Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


There were six American flags set out in front of the crowd that gathered at Gowen Field to welcome us home. Six flags, guarded by veterans of other wars- one for each soldier our Task Force lost over a year in combat. If we came home today, there would be seven flags standing silent before the formation

Sergeant First Class Tony "Ski" Wasielewski died earlier this month at home in Wisconsin. He had volunteered for Iraq as a veteran route clearance soldier, having already served a tour in Afghanistan. He was badly injured in an IED attack on May 15th, 2007, along with two other soldiers. He was well enough to attend welcome-home events for some of his soldiers, only to be felled by a blood clot in his heart.

I know that at least one of the guys from Boise that knew and worked with him managed to make it to Wisconsin for the funeral; I neither really knew nor worked with him, but I know he will be sorely missed.

A toast, my friends:

For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,
And for those now on their final tour-

Raise up your glasses for absent companions.


  1. Thanks for your words.

    Wasielewski will indeed be missed, as will all of those who have eternally sacrificed for this fight.

    Glad you're safe and well.

  2. Welcome back and thank you all for your sacrifice and service. May God be with the family and friends of the brave soldiers who defend our freedoms everyday. I will not forget!!

  3. Absent companions...

  4. Here is one for "Ski" and all those fighting the Ts from an old vet:

    The author of I Wanna Go Home, Karridine, has authorized me to give away 1,000 free copies of the song to our men and women in the military for personal use only. However, recipients of a free copy can let anybody listen to it if they want. Members of the military can put it on their i-pod, use it on their computer, or make one CD.

    You can find out how to get a free copy at 1,000 Free Copies.

    If you want a copy for review e-mail me. My e-mail address is on the sidebar.

  5. "A toast, my friends:

    For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,
    And for those now on their final tour-

    Raise up your glasses for absent companions."

    In it's brevity, so succinct and very powerful emotionally.

    This may be your finest piece of writing to date. This desrves to go down in the annals of the finest Military Poetry.

    Thank you.

  6. Dear Teflon Don,

    I am an old guy. I just attended the Retiree Appreciation Day at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

    I have been reading your blog for some time.

    The ceremony was conducted in the US Army Command and Staff College .. AKA the College of All Knoweldge. The place is a palace.

    The main speaker there was an Army 3 star. He is the guy in charge of the Command and Staff College.

    In the process of his talk he presented a video. The video as a testiment to the US Army from the Revolution down to now.

    One of the people quoted in print on his video was a guy named "Teflon Don" I know that guy.
    I have read that guy. Your comment pertained to the spirit of the American Soldier. I was impressed.

    Here's to you Teflon Don, perhaps the next Hemmingway.

    Semper Fi
    J Brock
    USMCR (Ret)

  7. May he rest in peace, along with all of our warriors.

  8. So sorry for another loss of your brothers...

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