The U.S. military is not filled with saints and patriots.
As a veteran myself I saw people just trying to get by and pay bills.
The soldiers I knew ran away from the problems they couldn’t solve.
They clung to “American Values” as a mantra and a cause.
The soldiers I knew would betray you at the drop of a hat.
If it became a choice between losing sleep or another guard duty
They would easily make up a story and throw your name out.
Or drink you under a table and take you out back.
The soldiers I served with were uneducated and scared.
Just trying to get by and make life as easy as can be.
When not playing cards or talking shit about each other
They would shirk their duties and call you a Blue Falcon for caring.
When not playing RPGs and talking about glory
They would smoke pot in the latrine and ask for off duty.
They would often fall asleep on guard duty from hangovers acquired
While drinking till the sun came up over their heads.
The age of the soldiers that I talk about is skewed.
From teenagers to middle aged men it all comes unglued.
When the civilians back home talk of patriotism and heroes
They forget that many of these soldiers are just humans
That couldn’t figure out how to make it on the outside.
That enlisted for the promise of the MGIB and bonus money inside.
Especially in tough economies these promises get greater
Now in a recession enlistment rates are at an all time high.
As folks raise their hand and make that most important of oaths.
They trade their lives for the security they can’t find as civilians.
On this veterans day I remember that today’s soldier is not always noble
For they all have traded their freedom for a paycheck a promise and a lie.