Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day, 2005

He hobbles down the street, bogged down with a stained ruck sack, his grungy long hair in a greasy bandana. It makes you uncomfortable to look at him too long. He knows this and just nods. "Bum", many call him, "loser", some others, but before you cast any more stones, do you know his story?

Do you know why he walks the streets? Is it the distant but vivid echoes of gunfire, artillery, and the incessant screaming of his fellow comrades in unimaginable pain? Is it the ghosts of the men whose lives he was forced to take in the name of survival? He hurts constantly and his heart is still in the muggy jungles of Viet Nam, something most of us will never have to endure.

As he sits on the curb, cars whiz past, splashing dirty water upon him. He welcomes it. His pants are torn & dirty, his feet tired & his face very weathered. A stray dog sits beside him, a single, loyal friend in his miserable world. He wanders the streets, asking for nothing from anyone, surviving on scraps & the concrete shelters of overpasses. He makes it day to day through the torment within himself.

Regardless your feelings on war or Iraq or politics, please take the time to think about those citizens that have made sacrifices, voluntarily, or involuntarily, mentally, or physically, or with their entire lives.

We may not all agree on the "causes" or the politics involved behind wars of the past or our current war, but one thing we need to remember is the real flesh-and-bones people that get caught up in the midst of our government's decisions. Some agree with and others disagree with their situations, but either way, they are still doing their jobs, and trying to bring some sort of good into those situations.

I was a lucky one. I did my time, and was freed, mostly unharmed and unblemished. But many are not so lucky. Regardless of the level of their hardships, I salute all my fellow veterans for doing your jobs, and believing in the good that can come out of any conflict.

Happy Veterans Day to all and thank you.


Blogger Gypsy said...

Thank You Crystal for being a military veteran and a woman one at that. Thank you for the post to remind us all. I love you warrior sister. Was beatiful post

Anonymous Norman said...

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