Here is part two of Air Force Master Sergeant Tony Johnston’s poem:

And Then One Day…. Part #2

And then one day you wake up and realize
That you’re still not home.
No matter how badly you want to be.
And you finally acknowledge the fact
That it either has to get better…
Or it has to get worse…

And “worse” is not an option.

“Worse” is one more blow to those that sacrificed,
And especially to the “some” that “gave all.”
And “worse” leaves out the people that care,
And the people that don’t understand,
But love you anyway.
And want more than anything,
For you to be home.

“All the way” home.

So maybe this is as far home
As you’re ever gonna get?
And that may sound sad.
But you know in your heart
That no one ever came home from any war
Unchanged in some way.

And maybe by the time you figure out,
That it’s time to quit trying to figure it out,
You’ll find some Peace in that?
And each time you find that Peace,
It becomes another part of your puzzle?

So you realize that if your dreams
Are where the dead and wounded need to live,
So that they are never forgotten,
Then so be it.
You wouldn’t leave them behind then,
So why would you
Leave them behind now?

And you acknowledge the fact
That being scared can help keep you alive,
And that the old adage about
Being fear…
Leaving your body…
Never made more sense.
This pain is different,
But it’s still pain.

So you steal a line from your favorite poem…

“You plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,

instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers”

And you keep looking for the parts of your “new” self
And keep putting the Peace,
And the pieces,
of Your puzzle together…
With a little help from your friends.

And you realize that if your purpose
Really is the essence of who you are,
That maybe this was your “purpose” and this is just who you are now?

And you know that it either has to get better,
Or it has to get worse…

And “worse” is not an option!

Master Sergeant Anthony Johnston
“All the way”… home.