Noah Pierce

Noah Pierce

Click to Download Portrait

Eveleth, MN, US
U.S. Army
SPC, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA
7/26/2007, Eveleth, US

Hello, my name is Cheryl Softich and my son is one of the fallen – Army Specialist Noah C. Pierce and I would like to request a portrait of my son please. The work I have seen is too awesome for words for the most part and when the Gold Star Mothers told me I should request a portrait, I listened and here I am.

Noah died July 26th, 2007. He was just 23 years old when he died. He had turned 19 and 21 while serving two tours of duty in Iraq. As a young boy growing up Noah had one goal – to serve his country. That boy of mine played Army for hours with his friends and shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 my son joined the delayed entry program with the Army. He graduated from high school June of 2002, and on June 24th the recruiter came and picked up Noah and took him off to boot camp – get this, Noah loved boot camp! By the time of the first invasion, Noah was right there on the front lines right behind the Marines. Reality hit and my son was never the same again. War is not a video game.

As a person, Noah was very quiet, honest as the day is long, loved to hunt with his dad, fish with his friends, talk with his mom, and he loved his sister with all he was. All kids loved Noah and he loved them back. In fact, he wrote a poem that has to do with a child he was friends with in Iraq – I will share it with you. These poems were written by Noah after he was home and before he lost his battle with PTSD. These are a few of his poems left behind that we have found. Noah was a very special young man that left a footprint behind on the hearts of everyone that was blessed enough to meet him.

Since his death almost 4 years ago, I have went very public with PTSD and there have been many changes made since Noah died. My goal was to make PTSD a visible wound and I have done so in many ways. PTSD makes a person a POW in their own minds and kills from the inside out.

I feel bad for the kids
Can’t blame them for begging
Can’t give them anything, they beg more
This one was different He was 7
I let him sit next to me on the Bradley
I give him water He goes and gets me food
It’s great compared to MRE’s
No English No Arabic
Yet we still understand each other
Then it’s time to leave
He wraps his arms around me crying
I say it will be ok
I still wonder if he is.


Got home almost a year and a half ago
We were so happy
That beer never tasted so good
Iraq was the furthest thing from my mind
That was the best WEEK of my life
It crept up slowly
First just while sleeping
More real and scary then when it happened
After it’s on the mind awake
Never 10 minutes goes by without being reminded
Been home almost a year and a half physically
Mentally I will never be home.


It’s dark and I sit at my 50 caliber, trembling
40 miles per hour in a humvee and I have déjà vu
I just want to go home
Then that bad feeling hits me again
Are my ears bleeding?
Is everybody else ok?
These damn roadside bombs!
We are fine
Another truck wasn’t so lucky.
Back at base there’s no food
Can barely get a truck ready for morning
Another day kicking in doors
Find a cache and insurgents responsible for American deaths
Frustrated because we have to be nice while we arrest them
So when you talk to me
I may not seem to pay attention
I may forget to laugh at a joke
Remember, Freedom isn’t Free
And I would do it all again for you.


Was it right? Was it wrong? I don’t know.
My anger destined me to hell
Now I drink.  Now I drink and cry
Re-live my life when asleep
So many dead.  So many killed
Now I question God
Is it disbelief, or is it fear?
I don’t know.
Don’t want to die
Don’t want to live
But should be dead
I’m already in hell
Two tours of Iraq.

Noah’s portrait is also on Poster 12


3 Responses to “Noah Pierce”
  1. Cheryl says:

    Noah, I believe you are a very special person…that your death has meaning. I have never really given much thought to PTSD until now. I saw you and many others who, like you, served for our country. I just finished watching a documentary on tv…Warton. I read your poems, on the internet. You have reached me, and I know that as a result of your despair, the world is learning…the ‘silver lining’.

  2. Hector says:

    I was looking into Noah’s story for something trivial, I’m working on an essay, and I saw an article that said he deployed the second time with 5-7. I was under the impression that 5-7 had disbanded long before, are both these articles wrong or am I?

    I only ask because I was in Garryowen as well. It would be strange that my post-army research is leading me full circle.

    Thank you,


  3. Dale Pierce says:

    Dear Dale,

    You didn’t call me like you said. So today I was surprised to get your money order. Noah and I thank you very much.

    I cashed it and bought Noah four pairs of pants size 4T, two shirts, socks, and a pair of snow boots. I also bought him a toy rifle for his birthday which will be from you and a “My Pet Monster” for X-mas from you. I almost forgot. He also had McDonald’s for lunch and a bag of snickers. He’s a happy boy! When he unwraps his rifle he’ll flip.

    I guess I’ll come home the first week of January. It’s the least I can do for you. I will need two hundred dollars to do it. Can you help with it? Also, don’t tell my family. We’ll surprise them.

    Tom will drive a UHaul and fly back. After I have the baby he’ll come get it once I’m through breastfeeding. My cookies are burning. Get in touch soon.

    All my love, Cheryl.

    P.S. Enjoy your pictures.

    Noah had portraits taken and I pick them up on the 10th. You’ll get some for you and Barbara.

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