by Jen Woronow
I am sorry the civilian world feels more distant than any foreign land you have set boots on.
I am sorry the training that kept you alive turns to dust when it comes to the grind of daily minutiae. Alive in body but not always in spirit.
I am sorry some would rather focus on who you killed rather than those you did your best to help.
I am sorry you are fetishized as a symbol of power and righteousness without ever knowing your tenderness.
I am sorry you are martyrized at the altar of civic nationalism without even knowing your name.
I am sorry the honor of the dead is more important than the pain of the living. It seems like it would have been better not to have come home at all.
I am sorry you are forever haunted knowing this. But I assure you, your survival was not a mistake.
I am sorry that the battle is long over but the one in your heart never ceases.
I am sorry I will never understand what it is like to be you.
Jen is an analytical mind with a creative spirit. As a former communication specialist, Jen is exploring more opportunities to share thought-provoking educational content about the sociology and visual culture of armed conflict. Her fascination with this topic extends to her project, The Jaunty Crow, and art. Jen is originally from Rockville, Maryland, USA and currently resides in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She has never served in the military—she is just a military history and international security nerd who works out a lot.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.