On Veterans’ Day

by Jamie Skinner (US Naval Flight Officer 1980-86)

I was told November 11th, was to remember Flanders Field
in hopes that knowing of its horrors, war might be repealed,
But now I’m thanked on Veteran’s Day for the service I have given
Yet heart and soul are plagued with thoughts of foreign children suffering
I want to think the bombs and drones have made a safer place,
But what I see is homelessness, shock and fear upon each face.
I want to tell my captain that this strike had been in error.
His curt reply “you think too much, We’re fighting the war on terror”
So I wonder if my service could have helped the cause of peace,
The money spent on drones and bombs been spent to bring relief,
If fear was motivation for overwhelming armament,
Or profits for big companies in defense establishment.
So I reply on Veteran’s Day: Thank your country doc,
Or Doctor’s Without Borders, Mercy Corps; or the Red Cross,
Peace Corps or missionaries who sacrifice for peace.
As for me, I used to be a tool for those who brought much grief,
But now I’m thinking clearer, hoping in a better way:
Heal the sick and work for peace, to honor Veterans Day.

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