I was asked to write this for someone else. I never realized of much it would mean to me.

Ironically, throughout time the mere silent soldier's fortitude of forging ahead, not the outspoken reporter's enticing words gifted us our freedom of press. 

Again, the unyielding soldier raising our flag, not the flamboyant poet waving his pen bestowed upon us our freedom of speech. 

Yet, now the lonely soldier represents a tragedy as our country's thousands of Veterans somehow have become the forgotten treasure in our society. 

He is the local in his corner of bar room, boasting loudly of his favorite stories.  Yet, it's his unspoken bravery near the 38th parallel that outshines any story by a hundred times.  However, the story will remain forever unheard, for he feels he was only trying to protect his brothers, who freely done the same for him. 

She is the diligent nurse caring for the wounded in Da Nang, who fell asleep weeping tears of sorrow in a hard cold bed each night, thinking, missing her children, forever memories lost.  Yet, it's that very love for her children that drives her each day, trying to return sons to their mothers, fathers to their daughters.

He is the polite old man, surely but slowly bagging groceries with his prosthetic hand.  Palsied and aggravatingly slow, we impatiently wait.  How he wishes his wife were still alive, to hold him close when the night came, bringing the haunting dreams of souls lost.

He is the simple, ordinary yet extraordinary human being.  A young man who wished to make a difference, not to be remembered, but to protect those he loved.  A man who risked his life's most vital years...so you and I wouldn't have to.

They are our saviors, our saints, and our sword against the endless darkness.  They are nothing less than the finest, greatest testimony of the finest greatest country throughout endless time. 

He is your loving son, or she is your brave daughter. They are my brothers and sisters.  So when you see one of our country's veterans, thank them.  In so many cases, the simple act would mean more than you will ever know. 

Reminding that unyielding soldier why he would gladly still raise our flag, the boastful local why he risked all for his brothers, the diligent nurse why she lost so many memories, the lonely elderly man he still has friends, or the ordinary young man or woman why they willingly sacrifice so many years and memories, so those they love may forever have more.

Submitted: September 23, 2015

© Copyright 2023 Xander West . All rights reserved.

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