"You're not coming with us."
   The words crush the officer's spirit.
   How can go home a war hero
   If he doesn't go to war?
   "Someone has to stay back."
   Shame leaves no room for logic.
   He looks at his friends and knows
   That one of them will get his medal.
   "There's important work here."
   Platitudes you'd use on a child
   Can't soothe the loss of a dream
   That won't come true.
   "Ten years from now it won't matter."
   A lie; ten years later he remembers
   The day his unit entered Iraq
   While he watched on CNN and wept.

                  BY:   Andy Entwistle