Veteran’s Day 2015

Thank You, My Veteran

I know you were scared

But you would not let it show.

Far from home and comfort

Marching to and fro.

Feeling like no one cared a bit,

That your chances here were slim

Holding on to God’s own hand

Ev’n when you could not feel Him.

Prayers from home surrounded you

Each day, each night, each hour

Prayers from home sent lovingly

Answered by God’s power.

On the worst days, things were really bad

On the good days they were worse

You went to war a little boy

Now a man who loves to curse!

Injuries no one can see

That only you can feel

Memories that haunt your dreams

Heart made out of steel.

Your gentle touch and soft low voice

Hide power and great hurt

You faced the dragons of the war

Came back to kick the dirt.

We waited for you desperately

We held our breath and prayed

We longed to see your smile again

While on our knees we stayed.

Time of service never ends

Your mind plays tricks of fate

The years of change keep coming on

Yet still you bear a heavy weight.

The stories you couldn’t tell us once

Now come up with a smirk

A man you are, beyond your years

Where once a boy did lurk.

Thank you, for the weight you’ve carried, sir

Though these words may make you nervous

Thank you is never enough, but still –

We thank you for your service.

A Veteran Is One

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
A Veteran.
Loved and cherished always
by we, the People.

Carol Bartlett Channer, November 2014