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...
XLIII. Adapt and Overcome
The life of a Veteran