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Ode To A Vietnam Veteran


"Sign up son," they said to you, "Go now 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 so you went.
No man should do what you had to do, or go where you were sent.
A man shouldn't know the things you know, or see what you had to see.
It haunts you still when you recall, just who you were forced to be.
"The war is over," they eventually said, "Go home and forget it now."
And so you went home and tried to forget, but nobody taught you how.
Awake or asleep you’re never free, your life has been twisted and bent.
You have no faith in your fellow man and your youth has 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 you care about now, she's the only one who loves you.
She don't mind if you drink too much, she doesn’t judge what you do.
But once again you have to move, it’s a place they say dogs cannot stay.
You’re worried they’ll try to force you, again, to give your friend away.
You have unofficial permission to keep her but you don’t doubt
If push comes to shove, officially, they'll try to throw your little dog out.
You’ve done what you can to stop them, from trying to separate you.
They know you won’t stay without her, where ever she goes you go too.
Your life is memories and nightmares, bad habits picked up in the war,
You can't sleep, relax, or let your guard down with anyone any more.
And it sets you apart, drives love away, and causes you so much pain.
It’s only the company and love of the dog that keeps you halfway sane.
No matter how many long years go by, no matter what anyone tells you,
For you the war will never be over, in some ways it took YOUR life too.
So many lonely soldiers like you, gave your lives then for me and mine.
And knowing they still pay a price for that, is making my heart pine.
Every day you do battle with demons, every night you still fight a war.
Nothing makes the memories stop and it leaves you tired and raw.
Somewhere there’s an officer, and he’s talking to you so don't frown,
"It's over, here’s your last order. Stand down, soldier, STAND DOWN!”

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