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The Price for Being a War "Hero"

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Message Francis

The Price for being a War "Hero!"

Your mother watched
her pre-natal diet
for your sake,
while your father
sweated to pay the bills.

Each heart rejoiced
with pure delight
through years
of nurturing.

Bed-time stories;
playing catch;
bumps and bruises,
booster shots.

In sickness, health,
and major-minor mishaps,
all bound together
till death do us part.

"Son, take your vitamins;
mind your manners.
We'll be late for church."

Ah, then school at last
where freedom reigned,
and the important thing was
to get along with the group.

But soon, the bauble bursts
and the TV scene
shows hate, not love,
as Blacks lash out,
and cold assassinations
vie with a brutalizing
undeclared war
for your attention.

Then, on to the highest school
where instilled dissent
ruptured the mind,
and freed the will
for aimless wandering.

Free at last! No restraints!
barefoot, bearded,
flowers held in hand,
peace and love
at any price.

Old tarnished world,
You who made it so,
split too!

Damn the war!
damn the draft!
damn the track
you've put me on.
I want out - now!

Temporarily lost,
the bewildered mind
free from the bonds of convention,
smells the sweet flowers of oblivion
and trips into the never-never land
of no worries, no frustrations, no reality

But dreams get busted
and reality crowds in upon you;
the old world demands its pound of flesh.

Greetings! from the draft board
starts the immutable forces
that work their ways against you.

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I am a 91 year-old retired educator turned writer who served 3 1/2 years in the army in WW II. I am an ardent fan of OpEd News and still concerned about the welfare of our country.
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The Price for Being a War "Hero"

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