Do Not Thank Me For My Service.


Do not thank me for my service

Not for the many years in which I found joy

Wearing the uniform

Defending the principles

Growing up with and then guiding

Our nation’s finest


Nor for the years that followed

In which I have lost heart

Suspecting and then knowing

That our leaders, well-intentioned or otherwise

Are ignorant, hollow, and self-serving


“Put not your faith in princes,” the Bible says

But that is exactly what I have done

And worse

Not only my faith, have I placed in these small people

But the fate of my family, peace of my household, my very fatherhood


Half my daughter’s life, one third of my son’s, one fifth of my marriage

I have been away

Have squandered my fondest desires

To be husband, father, strong, and stable presence in our home


Christmases, Easters, Thanksgivings, and birthdays

I have spent with others when I would have been at home

Broken fences, leaking roofs, bicycles with flat tires

All my rightful duties

Have fallen on the shoulders of my wife

As if childbirth, motherhood, all the household responsibilities

Were not enough for her


Do not thank me for my service

Rendered in defense of ideals

Unfathomed, unfashionable, and denied

By boy kings, sycophants, and traitors

Your gratitude mocks me

In light of all that I have lost

And all that we used to be

Me, my family, the nation that I loved



 – No, not satire this time.





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