Hey, You! Hero! Did You Lose the War?
Twenty years ago, they couldn't get enough of you, back when the 9/11 smoke was still in people's eyes, and the country was flag crazy.
Heroes. Thank you for your service.
You came home from Afghanistan. Maybe you went back again. The military is revered in America, but it's not that popular, so those who do join have to keep going back to the same war over and over and over.
But they were nice while they lasted, the glory years. When people thanked you all the time, or at least they did when you were in America, before they sent you back the second time.
And now it's done, and you're in junior college, or prep-cooking at the Shoney's down by the interstate, or selling condos, or in law school, or sleeping in the weeds behind the dollar store. Good thing you learned how to live outdoors.
It's done, and we lost. We skittered out of Afghanistan, and the place returned to its rightful owners, some of whom are religious fanatics, just as some people are in Kansas. Of course, other countries don't send troops into Kansas to get the born-again friends of illiteracy off the local school boards. It would have been hard to blame Canada if they staged a military intervention during the Trump years.
So, it's done, and like your grandfathers when they came back from Vietnam, you face the accusing eyes of a nation.
You! Over there in the New York Yankees T-shirt. You with the USMC bulldog tattoo on your arm. Did you lose the war in Afghanistan? Didn't you try hard enough? Were you too scared?
Nah. You joined the military, and you did what they told you to do, which is what you're doing now on the day shift at the Walmart or running parts for an auto supply store.