Jason B. Ladd

Author | Apologist | Entrepreneur

While He’s Away: A Poem About Being Gone

while he's away deployment

While I’m away

The mission’s first

We’ll put our best against their worst

But victory will fail to quench my thirst

While I’m away

while he's away deployment


While I’m away

The silence settles in

The mood is calm, the air is thin

My kingdom for one morn’ of childrens’ din

While I’m away

while he's away deployment


While I’m away

Diminished dawns

The flock is far, the shepherd gone

The sheep will grow and graze and carry on

While I’m away

while he's away deployment

While I’m away

Fools worship golden cows

With laps aflame and loins aroused

Let God protect our covenant of sacred vows

While I’m away

while he's away deployment

While you’re away

I start a new routine

The laundry’s neat, the house is clean

But soon I miss the manly mess unseen

While you’re away

while he's away deployment

While you’re away

Our things break down

With no one to repair around

In projects left undone our lair abounds

While you’re away

while he's away deployment

While you’re away

The evil freaks

Through sudden cricks and eerie creaks

Our settling house at nighttime speaks, I’m scared

While you’re away

while he's away deployment

While you’re away

It’s not the same

I’m thankful for the few who came

To help me play this sacrificial game

While you’re away

while he's away deployment

While he’s away

I’m turning ten

This milestone never comes again

I understand, but struggle now and then

While he’s away

while he's away deployment

While he’s away

I run the bases

Looking in the stands for faces

Sad to see the empty spaces left

While he’s away

while he's away deployment

While he’s away

I lose my teeth

And sleep with them at night beneath

The pillow where I cry myself to sleep

While he’s away

while he's away deployment

While he’s away

It makes me sad

Sometimes I’m a little mad

How come others get to have my dad

While he’s away?

 while he's away deployment

While  he’s away

I’ll start to walk

And look up for my daddy’s gawk

But nowhere will I find his eyes to lock

While he’s away

while he's away deployment

While I’m away

Their father’s not around

I’ve left them though, one comfort sound

Another Father always keeps them found

While I’m away

Thinking of father, fighter, and Marine Taj Sareen and his daughter Jade.

Click HERE to support a memorial fund for his daughter.



Death is not the end.


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Photo credit: Cpl. Bryan Nygaard / PD / bus

Photo credit: Capt. Christopher Prout / PD /hornet

Photo credit: r.f.m II / Foter.com / CC BY /man bed

Photo credit: EoinGardiner/ href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.comCC BY /flock

Photo credit: Jeff Belmonte / Foter.com / CC BY /rings

Photo credit: coloredgrey / Foter.com / CC BY /no mess

Photo credit: john.schultzFoter.comCC BY-SA/to do list

Photo credit: Hiii-Fiii / Foter.com / CC BY /door

Photo credit: stephcarter / Foter.com / CC BY-ND /mother and daughter

Photo credit: Olaf / Foter.com / CC BY-SA /bb gun

Photo credit: Phil Roeder / Foter.com / CC BY /softball

Photo credit: insidious_plots / Foter.com / CC BY /missing tooth

Photo credit: Russel K Photographs / Foter.com / CC BY-ND /worried

Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter.com / CC BY /crawling


About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

98 Replies

  1. Jason, this is amazing! Poignant and real, it brought me to tears. (And that is not easy to do!) I have shared it on FB and I thank you for the reminder of what my freedoms cost families everywhere. Thank you all that you do to serve and sacrifice for our great nation. Also for your words of wisdom here on your blog. Grace and peace to you today.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing, Rebeca. I will have to pass on your thanks to my wife and kids–they always deserve it more.

  2. Grace

    Beautiful, poignant. Thank you for your words and your service. Always remembered; your sacrifices are appreciated.

    1. Thank you, Grace. I’m sure most everyone can relate.

  3. Sam Hall

    Jason, be safe, my friend. A powerful reminder for all of us. We’ll give thanks around our table for you and all your comrades who have to be away, leaving loved ones at home, longing for them. I’m passing this on to special friends.

  4. Elaine

    Jason this poem is so well written, My heart goes out to you and your family and I thank you for what you do and thank each of them for the sacrifices they all make as well when you’re away. God bless you all. I have subscribed to your site but still have to figure out how to respond to your posts without having to post as a guest. lol will figure it out soon I am sure

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Please share with those who can relate!

  5. Debbie

    Jason, I found you when you Liked one of my posts and, browsing through your recent offerings, I came upon this beautiful, tear-jerker of a poem. Well written, sir. Your family must be very proud of you. Stay safe out there and know that God is at your side!

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Who can be against me? Please share with those who can relate.

