I can't take it off

A corpsmans memoir

Travis Knowlton LCSW


Image via the author

I’ve been home sometime now, and my mom says I look the same as I did before I left,

But seeing the war in my soul would scare her half to death.

Death is in every thought. No matter where I am or how much life I live, I can’t seem to take it off.

I can still taste the powder of the rockets blaring through the air.

I can still feel the weight of the backpack when running towards danger

I still hear the pain in their voice when they yell, “DOC!”

I can still hear the staff sergeant yelling stand, too!!!!

They taught me how to put that cauduces on,I can’t get it off

Part of me is here, and part of me will always be back there.

At times….I still don’t know how I got here in my life or if I’ll make it out..

Every time they honor us I get lost in a stare, the cheers and appreciation get lost in the memories of those I lost.

They taught me how to frock it on, I just cant take it off.

The battle to present as usual is a constant struggle

Fighting the urge to go back to war, to really be alive….the simplicity

They taught me how to present the pride of the caduceus; I just can’t take it off.

They taught me to wear it for taps,I just can't take it off

These demons are mine, and mine alone

There is no end in sight… cause even though I’m home now….

I’m still fighting for my life.

The devil has won some battles and may win someone, but doesn’t he know the American corpsman will always save one more?

  • Where angels and marines fear to tread, you’ll always find a corpsman dead.

Travis Knowlton LCSW



Travis Knowlton LCSW

I'm a husband, father, veteran, and licensed clinical social worker that is here to enjoy and share!