11 November 2013

Veterans Day 2013: 'What Sacrifice Has Been'

This poem by Randy Brown originally appeared in "Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Vol. 1," published in 2012 by Southeast Missouri State University Press.

Later this week, the publisher will release a second volume of "Proud to Be" writing and art by veterans, service members, and families. More news on that in tomorrow's Red Bull Rising blog post. In the meantime, have a safe and meaningful Veterans Day. Make sure to keep the focus on your freedoms, family, and friends—and not necessarily the free lunch.
what sacrifice has been

in airports, well-traveled souls
confuse boots with heroes
and buy us sandwiches
while flat-talking boxes buzz

with bullet-lists and mug-shots of the fallen:
3-second shrines
to soldiers they will never know
like you

this war is on us,
they want to say
thanks for your service
have a nice day

they elevate our routine dead
with casual regard and separate
us from them
with unsustaining praise

they do not grasp our names are found
on medals and on stones
and on the lips of friends who’ve seen
what sacrifice has been

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