  6. Jason, thank you for such a beautiful illustration of military family life. I’ve linked to this on my personal facebook page as my Veterans Day tribute.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      I’m honored, Jane. Thank you.

  7. Sandra Conner

    Jason, I’m so glad you sent me the link to this poem. I saw that you had stopped by my site and hopped over for a very brief visit last night, but had no time to stay. I really do like the site very much. I am a teacher and writer, but I have also been a minster of the Gospel for 40 years. I have two ministry blogs online as well as my writing blog and my patriotic blog, which you connected with. But my point is that I have found in the past couple of years that this Internet connection is one of the most powerful tools for ministry that I have ever used. I will be praying for you and your family — as well as for your work on this site.

    Oh, back to the poem: It is truly a superb piece of writing. I do love the way you connected the earthly father and our Heavenly Father. It’s so true, isn’t it, that the earthly father is vital in helping young children understand their Father God. I will always be more grateful than I can put into words that my dad was such a godly and loving father. But when I say that the poem is excellent, I don’t speak simply as someone who enjoyed it. I also speak as an English and Creative Writing teacher. You definitely get an A+ for this piece!

    I will re-blog this on my “Hangin’ Out With God” site and on Facebook so a lot of others can benefit from it — and hopefully come over here and see more.

    1. Sandra, Thank you for the kind words. I’ll contact you via e-mail.

  8. Danielle

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for visiting my site and for sharing your wonderful poem. Blessings and Happy Veteran’s Day.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you, Danielle. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate

  9. Angela Wagley

    Love the poem. I have had family away, but never a spouse. I can’t imagine.

    1. Thank you, Anglea. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  10. terry1954.wordpress.com

    that is so beautiful and real. thank you for leading me to your page

  11. Sandra Conner

    Jason, I couldn’t find a way to re-blog you poem on my “Hangin’ Out With God” site, but I did a post introducing your site and giving the link to this page with your poem. Here’s the link to my post in case you want to check it out:


    Also, my dad was a Marine during WWII, and he and his whole unit experienced such powerful protection from the Lord during that time. He wrote about it in a small booklet called, “Sarge Will You Tell Us About God.” It is on my dad’s blog to read free. He’s gone on to be with the Lord, but because he was such a powerful minister, the family has left the blog up and running so that his teaching can still be available to help people who visit. Here’s a link to the free booklet in case you want to read it sometime. It will encourage you.


    P.S. I say he was a Marine during World War II, but, as I’m sure you have already discovered, once a Marine, always a Marine — and he certainly was!

    1. Thank you for providing a link to your father’s work. I’ll look forward to reading and sharing it.

  12. dharma beach bum

    Jason, after reading this piece, I shared the following message with my Facebook friends. I meant every word of it and much, much more: “Friends and family, this fellow blogger, and more importantly, a man who serves his country, was gracious enough to ‘Like’ my ‘Zen and the Art of Veteran’s Day.’ Chills ran down my spine as I read it. It is one of the most beautiful, honorable, inspiring, (and every adjective one can use to describe brilliant writing and a brilliant, giving person) pieces of writing that I’ve EVER read. Please, take a few minutes to read it. ‘While He’s Away: A Poem About Being Gone'”
    It is truly an honor for you to have “liked my blog, Jason. Enjoy YOUR day and may you and yours always have the peace and happiness that you so richly deserve.

    1. What can I say? I found the words for the poem, but can’t for your comment. Honored.

  13. Vashti Q-Vega

    Absolutely beautiful and heartfelt Jason. You brought tears to my eyes. I love it and I’d like to share your link on my blog. <3

    1. Thank you, Vashti. Please do.

  14. Galen

    God bless you, brother, for your service on this special Veteran’s Day. And I loved your post about also honoring veterans of the Kingdom service!!!

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. It is well deserved.

  15. Don't Forget To Feed The Baby

    Thank you for sharing this with me. I’ve turned off comments on today’s blog post because I’m a coward, and I see how people sometimes respond on the faceless internet. But this is beautiful, and I couldn’t just let your comment go unremarked. Thank you!

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      It’s a hard life. It’s not about rainbows, especially for the families. I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for allowing the comment.

  16. Rhonda

    *sniffing and drying my tears.
    Absolutely beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      I’m glad it connected. Please pass it along if you know anyone else who can relate.

  17. Paula

    Bless you Jason and may God keep you and your family safe!

  18. Debb Lavoie

    I LOVE this poem ! The way you go through the family’s thoughts. Well Done !

    1. I’m glad it connected. Please share if you think it will connect with others.

  19. Christie

    This is an amazing poem! It really brought a tear to my eye.

