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That Poster

 

 

 

 

 

That Poster

Why did you break up with me before I joined the Army? Because I was afraid you wouldn’t come home.
She was right. The man of 20 who returned was not the boy of 18 who left.
1985
Welcome to Germany. The Cold War. A Peace Time Army.
Enjoy the beer and the pretty women. But beware the people on that poster.
Drink up! You are young! Dance and party! But beware the people on that poster.
Rat Patrol. We want you to look as American as you can. We promise that we got your back.
But beware the people on that poster.
Eddie met a girl at the disco. A trip to the woods for a moment of pleasure. A bullet to the back of his head was the punishment for the crime of being American.
Beware the people on that poster.
The next morning a car bomb explodes and two more are sent into the abyss. Rheine Main Air Base is no longer a safe place.
Beware the people on that poster.
Walking to a party. We are young! In a ditch. Jack holding me down. Gravel kicking up all over both of us. The roads aren’t safe.
Beware the people on that poster.
Frankfurt PX. We’re buying Thanksgiving dinner. We are young! A Peace Time Army! The world explodes. Part of a building disapears. Children tend to scream when they are hit in the face by flying shrapnel. Blood and fire. The screams of the frightened and wounded. The smoke from the car bomb blots out my memory.
Beware the people on that poster.
Here’s some ammo. The terrorists are getting serious now. Here’s 5 rounds. Don’t burn them up too fast. We only have 80 rounds total. Our exit plan is the back gate. But we don’t have a back gate. We will when you drive the truck through the fence and down the cliff.
More ditches. More bombs. More people sent to the abyss. Beware the people on that poster. No where is safe.
Because your young mind has not had enough, we will throw in Chernoyl as a bonus round.
Welcome home young soldier. Germany must have been great. The beer and pretty women. A Peace Time Army.
Alone. Surrounded by friends. Alone. No one would possibly believe. Alone. No where is safe. Alone.
Nightmares! Flashbacks! No worries, those will fade in time. Alcohol and weed will help dull the pain. They did. For a while. Alone. Angry and alone. No where is safe. Alone.
1999
Why did you break up with me before I joined the Army? Because I was afraid you wouldn’t come home.
She was right. The man of 20 who returned was not the boy of 18 who left.

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