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In Honor of Friends Who Never Returned

On this Memorial Day, I will honor the memory of friends who never returned from their tours overseas by recalling the words of a WW1 veteran, who saw first hand the horrors of war as an infantry soldier in the Kaiser’s army. “The Soldier Dies In Pain. Soldiers never really win any wars. The leaders and politicians are the real victors. The soldiers fight and suffer; some live; some die; but some only partially die. They live on as miserable human wreckage, while the politicians and their generals, live on in the glory and fame their soldiers bled to win for them. Far too many soldiers become maimed, twisted things whose real misfortune was not to die from their hideous wounds, that have instead, transformed them into freaks. All these veterans have similar stories as to who they were in past lives, and how they all became creatures that will shun the sight of people. They are the creatures of war, the veterans for whom there are no parades, no songs, no recognition, no celebration. Men for whom the battles go on by the sheer chance of their survival. Men who will live with their scars even the ones you can’t see. Men whose own families will cringe from when they return home. Men who will now live as homeless beggars or earn a pittance as circus freaks. But those too strong to take their lives, know that to all things must come an ending. It’s the law of nature. And so they live on.” On this day remember and honor our veterans. All veterans of all wars. You get to spill your nonsense because of them. You get to burn our flag because of them. You get to trash our country because of them. You get to live your pitiful, meaningless, sheltered lives because of them. To my veteran friends living and dead I say, I hope I can live my life without spitting on the image I see reflected in the mirror. I honor your sacrifice. Thank you for your service.

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