I am a citizen and a soldier, invisible; I stand alone, along side others who are citizens and soldiers. We stand Proud and Ready to do the bidding of our country. We stand outside in the cold, the rain, sleet and snow. In the baking sun, in the howling wind, whatever the weather. We stand tall.
I ride the bus every morning to work and I hear you speak to each other of your hopes and dreams, while I suffer in silence. You will never see my pain or sacrifices that I make for you. I don't even know your name. I sit beside you and you are uncomfortable. You rarely speak to me or even acknowledge my presence. When you do look at me I can see the looks of disdain, contempt or even fear in your eyes. I am a citizen and a soldier and an outcast in your world. I straddle both and fit in neither.
You go to sleep at night and dream sweet dreams while I have nightmares. The things I do for you and my country, you would never think to do, or are unable to do. The blood, sweat, and tears I shed you will never see or understand. You take vacations and holidays off while I stand ready to keep the wolves at bay.
As I travel through your cities and towns, your reactions vary. Some of you glare at me, some of you move away as if I am going to snap and hurt you. I have had others of you cry as you hug me and say thank you. An old veteran shook my hand as he paid for my breakfast, telling me that my money was no good.
I neither ask nor crave glory or recognition. I don't want medals or parades, just respect. I do this for you and my country so that you can be free. I stand ready, I stand proud.
Everyday I wear my uniform it is with the knowledge that this day might be the day I make the ultimate sacrifice for you. Whether you are rich or poor makes no difference to me, if asked I would do it again to keep the wolves at bay.
You watch the news at night and see my brothers and sisters in uniform doing their jobs and paying the price. If you notice us at all it is only when we are injured or killed, either way we stand tall, ready, and proud. We stand alone.
WE are the Invisible Soldiers.Send us your comments on this article