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A Veteran’s Return Home

Roger finally relaxed on his third beer, put a Metallica song on the jukebox and reminisced about his return from Afghanistan…

When I came back here, to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, I was disgusted, met no one who I could have conceivably fought for with a clear conscience.

So, I began doing work for Charlie [1]. I decided to ride across the country through the South and there I met the people I fought for: good people who say hello and don’t assume the worst of you or at least don’t act on it. In the North, everything has been taken to such a gay level that you can’t ride with chaps on without someone thinking you’re an ass-fucker.

I get off my rice-burner—preferred for the work—at a diner, wearing my old unit cap flipped around…Yes the South also has a state without a mandatory helmet law. These young people are going out drinking but they stop to say hello and I tell them, “I don’t want you all doing any drugs. Keep it clean tonight.”

It was okay that I said it. But then when they looked at the tats and so forth, one said, “But what about you?”

I said something along the lines of not doing as I had done and they seemed openly thankful that I cared that they didn’t fuck up their life. They were such nice people—it wasn’t like all these soulless fucks up here.

Sometime later, riding through Oklahoma, a few days from getting paid, I was really ragged, only two dollars in my wallet.

I stepped up to the bar and ordered a coffee. The woman behind the counter was Native American. She asked me if I wanted any food and I told her that I’d be sticking with coffee.

She brought me a coffee and a plate of food and told me I could have more at the buffet. What a beautiful woman. That will never happen to you in New York. Starving wasn’t new to me. I’ve got no problem with a fast. But I couldn’t hide it from her that I was hungry and she couldn’t see me go without.

I had a hard time keeping it together.

When I drove back through on the way back I stopped in and gave her fifty bucks.

It had taken a while, but I eventually found the America I had fought for.


1. Attribution assumed to be understood by the author, but was not. The tone this name was spoken in suggests an organization rather than an individual.

Son of a Lesser God



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