I Am a Soldier

Weep not for me, for I am a soldier,
I do what has to be done.
I travel through time as a Roman or Turk…
or a modern day knight with a gun.

Weep not for me, for I am a soldier,
I’m destined for glory some day.
I go where there’s war and try to bring peace,
when I’m done I never can stay.

Weep not for me, for I am a soldier,
traditionally regimented and bold.
I go where there’s danger and travel with time,
my history never grows old.

Weep not for me, for I was a soldier,
a place I willingly go.
I laid down my life for things I held dear,
that’s all I want you to know.

M.P. Zboray
©1977


Excerpts from Teenager’s War

It is the worst of times—December, 1968.
The buses pull out of the holding station in Oakland every hour. They are headed for Travis Air Force Base just north of the city, filled with a seemingly endless supply of young men who are themselves filled with doubts and fears.
Of course, the doubt and fear is not allowed out in the open. It is instead tucked neatly away in a very private place. A place it can hide and grow, like a virus, as the journey continues.

Joe and me with an M16
Joe and me with an M16
Photo by Joseph E. Rodrigues

…This isn’t a game, it’s real life-and-death and I take it very seriously. Unfortunately, some people don’t and the result can be fatal. Most unfortunately for me is that I have one off those guys on my bunker tonight…


…Our rifle barrels are red hot and the smoke from our weapons hangs like a translucent blanket in front of our emplacement. In the early morning stickiness, the smoke sits almost motionless and for few minutes we sit back and silently rejoice in the knowledge that we’ve been through an enemy attack and came out alive and well…

Well, almost well!


…Tick,tick,tick – the time approaches. Fingers are ready on triggers. Eyes intently look out toward the blackness that will soon be instant daylight. Someone watches the time so the concert of death can begin on the precise second as planned…


teenagers war book