They put a rifle in my hand
They give me magazines
They Train me how to kill a man
They say i'm keeping the world free
They sent to to foreign land
They told me to kill the enemy
They put my boots in the sand
They made a man out of me
They have taken my brothers
They have tried to take my life
They notified they're mothers
They have notified the wives
They know us as numbers
They know nothing of sacrifice
They send us home to the real world
They say everything is going to be alright
They don't see the darkness curled
They don't hear the screams at night
They tell us to fight through it
They tell us its just a dream
They ask if we were ever hit
They ask if we still got some steam
But we still see the men at night
But we will always hear they're screams.
From someone who's been to Afghanistan (2013-2014) and knows what it's like to have people wanting you dead even though they don't even know who you are... it's definitely a touching write. I didn't shoot, nor kill men, but people died while I was there and it's a pill that I was forced to swallow and still feel the effects of every day. A wonderful write, and my favorite part of this poem is your consistent and incessant use of the word "They" until the last two lines, where you remove the focus from those who are in charge to those who have sacrificed their lives. The real heroes.
It is striking, to say the least... though there are a few corrections I'd make:
"They sent to to foreign land" should read "They sent me to a foreign land". Perhaps instead of me, you could say "us", to further elaborate the schism between "they" and "us".
In the line "They notified they're mothers", "they're" should be "their".
(Just a personal suggestion, the line "They know us as numbers" would flow better if you threw a "just" in there, to read: "They know us just as numbers.")
In the line "They tell us its just a dream", "its" should be "it's".
Now, these last two lines are striking
"But we still see the men at night
But we will always hear they're screams."
The only edit I'd make here would be the "they're" should be "their".
All-in-all, a strong and relatable write. It's a horror that cannot be comprehended until it is experienced, and even I feel I didn't experience the nightmare that some people were forced into. I am sorry that you did.
Thank you for your service,