And I Thank This Veteran

I have met many a veteran.

Often times the way I meet them,  I’m sitting across from them in their home.

They are now ‘old’ by some people’s standards.

And I’m talking to them because I am investigating an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

I ask if they are a veteran.

Yes.

Often times I get to see a picture, or twenty, of them in uniform.  Getting married.  Raising their family.  I see them strong.  Young.  Powerful.

I see them as guardians and protectors.

And I see them, wondering who, is now guarding and protecting them.

And I have this everlasting vision of them.  This older man.  With his younger self trapped within.

And I thank this veteran.

And more times than not they quietly say “you’re welcome”.  Many say “the ones to thank are the ones who didn’t return”.  A few, cry.

I have met many a veteran.  Way too many of them, in this manner.