long-house, good sense, and sanity.

Celebration complete, sobriety ensues, First People renewed, and lookie-loos slither back to city-scapes, penthouses, townhomes, beach-front property and a life of lies as “real” Americans.

Unknown to all, the sliver of shame planted deep in the heart of Plenty Horses festers and putrefies.

Day-to-day binge nourished with Mad Dog, moonshine, and home-grown reservation rot-gut.

Sleepless nights, passed-out mornings, restless slumber in the land of forgotten memories and faceless ancestors doomed to wander the spirit world in constant agony over life-long humiliation and senseless slaughter; with no burial rites, in mass graves or no graves, and nothing to prove that life once inhabited their flesh.

Disembodied, dis-spirited, despairing soul-filled torment – and Plenty Horses claimed the old tales as his own.

Lost in the lore and loco weed; lost to us… and to himself.

Plenty Horse packed pistol and hatchet.

He wore war paint and breech-cloth and hid in hedges awaiting the cloak of darkness.

The un-brave warrior wannabe; he is one of many in descending generations of reservation bound natives never taught the warrior way.

Those who saw say J-Bear sensed danger just prior to Plenty Horse’s attack.

Instead of seeking safety or defending himself, he chose to shield two children in the path of Plenty Horses.

No bullet found child flesh that day; no hatchet tore youthful skin.

J-Bear was their body armor; he held them close and tight till tribal law reined-in the loco cayuse… but gave up his ghost that night.

No grave to mark his passing; a simple plaque by choice – for his deeds prove immortal and a lasting testament to his mortal days.

Ashes scattered – carried on the breath of Sky Father to rest on the breast of Mother Earth.

His spirit soars like Hawk in the land of no more sorrow, in the woods of plenty game, and the sparkling waters of enlightenment and ecstasy, while Plenty Horses is a shell of a man; no longer part of a proud clan, clothed in prison garb, eternally tainted, blood-stained, with ominous odor of choice – doomed to hear the perpetual cries of children and the lament of nations over the waste of a clan warrior through the actions of a coward.

His day of expiration is forthcoming.

There will be no community drum.

It will be a solemn… but tearless day.