Monday, November 15, 2010

Remember the soldiers our nation forgot

"Stop the car, Elmer," "I can't," he says, "this is a busy street,"and I tells him, "Well, you gotta pull off the road, cause that's Corey we ain't seen in years since he joined the Army, standin' over there, with that sign, "Will work for food."
Homeless veteran - wikimedia commons
Elmer he slowed down and stopped on the side, and there it was Corey, just like I thought.  It was hard to recognize that child with a beard and his face all red and blotched and his clothes hanging out around and that big old sign he was holdin'

"It's Granny, Corey.  Now you get in this car.  You're goin' home to Cloutierville.  You can't be standin' out like this."

"Oh Granny, I can't go back again.  It's too late for me, and you can't help me none anymore, "he says, and I shakes my head, cause I ain't leavin' that child by hisself one more day out there just askin for food in the rain and the cold on that road all alone.

"It's the drugs,Granny.  I can't let go, and I need to be left alone.  You see when those nightmares come, I start seein' that fightin' all over again, and I have to keep movin' cause I just can't stand how I feel.  And when those people called me names and said I'd been killin' babies,  I had to keep movin' on, feelin' so bad all the time.   I been livin' like this for years, and when I needed help there wasn't none, Granny.  I don't know any other way to survive."

As I reach out my hand to that feller all ragged and weary and hurt, he looks at me hard, with those tears in his eyes, and said "Granny, just bless me goodbye," then he ran, Lord he ran down that road, droppin' that sign on the road he done left, and we never did see him again.

But last night as I lay beside Elmer, I touched him a moment, and he says to me soft, "I know you feel bad for dear Corey, but he's gone now and what can you do?  Take that writing pencil you got there, and tell folks to watch out for Corey and other fellers like him, those soldiers our nation forgot."

1 comment:

  1. Granny you are so right. People do need to help our soldiers, no matter what era. When they leave the military it is like life is over. Nobody values their skills, and everyone feels they aren't good enough to hire "civilian side" So many who leave before they get pensions have a rough time, especially the ones who have severe PTSD or were injured.

    Thanks for bringing that to light.