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Desire Dec 2018
I grew out my beard.
I grew out my stomach.
My ears ring randomly.  
My eyes see things differently.
I speak or say less.  I move in silence.
I sleep in when I want.
I haven't touched razors since my return
nor rifles since the field ops.
I've grown in maturity mentally.
I've grown insensitive verbally.
I've grown to miss the uniform
and pride of belonging in a brotherhood;
I miss my extended family.
I miss the people, not the troubles.
I miss the gym, where others alike
flexed invisible muscles.
My days once had routine,
pattern, structure and rhythm.
Weekends full of workouts, worship, and beer.
Weeks full of work, blood, sweat, and tears.
I've grown in experience.
I've regained freedom as a civilian.
But the transition has been a grueling process.
Yet, I've grown to be grateful nonetheless,
as not everyone gets to go back "home" ...
(remember the fallen) ...
However, if I'm honest, I don't think there's ever
an actual adjustment...
[I'm growing]
XLIII. Adapt and Overcome
The life of a Veteran
Random reflection
Whenever I'm in pain
I just whisper
"I'm a Marine I'm a Marine I'm a Marine"
Because Marines are the strongest
The first to fight
The few, the proud
I can't wait until I claim the title
And live up to my name
But before that, I believe
I am a Marine
And the pain always lessens
Jeffrey Oliviero Feb 2016
How can a non-believer
suddenly believe in the power?
Be the man behind a trigger
covered in carbon powder

How can a non-believer
suddenly believe in ghosts?
Be the man behind the rifle
as any threat approached

How can a non-believer
suddenly believe there's hope?
When those we hold close
Tie a rope around their throat
to meet a suicide quota

How can a non-believer
suddenly believe in himself?
Be the bigger and better man
unafraid to ask for help
Jeffrey Oliviero Jan 2016
Sometimes I need to write
to keep my mind at ease
If I don't, my hands get shaky
like the last leaf on the tree
Marksmanship is not necessary
when shooting the breeze
Daydreaming until reality
is just an illusion to me

Sometimes I need to write
to keep me level and grounded
If I don't, I start hearing voices
Then my head gets crowded
I follow the lead
whoever is the loudest
United States of Jeff
Population is countless

Sometimes I need to write
to mind my own business
If I don't, my body starts twitching
Swinging on anyone
within one arms distance
Please pray every day
we never cross those bridges
For those that won't listen
a fair warning was written
Jeffrey Oliviero Jan 2016
Sometimes the flashbacks
Can be picture perfect like a gallery
Every once in a while
I struggle with what life's like actually
As the memories resonate
Depression eventually catches me
It always baffled me
and still rattles me
Why did my best friend
have to be a casualty

I'm setting my GPS
as I pull down the street
For Arlington Cemetery
in Washington D.C.
Whenever I feel the need
I just sit there with him
No reason to speak
I let the ground beneath me
relieve some of the grief
Then just before I leave
I about face and say
You'll always be with me
Semper Fi my brother
Rest in peace Marine
Four Marines lost their lives to what is being called domestic terrorism.
Some sicko with a gun shoots these guys. One of the dead is just 19 years old.
I did not cry because I was sad that four American men lost their lives to violence.
I cried because for the first time, I'm so glad that you're in Japan, so glad that you're so far away.
I'm so glad you're alive.
I hate this. We lose mere children in uniform every day. And I'm always thankful that it's not mine instead of sorrowful to think that they were someone else's.
Your eyes like the ocean, like the waves, like the sky, like a nice blue sports car. Things that are beautiful in passing, but are dangerous up close.

Danger. Loving you was danger.

You set me on fire, burning my body, burning through my brain. Passionate fire, then hot fire, then ******* I'm actually hurt fire. I still have the scars.

What I'm left with is dark and empty, unable to love another. Whispers on wind of what we used to be, secrets. I wasn't made to be a ***** little secret. I'm not your ***** little secret.

I loved you. All consuming love. Love like only a 17 year old knows. Love like only an 18 year old can hold. Love like only a 19 year old can endure. Love like only a 20 year old can let go.

I used to be sick over it. I used to wait for it. And now I've let go of it. Rain from the gray skies that are so like your eyes in the dark. Rain washes away everything I've remembered.
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