War Veteran

B. R. Gowani

one veteran of the
1991 US War Against Iraq
psychologically devastated
affected by Depleted Uranium
suffering from GWS and PTSD*
deserted by the live-in partner
financially ruined
addicted to drugs and alcohol
out on the street …

survival meant begging
life had no meaning
meaningless life
life should be meaningful
thought and rethought
“tonight, like any other night
alone I am not
there are over 150,000
war veterans like me”

was aware of the second war
disastrous in lives and money
also thought of himself
he was nameless, no one knew him
respect, dignity nobody gave him
little money some gave
dirty glances others gave

what to do?

he yearned for a dose of equality
and a place of his own

after a long while
gathered all his strength
to be converted into a mercenary
before the war ends
so he joined the Filthywater

his fears were untrue
the rulers were in his favor
the war continues

after some “patriotic” acts
he got kidnapped by the homeowners
after all, a liberator he was not
he was the occupying force

the world came to know him
many people prayed for him
they talked about him
scores worried for him
most wished him well
and ..

he became the hero
his face was everywhere
his name was on a millions lips
millions of eyes shed tears

within two weeks he was free
actually, he escaped, unharmed
had experience dodging police
by living homeless on US city streets

the homeless veteran
granted a hero’s welcome
interviews, photos, autographs
the complete spotlight
and then the media found another hero
and so he went out of focus

two years later ..
the government cut budget
he was united with the streets again
now he wasn’t interested in better times or
even the meaning of life

he had lost that ability
his mental balance was no more

* Gulf War Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

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