Hal Steinman

Politically justified, militarily required, abject necessity or
just the way things have to be?
It is not always malicious.
It may be a distant decision, which is the reason.
Not always just a personal cause.
Steamy and stifling hot, fighting battles with ants and skeeters.
Hours of hot unshaded range walks,
patience and calm are practiced as well.
Project the will of many, onto the life of another!
Can it be that these words were already written.

Only the passage of time that makes them appear?
Passive activity.
Where is this evident? It is where war rages!
Did a butterfly’s life lead to these events?
Was this predetermined before time even began?

Does the candle’s flame flicker with pleas of mercy?
Constant awareness of nature’s ebb and flow.

Field craft, stealth, camouflage and worm-style;
scouting, reconnaissance with deliberate hunting;
seemingly unbearable heat and dust,
near bone-chilling rain and wind.
Deny an enemy any sense of security!

Planned randomness, the unpredictability of concentrated thought;
essence of breath control,
stinging bites and stinging sweat,
steady, benched and snugly pressed against the shoulder.
Firm squeezing pressure, precise trigger control.

Buck fever, when man hunts man?
Precise and deliberate, quick and sure,
blood thumping in the ears,
real and imagined fears.
Finality in the pause between trigger break . . . and recoil.

Remorse or relief in the accomplishment?
Spinning from the friction against steel,
copper-clad lead traveling onward,
gyroscopic spin in a four dimensional flight.
Rip the air, hot and quick!

Shockwaves trail the missile’s path.
No pleasure in the accomplishment,
traversing the course of moving air,
Aware of chance and fate.
Extinguished on impact!

Only a warrior’s regret of the job that has been done.

A Tribute to Carlos Norman Hathcock, U.S.M.C.


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