The Colonel has begun his last patrol and there won't be any return from this one. After 90 years the body that surrounds his soul just can't keep doing what it needs to do. It's late at night and I am sitting next to his hospital bed watching him begin the journey. It may be a few hours or a few days but it is a one way journey. When he reaches his destination he will once again be that young shave-tail Lieutenant arm in arm with the love of his life that went on ahead of him two years ago.
Over the past two years he told me many times that this is what he dreamed of. Being reunited with his bride of over 60 years................
God Speed Colonel! When you reach your destination, kiss Mom for the four of us left behind to keep the memory.
Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green,
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped
Near a good old-time canteen,
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers' Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell,
The Infantry are seen,
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marine,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen,
Dismount at Fiddlers' Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene,
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he's emptied his canteen,
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers' Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen.
Or in a roaring charge of fierce mêlée
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And go to Fiddlers' Green.