A Veteran is one who deserves to walk tall
And wear a hat with his service proudly displayed,
So that we, the Grateful, can shake the hand of a hero
And say a few words of thanks.
A Veteran will always stand at attention to salute our flag
And will drop tears at the National Anthem.
We, the Served, should do the same
Instead of texting or looking bored.
A Veteran has a quiet reserve
That holds vast memories of wars,
Of friends lost, and horrors untold
That we, the Defended, can never understand.
The Veteran is one with a hole in their heart
For comrades gone, lives disintegrated,
And a lack of understanding and compassion
From a few sad examples of we, the Foolish.
The Veteran is one who fills the hole
In the hearts of those who love them
Those who know the waiting, the praying
That we, the Families, have brooked.
The Veteran does not demand respect
Yet commands it simply by being
Loved and cherished always
by we, the People.
Carol Bartlett Channer, November 2014