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Beneath the Badge

By Major Charlie Carden

What lies beneath the starched-ironed shirts and the badges upon their chests? And where do the tears flow when their hearts are broken from the tests?

So often Death will intervene, to carry out its will...But they stare Death coldly in the face, they defy its chilling kill.

You say they lack compassion and they abuse their roles...Do you really think they're cruel? Do you damn their very souls?

Believe me, Sir, they cry within...They choke to hold it down...So, when Death comes to kiss their lips, they'd like to turn around.

For beneath those shirts and polished badges, breathes a special breed of being...With tear-stained hearts and eyes that cry and see what you are seeing.

But then, you - "The Public" - demand their presence; they truly give their best; So, remember them when you kneel down to pray before you rest.

And don't forget those "Little Eyes," who wish they were at home; or the "Worried Hearts" that support them, in a battle that can't be won.

What lies beneath the badges? What makes them take the parts? What absorbs their tears and spills their blood? Their Hearts, my man, their Hearts!

Written by N.C. State Highway Patrol Major C.J. Carden when he was a cadet for the  66th NCSHP Basic School © November 1979.