Thank You for Your Service

Peace Advocate June 2022

Memorial Day for Peace (May 2021). Photo: Veterans for Peace

by Webb Nichols

“Thank you for your service” 

You say to me 


You may wonder why I grimace 

You meant to make me feel better 


What to do with 

“Thank you for your service” 


No one who has been to war wants more war

War is never the answer to a disagreement

no matter how small 

Or how large 


Can War ever be forgiven? 


We are here honoring 

the courageous sacrifices  

of not only the “Fallen”  

but also, the “Living” 


In the past We believed there existed just wars? 

Moral Imperatives? 


Defending what we hold dear. 


But now  

What do we know? 


“An eye for an Eye 

And soon everyone is blind”? 


“War gives birth to profiteers 

And buries the “exploited” 

And the “Innocent”?


“Thank you for your Service” you say 

You are forgiven for not stopping 

To hear my story 

Who would really want to? 


Feeling The adrenalin rush of a firefight bullets passing so close one could hear them 


Will never have dominion over the cries and suffering of the dying 


Blood flowing and bodies scattered everywhere

an unholy spectacle of human fear and rage

no matter whether accident or intention. 


In the dark abyss of night 

in the witnessing light of day 


Only Death silences the screams and moans of the



What to do with 

“Thank you for your service” 


We try so hard to comfort each other 

You try so hard to make me feel better

Or even proud 


I am sorry I do not know what to do  

with your kindness and your caring


I believe comfort will only come to us

Patriots, Veterans, citizens,  

the forgotten 

when we join together  


speak out to bring  

about the end of war 


the rebirth  

of a just and equitable World


The world desperately needs our help 


We desperately need the help of 

a kind and compassionate World