Fires Of Despair

by Regina

They walked in with so much to give,
signed up in the recruiters' stations,
honorably volunteered to serve the U.S. nation,
Hail them from every state,
from California's Oakland,
New York's shimmery skylines,
wheat fields in the bread basket,
so many returned home in a casket,
every color and ethnicity,
God's gift of humanity.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, they defended us,
gave our government their trust,
Burn pits, fires of despair,
contaminated their air,
smoke and soot from burning garbage,
invaded their barracks, their bodies,
the ones who made us free,
Ever trust someone or your own country,
that you gave your all for its people,
and it fell away from under your feet?
All the while they struggled to breathe,
God, what have they done
to our uniformed ones who have sacrificed?

They journeyed back home,
cherished by their families,
some, once were runners,
then weakened by disease,
they went to bed and wept,
because many of our exhausted troops
died from the burn pits,
the fires of despair,
They can breathe in deeply now,
no longer bound by the Earth.