Metallic Taste

Metallic Taste

It is natural for a nation to forget.

People go on with their lives, news cycles move on, and men and women—warriors—see fewer deployments to dangerous places, places where democracy’s voice is needed.

The nation slackens its resolve, thinks less of its brothers and sisters downrange.

Even now, such a short time from our withdrawal from Afghanistan, people dwell less and less on the sacrifices of their warriors.

But you and I have not forgotten.

Our lives have not moved on. We think often of the dangerous enemies of liberty across the globe, and so our resolve will not slacken.

We dwell on words such as sacrifice, liberty, and war.

And we will always carry the Metallic Taste of war in our mouths.


It is lead and blood, gunpowder and rain, and black smoke from fires burning.

The lead is ours and theirs, the blood is yours and mine.

Gunpowder lived in our mouths and hair for so long, the taste is almost comforting now.

As we patrolled, guarded, and fought, foreign rain mixed with blood, sweat, and smoke and dripped down our faces. We know the taste of war.

When we stood around burn pits, or exploded ordinance, or the remnants of a hard fight, the taste in the air was familiar. And it has not left my mouth. And it has not left the mouths of my brothers and sisters at home.

Still, all around the world, men and women taste gunpowder and lead. They taste foreign rains mixed with sweat, blood, and smoke. They are downrange, fighting an enemy which has never lost its zeal.

Sacrifice, liberty, war.


It is natural for a nation to forget, to move on. But you and I have not forgotten. Our senses are stamped with a Metallic Taste, the taste of conflict and war, suffering and hope, burn pits and blood.

As a Green Beret, the artist behind Bad Moon Print Press is inspired by his experiences around the world. He documents his memories in the Special Forces through literal and abstract art and design, rooting his creativity in the conflict of war, which he has come to know well.

“Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope” defines his life and art. In his art, he captures these stages of individual conflict and growth, always keeping his perspective as an active-duty member of America’s elite Special Forces.


The men and women forged by the suffering of war—the values we’ve gained as a nation through conflict—are the hope of many, at home and abroad. The hope is peace. The hope is justice. The hope is victory.

The hope is that a nation never forgets its warfighters, the values they’ve forged—and continue to forge—on the battlefield for all those at home.

Forever those warfighters carry the Metallic Taste in their mouths.

1 comment

  • Kenn Swearingen

    Looks like another winner from NFQ.

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