“A Life After War”

by Sharon Baier


(“A Life After War” mobile version)

Your brothers in arms bid you farewell, Semper Fidelis. The hardest day of your life you handed in your
weapon and walked away with your head hung low
Was it in shame that you didn't die trying or was the physical pain too much to bear? No more staff
sergeant screaming orders, no fellow Marine to walk beside, or covering their backs by pulling the trigger
on the enemy lines

Not a day passes you don't yearn for revenge against the enemy and to save a brother's life. It's hard to
just let go, to say goodbye to a mission and the other units you left behind. Your heart, it's layered with
symptoms of range, even hate; there's no going back - your tour is over, and you can never undo what's
been done. To go from immense power, escape from death then come home. It's convoluted I know, from war
to the mundane of daily grind, how sad that you feel safe in a place called war

Society expects you to come home to a life that used to be, they don't understand, you can't emerge from 
war unscathed. You can't pick up where you just left off; it's stifling and absurd to assume you'd be
unchanged by something as powerful as war. You miss the crackling of the rounds flying past your head -
it was the best adrenaline rush you ever had. Society means well, but they don't understand...they just
want it all to go away 

It's time society accepts you're not who you once were, there are gaps at home, you don't fit in while
physical pain is burning within. You stand brave as you reach to shake the hands of those who thank you
for  your service. It was in the line of duty, but they don't understand that the war is buried within you, 
and life as you knew it will never be the same

Your stagnate heart wants to move on, you're desperate to be whole but all your love and decency is 
drowning in your battered soul, it's that part of you that says I don't deserve. Is it fear that says you let 
them down, or fear that you may be forgotten? I think you're mistaken; 
once a Marine, always a Marine

God says forgive thy self for whatever you feel you've done. The pain you had to endure; it was to fulfill
a purpose you say you're unsure. If the suffering was tolerable and the war of little consequence, your
memories would have no meaning. What good is a healer to a man who knows no grieving.

Claim your right to heal and go forth to show your brothers that be, for one day their tour will be rendered
and not know what to do. Be the Marine who went before, let them see how you triumphed through a 
broken system that made you the man you are today - be the brother who overcame and is living proof
there's a good life after war