Brian’s poem will give you perspective into how wide the civilian-military divide gap really is.
On December 3, Brian’s mother posted a video of him reciting his poem on her Facebook wall. At the time of this writing, the video had been shared over 103,700 times. The video was intended to be shared with friends and family, but it had such a powerful effect that it was published to YouTube in order to mitigate comments to her Facebook account.
Brian delivers a powerful and sincere peek into his scars of war that were inspired by a grocery bagger’s clueless comments.
Clearly upset, he took to poetry to express his experience.
The video is very touching. Check it out:
The other night at the store, check out line with my wife
the bagger asked a question that cut with a knife.
He saw my beanie and tried to make conversation
asked me if I was a member by service or donation.
I looked at him and smiled, I’m used to small talk questions
said that I became a member after serving my nation.
I went to Iraq and to Stan played around did some time in the sand
and he responded with that patented, “oh thanks for your service man.”
Nothing else needed to be said, conversation through
but then he stepped back and looked at me from beanie to shoe.
He asked the question, I swear this is true
he looked at me again and asked, “well what’s wrong with you.”
Taken back by his question I quickly spout an answer, “that’s a little personal man”
then you won’t believe his candor.
“I’m sorry man I didn’t mean to offend,
just looking you over it looks like you have all your limbs”
I walked out the store angry but why?
That was a volatile observation by a dumbass guy
how could he see the blood behind these eyes.
I should have marched back in there and asked if he wanted to see all the scars.
Hey these seem to interest you
take a seat guy you’re about to need a tissue.
See my scars I don’t wear them on the surface of my skin
like most veterans the deepest scars are within.
Sound of screams of brothers dying
tears roll down from mothers crying
bullets hail and fly overhead
watch a bullet leave your best friends head.
Or the hands that I took hold
watched as the grip grew colder
maybe you want to hear about that time I had to shoot a child
or that other time I had to drag my brother’s body a quarter mile
just because I knew he’d be defiled.
See what you fail to understand is that no veteran ever comes back that whole of a man.
Whether it be limbs are gone or internal scars
we all search for answers at the bottom of glasses in the darkest of bars.
Who are you to ask what is wrong with me
are you now the wounded warrior judge and jury?
One thing I want to remind you kids, I’m not mad
as a matter of fact, your dumbass question made me glad.
My invisible injury, I wear with pride
it doesn’t matter that you don’t know my friends who died.
it doesn’t matter that when I go home you don’t see
that I could barely remember what I had to eat.
I also have brain damage you see
been through one too many explosions that shook my head
while you lay quietly at home sleeping in your bed.
And cause of blast of me flying through the air,
oh you want to see where I bounce… everywhere.
But its okay boy stand up let me brush you off
I know it’s impossible for you to understand the cost.
I see that tear, here’s that tissue
maybe next time you’ll just leave it at thank you.
But I didn’t do that, I just let it be
I couldn’t let someone’s ignorance violate me.
Instead I said no problem, don’t worry about it man
It’s something that takes time to understand.
So next time you see a vet don’t think you need to vet him
don’t look for stories of injuries like we all openly display them.
Don’t ask sh–t like, “did you kill anyone”
we share that sh–t when we want, boy don’t be dumb.
Again, I can say blame that those that ain’t been taught
but I will say, “dammit ain’t about time we stop living underneath a rock.”
I’m an American veteran been to Iraq and to Stan
yes I am disabled, no you don’t need to shake my hand.
Yes I’m slightly crazy but who wouldn’t be
just want to let you know exactly why you thank me.