Battle Within

You sit there in your warm home.
Watching the news of a veteran’s death.
You wonder why he took his life.
Not understanding the tortures, he has endured.
The visions of death he had ran through his mind.
The question of why he was even sent to war.
Witnessing the loss of his brothers and sisters,
a family that was not of his own blood,
a bond foreign to you.
A bond through pain and blood that you can never imagine.
Yet, you are part of the reason he took his life.

You try and try to understand, but the closest to war you have ever seen was on the evening news.
The censored images barely show the horrors of war.
You cry when you see the list of wounded and dead listed on your screen.
You feel pain for his mother and father,
knowing that they must be hurting.

Sure, you support the troops that are sent off to war.
You know that many have joined the service to ensure your freedom.
Freedoms that you enjoy every day.
The freedoms that you know came from the sacrifice of hundreds of servicemen and women.
You are proud of them all.

But what made that young man take his own life?
Was it the horrors of war alone?
Was it the loss of his buddies in arms?
Was it the lack of understanding back home?
The answer is yes to each of these questions.

He joined right out of high school and was sent to a place far from home.
Ordered and yelled at over the course of weeks.
Taught to fight, how to shoot, how to run into hell.
Never knowing when he may be called to War,
but being ready to go when the call comes in.

Sent to a foreign land thousands of miles from home.
Not knowing if he would make it back home,
to his friends and family, his wife, and baby.
With the softness of his wife’s kiss,
the image of her tears flowing down her face,
burned into his mind,
he boards his plane.

Knowing what his mission is,
As the nightly news still lingers in his ears.
He wonders if it is worth it at all,
Is it only to fill a rich man’s pockets or some geopolitical scheme?
Is he really there to protect his nation?

As he fights each day, seeing his brother’s blood being spilled.
Bullets flying over his head,
As he dares to pull the battered body of his brother out of harm’s way.
Blood rushes out of the hole in his chest,
his brother hands him a picture,
a picture of the little boy he will never see,
“tell him about his daddy for me… ” as his last breath fades away.

No time for tears,
no time to grieve,
Just time enough to have this horrible image,
His brother’s death burned forever in his mind.

Blaming himself and asking why it had to be him?
Why did he have to die?
Why couldn’t it have been me?

His time has come and gone.
He is back home again.
Happy to be at home and seeing his loved ones once again.
Pained by the loss of his brothers in arms,
wondering how he could have saved him.
Not understand why he made it back himself,
as tears pour down his face.
Thinking of the brother he lost,
whose baby will never know his daddy.

A promise he made to tell this little son of a father he will never know.
Seeing his young widow,
unsure how to proceed.
Crying as he approaches her,
unable to speak as you tremble with emotions,
hidden deep inside he feels unworthy.
Fallen to his knees like a small little child,
asking her to forgive him for not bringing her husband back home.

Believing he can handle it all.
He moves on with his life.
Demons and visions of the horrors he has seen haunt him forever more.
Questions of why he made it home,
while his brothers never did.

With each loud noise,
the honking of a car honk,
takes him back to the battlefield,
the nightmares of those days.

Watching the same news that you are right now.
Hearing the voices of discontent from those that were not there.
He continues to wonder,
“Was it worth it at all? Did I do the right thing? Did my brother’s little boy lose his daddy for nothing? How can I keep going?”

Then one day he cannot take it any longer,
The horrors of the war,
the lives that were lost,
beating him down.
Blaming himself for his brother’s death,
for not protecting him to the end.

The news is filled with belief that can only blame politics and money for sending him to an unjust war.

If you are a Vet that needs mental support or has been thinking of suicide. Please seek help by calling the Veterans Crisis Line at 988 and the press 1 or text 838255.

(Author comments: Over the years I have heard many times since the start of the war. The war that was started by our country being attacked. That this war is only about money and politics. Those people either believe in a false truth or don’t know history as much as they believe they do. All wars are fought because of politics and money. From the beginning of this great nation to the current wars, politics and money have played a role.

Whether you believe in the war or not, remember that your words affect those that have gone and fought. 3% of the nation that has served does hear your words and those that lost their brother and sister question themselves hard because of what you say.

As a veteran of the US Navy, I served during peacetime. While thankful for that, my heart is with each and every one of my brothers and sisters that did go to war. I prayed each night that those that I served with would make it home safely. I prayed for those brothers and sisters that I have never met but are still my family. many of my combat brothers and sisters I have worked with have told me their stories. Many of them question what they have done and the way their lives have changed. I wrote this because of them and from what they have told me.)

Author: littleslices

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