Not everyone loves a soldier.
Yet they continue.
Sometimes knowing why,
But mostly not.
The pride, the action, sure
Those are easy.
The sacrifice, the monotony,
Not so much.
Somewhere out there is a perception.
There are enemies at the gates.
Or more accurately,
They are already inside.
Ready to take away–
Or more yet–destroy
Those things a soldier loves:
Children free to play
Women free to move
Men and women free to love.
All of us free to be together–
Or if we chose to–not.
Sure, being free also means
Being free to make choices.
To make steps, to take steps
Away from personal freedom
When we believe those steps
Will help others to have
Each their own freedom.
It is those steps each soldier takes,
Sometimes thousands at a time,
In the hope that —
Whether right or wrong–
Those steps are helping others.
So, as each soldier walks
Away from his or her own personal freedom,
Each hopes the walk will find
Someone else’s freedom at the end.
Even so, and most of the time,
That is not the end result.
Simply and because
The soldier alone is a noble thought,
But soldiers are part of a bigger mess.
Where control comes from a higher command.
Whose interests are out of the soldier’s hands.
So, in the end, the people,
Whose freedom the soldier seeks
Are left with less freedom
Than the soldier sought.
So they–the unfree–
Think it’s the soldier’s fault.
And that is why not everyone loves a soldier.

So, with that in mind
Why should any soldier bother
To walk from his or her freedom?
Some say, or so I think,
“In the past others soldiers have walked
And they have set people free.
So I too will walk to set people free.”

So the walk continues
For days, weeks, decades
Again and again.
Because there is no end
To the controls
On people’s freedom
And the ways freedom is kept
In a cage.