  20. Brenda

    Yes, this was how I grew up, too.

    1. Thank you, Brenda. Please share if you think it will connect with others.

  21. Andrew D. Grossman

    Wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing this, and for pointing me to it.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  22. Harolene Leguizamon

    Thank you so much!

  23. Barb Taub

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Sure thing. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  24. Mike

    Very moving. Look forward to reading more.

  25. Rabbi Ruth Adar

    Eloquent. Thank you for that.

    1. Please feel free to share it with others.

  26. CJ

    That’s beautiful Jason.

    1. Please share it with others!

  27. That was great. Thank you for pointing me to this.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  28. Judy

    Every word so true. Very moving. Very touching. Thank you for all you do. Blessing and angels to you and
    your family.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  29. Lisa

    Slow and steady is the pace i read these words; and I am sure they were lived out in the same way. Today was our towns 62nd Veterans Day Parade and I have been coming to them for 48 of them (give or take a few years in between) and Jason I have been moved deeply by others’ service to this great country. Without any expectation of anything in return just standing up; for God, for their country and for themselves and their (your) families. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this with me. Thank you for your tireless devotion and that of your wife and kids; who teach those who have eyes the true meaning of commitment. Thank you from my heart and may God bless every single one of you.

    1. Lisa, Thank you for honoring our veterans so faithfully, and for the kind words! Please feel free to share it with others.

  30. Ninjasinstitches

    Man… made my cry.. That was a beautiful depiction of what goes on “while he’s away” Thank you for sharing that with me 🙂 ~Ninjasinstitches

    1. Your welcome. Please share with it with others!

  31. Lisa

    Also, being the photographer I am I would like to richly and deeply thank Cpl. Nygaard, Captain Prout, r.m.f II/Foter.com, Eoin Gardiner, Jeff Belmonte, coloredgrey, John Schultz, Hii~Fii, Stephcarter, Olaf, Phil Roeder, insidious_plots, Russell K. Photographs, and Pink Sherbet Photography. Thank you soo much.

    1. Absolutely. They took some great photographs.

  32. Zechariah John Kelley Brewer

    i like the line about taking your first step. my grandmother actually kept my dad from taking his first step until his father could see him do so, since Papa was laid up in an army hospital overseas for six months before making it back stateside.

    1. that is a great story. Thanks for sharing

  33. Becky

    Truly a very heartfelt and touching poem, and an accurate depiction of family life “while he’s away.” I cried! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  34. sarah

    Love this. Thank you.

  35. Michelle Warmath

    Wonderful…. thank you

  36. Jason, thanks for stopping by my blog tonight and leaving a note that I might relate to this. Indeed I do! Beautifully written.

    1. Thanks, Sherrey. Please pass it along if you’d like.

      1. I’ve spent some time here since last evening, and you are doing a wonderful work here. Thank you for what you’ve taken as your ministry to others in His Name.

  37. sagescenery

    Awesome poem!! God bless you!!

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  38. Jason – Thank YOU so much for sharing this poem. It really touched me. I’m sending the link to my grandson’s girlfriend. She misses him so much and he is just starting his life path that includes 5 years in the Marine Corp. He left last week for Infantry Training then will transfer to Ft Lee for his next 9 months.

    Your blog and website are remarkable resources for the spiritually deprived. I signed up for your newsletter and to follow your blog. When God speaks, I listen.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Hopefully some of my words will speak to your grandson. May he stay strong in the faith during his time in the Corps.

  39. Constance

    This is beautiful and truly gets to the heart of a military family. Thank you for sharing!

  40. sunnydelyte_21

    Love this!!!

  41. martha0stout

    Beautiful.This hits it just right. This is how we felt when my sister was in Germany and then on drill every month and her kids always wanted her home.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. Please share if you know anyone else who can relate.

  42. M E McMahon

    Beautiful and poignant! Thank you so much for sharing!

  43. joanofalltrades

    Wow. This is extremely well written. Thank you for stopping by my blog so I could read your beautiful words.

  44. MelanieWood

    Aw, Jason, you brought tears to me. I love this poem, so lovely. I’m very glad you like my blog I hope your service ends soon so you can return to your precious family and the rest of us so we can hear much more from you. Prayers & hugs for you and the family..

    1. Thanks Melanie. Please share it if you know anyone else who can relate!


    Praise God that He “always keeps them found” while you’re away. Thank you for all you and your fellow service members do for us.

    1. Lisa, I’m glad the poem connected with you. Please share it with others if you think they can relate.

  46. Niqui

    Great poem. Thanks for sharing! 🙂