Thursday, August 27, 2009

Healing From War

He will never forget
the face of the first man he shot.
He was just a kid,
a scared 19-year-old in a firefight.
"It was either him or me,"
but that didn't make the death
any easier to deal with.
Four decades later,
the face of the enemy soldier
still haunts his dreams,
and occasionally his waking life.
He didn't share his nightmares
with his loved ones,
and did not seek out help
He still didn't know how
to deal with his personal devils.
He first opened up about his nightmares
to a VA Chaplain
but he never intended to share
his personal problems with a pastor,
or anyone.
Most crippling is the guilt,
a confusion of core ethical beliefs
as soldiers struggle with their actions
and religious teachings,
"Thou shalt not kill."
He wasn't brought up
to kill people.
Forced to confront
suffering in terrifying ways,
some renounce their faith.
Others feel abandoned by a God
they believed to be their protector.
“The boy doesn't seem to be quite
the same since he got back.'"
There's only so much medicine can do.
He used to be tough, but now he’s weak,
or God's punishing him
for killing in combat,'
If he was smarter, he could figure it out.
It’s not about intelligence,
or about strong and weak,
and it's not about God's will.

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