Exploiting Honor

A room full of men and women in their workday best, with their minds and bodies never once in harms way
Clap clap clap for a former solider who has enlightened others to the depths of human perseverance
What most think is, “What a deserved honor, they’re honoring his bravery, duty, and service”
What I see are the shadows of an unrealized yet more deserved alternate reality for this soldier
Which is now an empty pocket compared to the prosperous life it could’ve been
A life in which he owns his own business
A life in which he pursues intellectual, spiritual, physical, or emotional desires
A life less tumultuous, less famous
Instead of spending it
Getting his mind and body back toward a form it may never fully return to

Seeing a wounded soldier on the road to recovery
Reminds me of what a coward I am
But also what a coward the men and women in Washington who clap
And exploit this man by paying him the price of “honor” and “respect”
For continuing policies that almost took his life
And the lives of all those who didn’t make it to the podium to be cheered on during their climb out of hell
And the hundred others who don’t get the climb
Because their personal ones overwhelmed them
Wondering what kind of freedom it is they’re fighting for

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