The men and women who lose their lives in an instant,
become “forever heroes”.
aren’t as fortunate.
the walking wounded.
When the mundane reality
of everyday life kicks in,
when the hysteria,
the back slapping,
the” thankfulness” wanes,
when they become a “cost” to society,
a used tool,
an undefined victory,
an unspoken reminder of someone lost,
a fucking mental case with an American Legion card and a regular annual stay in the phsyc ward of the Veterans’ Hospital,
when they become hate filled because the food sucks,
or the room is cold,
or friends and relatives don’t come around much anymore,
when they can’t be understood, except by an analyst,
no longer have a tag line to define the “evil” they were protecting us from,
when the enthusiasm of young soldiers sold on propaganda,
sold on the belief that they are patriots and heroes,
dissolves into disillusionment,
when they can almost pinpoint the moment they became dehumanized,
when they recall the moment they smiled and winked by the charred corpse for a photo they burned years ago,
when they wish it was they who had been killed,
that is when the real war takes place.
That is when those who “supported the troops”,
who believed it all,
and fed the monster,
will become the enemy.