Don't Judge Me

I walked around a street corner today.
There sat a man, dirty and raggedly in my way.
With a sign and a pail hoping people would pay.
I rolled my eyes at him and he had this to say.

Don't judge me, you don't have the right.
Did you go off to battle, did you stand and fight?
Did you lose an arm, or a leg, or even your sight?
Did you pray to God with all your might?

Do you wake in terror from things you have seen?
Do you break out in a sweat or maybe even turn green?
Do you live in reality, in a dream or somewhere in between?
Or maybe just wish that once again you could be nineteen?

Do you even know what the American soldiers do?
How their faith is tested but they remain true?
Do you care or do you even have a clue?
Let me fill you in on something that's not quite new.

In 1775 the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps were born.
Continental Congress sent out the call for brave men to be sworn.
That they would uphold and protect our land that was torn.
For the time had come for us to show our enemy our scorn.

It would be a hundred and forty years before the need rounds.
This time the Coast Guard would be the one to heed the sounds.
To protect American soil in times of peace would be their grounds.
To aid the Navy in times of war where their territory would know no bounds.

Eleven years later the Army Air Corps would take up the slack.
They were designed to aid the ground forces to cover their back.
Later they became the Air Force with their core values still intact.
They would protect our air and space when our foes attacked.

So learn from this lesson that I have taught.
Don't let everything I have said be for naught.
Respect the brave women and men who have fought.
For freedom comes with a price but can't be bought.

Shirley Sue Cameron

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This is for all the brave men and women who have faught, who still fight, and who will fight. Thank you for your service.