Tom Spooner’s “Old Soldier” — Sung in a Special Operations team room

Tom Spooner put the following online a year ago; we missed it at the time. OTR flagged us to it last night. As we understand it, Tom wrote this song, but it is another D guy performing it, in a team room. A bit long and sad for our taste in music, but it deserves a wider audience, and that’s you guys. Tom is former SF and retired Delta, with most of his time spent in Delta. When there’s a pic of a bunch of guys and one face isn’t fuzzed out, that’s Tom.

Not all the images used here are Delta shots or even Army or SOF guys. You’ll recognize Marine First Sergeant Brad Kasal, for instance. The pictures all do fit the “Old Soldier” theme.

Now, we never went to Delta. We know little about the JSOC elements, but what we do know can be encapsulated in a sentence: those who talk don’t know, and those who know, don’t talk, and that’s as it should be. 

We’ve lost a lot of good guys in these long, fruitless, ill-supported wars. But if there’s anything that deserves to be known to the public, it’s that we have a lot of good guys who still show up every day, take the mission they get handed, and do it with brio.

The mission in the GWOT was different from the mission in the 90s, which was different from the mission in the 80s, or 70s, and back in the sixties there were guys running recon in denied areas, because that was the mission then.

The mission next year, decade, next war, is going to be different. The only thing in common is that “young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, to whom a kinds of tricks would be taught” will turn out and take that mission and make history with it. Sometimes the history takes 10, or 30, or 100 years to be released to the public, but remember what we said about the ones that know and don’t talk?

For them, it’s quite enough that they know. 

4 thoughts on “Tom Spooner’s “Old Soldier” — Sung in a Special Operations team room

  1. Trone Abeetin

    Are we to presume because you are “talking” that you “don’t know”?

    I kinda find it off putting all this “if you ain’t done it” your opinion don’t count shiznit. Its especially prevalent among the GWOT terror crowd.

    I’m 53, and obviously met a lot of WW 2 and Korean guys that you’d have to pull teeth to get any anecdotes from. These GWOT guys though, Yorks Murphys and Rocco Versaces the lot of em. At least according to them.
    No offense, I think you’re the balls, and quite possibly the helmet.

  2. Tom Stone

    “Fruitless wars”?
    GMAFB, the right people have made a ton of money and garnered enormous power while no one important died.

  3. Bill T

    We need to put the “My war was rougher than your war” aside. Dying in battle is as rough as it gets. It’s a touching, heart-felt song. It doesn’t matter what battle it’s about. R. I. P. warriors of ALL conflicts. (Survivor guilt is rough too.)

  4. mr. sharkman

    Anyone reading who has an opinion that matters already knows the ‘famous’ verses…

    And still his name sounds stirring
    Unto the men of Rome,
    As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
    To charge the Volscian home;
    And wives still pray to Juno
    For boys with hearts as bold
    As his who kept the bridge so well
    In the brave days of old.

    And in the nights of winter,
    When the cold north-winds blow,
    And the long howling of the wolves
    Is heard amidst the snow;
    When round the lonely cottage
    Roars loud the tempest’s din,
    And the good logs of Algidus
    Roar louder yet within;

    When the oldest cask is opened,
    And the largest lamp is lit;
    When the chestnuts glow in the embers,
    And the kid turns on the spit;
    When young and old in circle
    Around the firebrands close;
    When the girls are weaving baskets,
    And the lads are shaping bows;

    When the goodman mends his armor,
    And trims his helmet’s plume;
    When the goodwife’s shuttle merrily
    Goes flashing through the loom;
    With weeping and with laughter
    Still is the story told,
    How well Horatius kept the bridge
    In the brave days of old.

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