Johnny

Long before Johnny’s first deployment, he dreamed of a meaningful death
Interesting how he had no hope or concept of creating meaning during his life,
With the days he was given
He only knew if he could give more than anyone else,
He must have done something right
People would respect and appreciate that

He hated seeing people die
He hated knowing their pain
He felt shame towards the part of himself that loved it too
He felt natural fear in the danger he put himself through
But Johnny wanted to die

Every mission, every bullet, every explosion
On some deep and private level
He always hoped they would quit asking him to be willing to sacrifice
He prayed they’d finally take what he was offering

Through years of back and forth
The monotony of war and the thrill of it
The utter disappointment of the home he was supposed to be missing
He gained all the experience, all the medals, all the nightmares to justify himself
Justify his adjustment issues, his rage, his inability to be satisfied

But if anyone had known to see
The secret guilt in Johnny’s heart
Was that war did not do this to him
War was just his perfect escape
His secret hope for death

Johnny was a suicidal soldier before we gave him an excuse to be

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