Surrender to Defend

It runs deep
Minds lined with memories
Tortured thoughts
No one should have to
No one should have to
No one should have to
Witnesses to living hell
They laid it all down
Willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING
Their hearts beat to the anthem
The colors reflected in their eyes
For the Red
For the White
For the Blue
For the FUTURE
For their brothers
For their sisters

Whether it be
The desert
The jungle
The trenches
The air
The sea
The blood of heroes stains the same
Bullets rip and tear
Through anything and everything
Don’t have to meet skin
To inflict damage

I don’t know what it’s like
To have my hands soaked
In the blood of a brother in arms
but I am familiar with the torture
A soul darkened

I don’t know what it’s like
To take another man’s life
Another man who is fighting
For the opposing force
But I have met men who
Know it all too well

You don’t have to say a word
I don’t know if I could handle it
Your eyes say everything I need to know
I am sorry
but I am proud
To know you
To have met you
The emotional scars
The invisible wounds
Are only the buttons upon
The jacket of
Your strength of character

The sacrifices do not go unnoticed
If I could meet you all
Shake your hand and say Thank You
I would
I am only able to do the things I do
Cause of your willingness
Cause of your strength
Cause of who you are
I am proud to live in
And call this country home
This Nation built by heroes
The building only stands cause of all of you

I am who I am
Because of a long line of soldiers
I only know what breathing is
Because God allowed my father safe passage
Though I am sure he has wished
It went another way
I will never know the things he went through
I know what dealing with friends dying is like
I can’t imagine dealing with
Watching a friend die

To my father
To all those that heard the call
And answered
You are stronger than I
This is my yellow ribbon
This is my thank you note
This is my civilian salute
I know nothing I can say
Nothing I can write
Will mend a damn thing
I cannot fix anything
I wish I could fill the fissures
Sew up the invisible wounds
Lift the weight
Ease and alleviate it all
but I am unable
And for that I am sorry
It’s out of my hands


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