Ode To A Vietnam Veteran

STAND DOWN

victoriacross.jpg“Sign up son,” they said to you, “Go and defend your country.”
“Put on your boots, pick up your gun, you must fight the enemy!”

You were young and you believed, you trusted them and you went.

A man should not do what you had to do or be what you had to be.
No man should know the things you know or see what you had to see.

“The war is over,” they said to you, “Go home and forget it now.”
And so you went home and tried to forget but nobody taught you how.

You have no faith, you have no trust, your youth has all been spent.

You sleep with your shoes on in case, in the night, the enemy comes.
And over and over again I know you still hear the choppers and guns.

Your dog is all that you have now, she’s the only one who would stay.
She doesn’t mind if you drink too much and she’ll never walk away.

But once again you have to move and they say dogs are not allowed.

You have unofficial permission to keep her but you have no doubt
If push comes to shove, officially, they’ll throw your little dog out.

Your life is memories and nightmares, habits picked up in the war,
Can’t sleep, can’t relax, you can’t let your guard down and more.

It all sets you apart, drives love away, isolates you in every crowd.

No matter how many years go by, no matter what anyone tells you,
For you the war will never be over, it really took YOUR life too.

Sad and lonely soldiers like you gave your lives for me and mine.
Knowing you still pay the price for that is making my heart pine.

Every day you do battle with demons, every night you still fight a war

I know you can’t really believe it, but hear it again, don’t frown,
“The war is over soldier. Stand down now, oh please, STAND DOWN!”

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