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Disgruntled Vet

by Nathan Hruska

I think about my generation a lot.
As my old classmates were protesting rising
Tuition costs and sipping their lattes and espressos
I was fighting in Fallujah, twice.

I helo’d to combat zones, walked long
patrols in oppressive heat, took fire, moved to
and through contact, and my boot soles
are still stained in a dark crimson.

My brothers and I signed up for country,
And asked what we could do.
Only 2 % of my generation swore in,
we damn few, who

put our asses on the line, watched
our brothers bleed out in front of us, watched
children die by the hands of the enemy
and were blamed for it, pissed

ourselves out of fear for our lives, or
the fear for our brothers’ lives.
No, my countrymen would rather
regurgitate their professor rhetoric,

upgrade to the newest smartphone,
complain to their overpaid therapist,
blog about their first world problems,
while my friends are dead, or still dying.

How can I love my flag so dearly
and hate my country so deeply?

Nathan Allen Hruska enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003 and served with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Nathan has done two combat tours in Fallujah, Iraq, serving as Alpha Co., 2nd Platoon, Team 2’s radio operator and martial arts instructor. He now is serving with the 169th ASOS as a TACP operator. He lives in Wisconsin with his lovely wife, Andrea and his dog, Wilson.

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