It happened over 40 years ago now, but it still affects the everyday, my here and now. Almost sixty-thousand soldiers died in dense jungles. Over a million human lives lost because the U.S. couldn’t be humble, chosex to interfere out of fear of an ideology. So they sent me to kill VC, shoot them up with my M-60, napalm burning down all the huts you could see. A monumental loss of human life, and you can read the names of those killed fighting VC on a monument somewhere in D.C.

I cut down women and children like fucking animals, bloody hands, I’m the fucking animal. My buddy and I, Kannibal, torched a village at night. The children took flight, set ablaze and screaming, and in a haze while fleeting Kannibal stepped on a mine that sent his insides flying up high. The next day, so soon, my platoon went to recover the body, so raw, but nobody could prepare me for the horror I saw. His intestines hung from the trees while children swung from them like savage monkeys. The war ended, the violence suspended, but just like that, my entire life was upended. I came home from a foreign land to another I didn’t understand. I stood in the airport wearing my uniform proudly like I should, but everyone around me denounced me. No one dared look me in the eye, they just walked on by. When they did look at me, it was out of scorn, God I was so forlorn. Across the street, outside a government building, I could see an angry crowd protesting. I felt so lonely, but finally, a man walked up to me. I thought, “A thank-you”, this must be for faithfully serving my country. But he looked at me coldly and vehemently he shouted, “Go die you child killing freak!” I never felt so shameful wearing a uniform I wore to be so faithful. Though what I did was so disgraceful, I only did what I was asked to do. I did my duty. I fought for my nation, but my nation didn’t fight for me. They left me to die all alone on cold streets.

So now I wait to die on this street corner. I sit with my head held lower so I never ask for change because you don’t owe me anything. Though I gave you everything I know that I’m no hero. I’m a forgotten soldier who died a long time ago in a war I shouldn’t have had to shoulder

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