Just Another Forgotten Hero © 2012, Karla Dorman!
By Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
A nation is revealed not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers. ~ President John F. Kennedy
Image © 2012, Karla Dorman
He just wanted the help he felt he deserved. He served his country, damn it.
No: since he wasn't injured on the battlefield or was involved in war, the Veterans organizations he'd called told him, 'Sorry, we can't help.'
Only OIF or OEF Veterans need apply.
He was in pain, had been ever since The Accident. There wasn't a day he wasn't hurting.
He tried to forget by drowning his waking moments in bottles of booze. If he could pass out, he might not remember how he'd lost his legs.
He always woke up. Damn it.
He tried getting a job. No one would hire him. Of course, the drinking didn't exactly get his feet in the door ... or, if he managed to land a job, the drinking quickly ended it.
His VA disability wan't enough. It was never enough. It would only buy so much vodka and cigarettes.
Rent? Electricity? No need to pay those, since he called the streets his home.
He'd not had an address since getting out of the hospital, a lifetime ago.
If he hadn't have grabbed that hot wire.
He could have made a career of the military. He only had five years before he retired.
In a flash, his hopes, his dreams, his legs were gone. Just. Like. That.
His legs: one amputated above the knee, the other, below. Nerve damage: his right hand clawed, practically useless.
Pain. 24/7/365, pain. The enemy.
If only he'd been wounded on a field of honor. No: he'd been stateside, far from any conflict.
They didn't give Purple Hearts for peacetime injuries.
That ate at him most of all. When asked how he'd lost his legs, what the fuck was he supposed to tell them? What could he say? What could he say that would make it any better?
So: booze became his courage. His story.
They found him, dead. Just another forgotten hero.
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Short Stories by this author.
Short Stories by this author
|Alaska Dawn, © 2013, Karla Dorman (Wednesday, October 23, 2013)
Records Were Meant To Be Broken © 2013, Karla Dorman (Wednesday, January 09, 2013)
Totally Unexpected © 2013, Karla Dorman (Tuesday, January 08, 2013)
God, Isaac and Me: Our Story © 2012, Karla Dorman (Friday, August 17, 2012)
Pumpkin (Thursday, May 10, 2012)
Sometimes, They Come Back (For Karen) (Thursday, September 29, 2011)
The Terror (Thursday, September 29, 2011)
The Others (Saturday, November 29, 2008)