Thanksgiving to the Surge Troops

To the 30, 000 boys

soon to be sent off

to Afghanistan:

It may be a nice place to visit,

but I hope you don’t die there;

Better yet,

I hope you don’t get permanently maimed there,

whatever that means:

physical or psychological damage

that can’t be fixed

that will shape and possibly

destroy your life.

You are sitting somewhere now

knowing that this might be

your last Christmas at home;

but maybe you’re thinking:

Hell, they won’t get me!

Why are you going so far away

to fight for America?

Defending the Homeland?

Whose homeland is that?

Oh if only someone invaded,

so we could all

defend the Homeland;

I’d be right there beside you –

But you are off

to the mountains

and the deserts

of far off lands,

to seek out poor


embittered and

hyped up

young men with guns,

young men who have always had

less than you.

You cannot have mercy on them;

you cannot understand them;


you can’t even speak their language –

but it’s better that way.

I’m sorry you aren’t staying home

to build up our nation,

to make lasting beauty

that 50 years from now

your grandchildren will praise;

sorry you aren’t staying home

to love someone,

to fight for our future,

the future our children face;

we need your strong arms,


and courage,

right here at home,

for we are

crumbling from within.

I’m sorry you are just “a troop”;

I know you have names

and faces

and lovers

and children

and parents;

maybe you have more

than those young men

you will be

blowing up;

it’s such a lot to lose.

But maybe you’ll come back after

seeing the world from

the other side of a gunsight.

Don’t put yourself in those people’s shoes,

you’ll be very uncomfortable,

Just plow ahead and

get the job done.

I hope you come home soon,

without too much

blood on your hands.

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving to the Surge Troops

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