Boots on my feet,

Living a hundreds of fleeting dreams,

Memories float like stars all about,

Catching glimpse of an old me,

Young, fit, and motivated,

Standing out, shining bright,

Medals that mean nothing,

Awards for jobs well done,

Paper trails everywhere,

Automatically judged and alienated,

A lot of us get caught by drink or drug,

Lonely in a world that we don’t recognize,

Your a stranger to me,

I knew you once, long ago,

But now friend, we stand together two different people.

Life carried us away,

Storms and Death followed us,

Marching day by day, through storm and light,

Patriotism fueling or faltering moral,

Long days, longer nights, heat, sweat, blood, no tears,

Hold that in, take that pain and use it later,

No time for pain when enemy stares at you,

Gas mask, sweat, bloody weight,

Taking inventory of your short life,

Giving Death a handshake, your friend in this,

For he will be with you waiting after you fall into Death’s Gate,

Then it never comes,

War still raging on,

Your discharged, on a street looking to be working,

Friends too busy to say more than hello,

Phone doesn’t even ring a ringtone,

Wolf snarling at you, nipping your ankle,

Shackled by bank and credit card debt,

Starting low on the totem pole,

What was seven years as a manager good for?

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