The Price We Pay

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It's always one more hug, one more kiss,

A tearful, "I wish you could stay."

Before I turn and watch you leave;

Each new deployment goes this way.

But although it hurts to say good bye,

I know you're fighting this war for me,

And I know I'm not the only one sacrificing,

You feel it too – we know freedom isn't quite free.

There's long days spent a home, lonely,

There's time spent scrambling for things to do.

There's a year's worth of heartache in knowing

That all I'm feeling, you're going through too.

You're fighting for the country you love,

I'm the sidelined cheerleader standing behind the line.

In a way, we're both serving our country

In ways those who don't know can't define.

There is a hierarchy that is unspoken:

You work for The Man without question or qualm,

And I am the one standing stoically behind you;

A stepladder of power that well-preserves the calm…

But now the world has fallen on hard times,

And our country, of course, she's suffering too.

And, The Man, with all his power, has come up with a plan,

A way, he believes, to pull this country through.

Budget cuts are in order, money must be saved;

Because that green paper is the lifeblood of us all.

Everyone must make sacrifice, otherwise,

Our entire country is destined to fall.

But it isn't everyone who is being asked to sacrifice,

In fact, no one was asked at all,

When The Man went and made his decision,

Made that executive decision for us all.

My understanding is that you signed that line,

And you knew the potential cost

When you went to war for the country you love;

You knew what stood to be lost.

Patriotism may be the thing fueling your fire,

The thing making you risk your life

To stand for the principles you believe,

But at what price?

The Man has now taken your money,

I guess he thinks you Soldier because of the pride

You have for this country and in honor

Of all those before you who, in serving, died.

But the truth is that, whether you signed up

For the patriotism, the pride, or the thrills,

At the end of the day, it's still just a job like all the rest,

And you've a family to support, you've got bills.

We already sacrifice so much

Each and every time we're asked to say "good bye,";

So can't we, just this once, look to someone else

To give all this sacrificing a try?

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L. Sherman

4-8-2011