He used to be a soldier

He used to be a soldier.         He used to fight for America, and what America used to stand for.      Steely eyed and terrified, he put his life on the line, day after horrific day, without asking anything in return.    He used to be a father, with the prettiest wife in the neighborhood.      He used take his sons to play baseball, before the night mares turned into daytime episodes.      His family noticed it first, which would always hurt him the most, because he loved his family more than he loved his country, but he served his country anyway, because that’s what a soldier’s supposed to do.      Eventually, the fragile wall between sane and insane began to crumble down around him, and his beloved country forgot his service.      Finally, his family lost the man that they loved more than anything, to the monster that the military had created.      In the end, the man that gave everything he had to his country, lost everything in return.      Now, the man is a wanderer. Teeth clinched, doggedly surviving, stubbornly holding onto the last thing he has, the very thing he fought and lost everything for… his freedom.      Will you stop and help the man that gave everything for America? Will you go to him and listen to his life tale, and appreciated what he gave… so that we wouldn’t have to give up anything?     The man is hungry and lonely. His family, has had to move on.      Every now and again, you can see him in the mission chapel, praying silently, with tears in his eyes.      Maybe, when you see that man, you could tell him thank you, and give him a hand up, and be grateful that there are men and women out there that are willing to give away everything they hold dear to their life’s- so that we can be free.      When you see that man- or someone like him- instead of laughing at his tattered clothes, and broken soul, you might try and remember… he used to be a soldier.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      R.B Tetro                                                                                                                                                           © 7/15

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