Memorial Day Blues…A short story.

“You know, sometimes the burden of being a veteran becomes overwhelming. It’s a strange thing to give yourself to the pursuit of higher ideals, only to see those who swear upon the Bible tear down all your hard work.”

I look out my window and dark clouds loom on the eastern horizon. “The clouds are at their limits. Don’t look like they will be able to hold much more. Kinda like our society.” My dog, Chunk 2.0, grows agitated as the clouds draw ever closer to the house. His head is tilted back as he sniffs the air.

The Speaker of the House comes on television to host her weekly brief with the press. Per usual, she stumbles across the floor like the drunken idiot she is. “I guess Chunk can smell her crap out there on the porch.” As usual, the Speaker lays the inefficiency of the government squarely at the feet of the President of the United States.

“He is a buffoon. The man is rude, crude, and an example of all things wrong in this country. He has to go!”

It’s my opinion that if the only way you can live with yourself is to stay inebriated, you might be the issue. Of course, this is simply the nature of politics. 

“The sacrifice of my friends lost in the sands of some forgotten landscape is nothing more than a move on some political chess board. If you’re unfortunate enough to survive, the broken husk of war worn flesh is something to be tossed to the side until the next war kicks off.”

I stop writing and rub my eyes. They’re leaking. It seems like only yesterday that I was willing to defend the greatest nation on earth against all enemies foreign and domestic. Today, I am trying to function without going to jail.

Now, Chunk isn’t the only one agitated.

As I try to get back on topic, my mind runs the faces of my lost friends through my mind. They were there one moment, big as life, and the next moment they were gone like a vapor. The one lesson I learned is this: it doesn’t matter how you were killed, dead is dead. There is no filling the void left by your lack of presence. A lone tear trickles down my cheek. 

I spent many years in a bottle of Jameson looking for answers to unanswerable questions. Memorial Day and the Speaker of the House makes me want to go on a three-day bender. Instead, I reach for the Mountain Dew and place my fingers on the keys..

“While certain days I’m angered by the lack of respect shown to my friends’ sacrifice by certain politicians, my service to this country remains a highlight in my life. After all, if it was easy-everyone would do it.It’s not so much a career as it is a calling. Someone must be willing to stand their post and keep the sheep safe from the wolves.”

Otherwise, America the Beautiful will implode from it’s corruption.

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