The Homecoming Soldier
by Murray Scott
For some of us, Christmas means looking at four walls in a bigger-than-life apartment. We turn up the volume on the television as a distraction from our pain and emptiness. After all, if we were loved, would we not be surrounded by friends?
Had we not already paid our dues fighting for our country and the right of others to be treated with dignity and respect? Was that not suppose to be the fight of our life?
It seems that the biggest fight and struggle today is holding back painful feelings of being alone and empty; we would fall apart if we dare let those thoughts and feelings surface.
More fighting? Do they not realize that every day is a fight just to feed myself? What will they think of me if I put myself first?
Reflecting, we ask ourselves: Why the pain? Did we not remember that coming home was to be a safe and loving process? Had we not left the fighting and fear behind us?
We were soldiers, we were not allowed to feel! This was our time to heal our thoughts, feelings and yes, even our soul. Our bodies needed time devoid of fighting, conflict and stress. We needed to work on ourselves and to stay away from wolves in sheep’s clothing!
We were told to stand up for other Vets and their rights — to take up the fight against VRAB and VAC!
How could we fight for others when our bodies, minds and souls and hearts were still recovering from the fear of never being happy and so-called normal again?
We new instinctively that the fighting and finger-pointing and blame was the last thing our bodies needed. If they only new how close we came to killing the pain for good. Is it too late? We had to stop all fighting and take care of ourselves at all costs…we were asked to make a choice, keep fighting or take time to heal.
When do I get to take care of myself like I took care of others?
I put my coat and shoes on and took one look at the empty, empty, empty apartment and then . . .