Let me tell you a parable about a kid from Brooklyn…
He had big dreams when he was 7 years old. Wanted to be a surgeon when he was finally grown.
But his country needed him, so without a second thought, he was an eighteen-year-old twig who started training for Nam.
Man, they put him through the grind, pushed him up and down the line.
Nothing but a cot to sleep on, but they keep on shaking him at night.
It was a hard life for him, working morning to morning, but nothing pushed him more than knowing that home was waiting for him.
He was deployed but deplorable. All conditions: horrible. Watched his brother drop dead, all around the forest.
Blood stains, all the rain couldn’t wash them away. His brain maimed from the pain that he couldn’t escape.
He would never be the same. His life forever changed. Terrible scars from the dark of that day.
Just a few missteps and now he always remembers, when he looks at his knee to see where the leg was dismembered.
He did this in hopes that the world would be better.
But they told him he was better off going to Hell.
He got no celebration, nor any parade. And people turned away from him like he was a slave.
He gave up his body to keep his family safe.
But he gave up his mind because of his country’s mistake.
Why don’t we remember?
40 years later at 60 years old, he lives alone in a shack more like a prison than home.
He’s always shaking from nightmares, but nobody cares.
His doctor tries to tell him that he’s already repaired.
“You got a prosthetic leg and a nice roof over your head! I don’t why you keep on crying saying everything is bad.
Sure you went through the jungle but that’s the past man! You ain’t gotta walk through the street’s like you’re in ‘Nam, man!
You made it out of there alive. Gotta move on with your life. Stop lying, saying you ain’t right!”
Some say he’s crazy, other’s say he’s lazy. That’s why he’s lived off government since he got fired in the 80’s.
Broke it off with his lady and got married to Jack. Now he wastes away his days wishing it would go black.
“A poor excuse of a man! He has two working hands! If he tried harder, he could’ve made it work in this land.
But he threw away his life. He had his own rights, to get up off the couch and try to do something right.
But now he just moans. Go on and leave him alone. He’s never going to come to his own.”
Why don’t we remember?
Why doesn’t anybody see that he’s broken? Why do people dismiss him like he’s hopeless.
He broke his back for this nation and this is how we repay him? With head shakes and disgrace while we just push him away?
Why do we say he’s okay as he longs for the grave?
Maybe if we walked his shoes, then we could see our mistake.
We throw stones at his windows and shatter his name, while we don’t even realize that we are to blame.
His struggle is real, but we will never understand, how Post-Traumatic Stress really ruins a man.
We never stopped to help him as he laid in our path.
Why does this American soldier get treated like trash?
He’s a person like us all and he’s the reason we stand, for the National Anthem when it rings across the land.
We will never have to fight in the jungles of ‘Nam.
Maybe we should take the time to help to stand.
I know you may not get this but I know you would agree that it’s time to heal the broken who have been hurt by this country.
So as the voices cry out during the Star Spangled Banner,
Black Lives Matter.