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Rated: E · Poetry · Military · #2205323
Joe joins the Air Force because military service was required.
Joe decided to join out of necessity,
due to government, “Strong-arming”
so to speak…a rather peculiar and
barbaric system, long ago, called
a “Lottery.”  Now an all volunteer
Army—the draft no longer in

And so the Lottery
gave a corresponding
number to the birthday of   
young men eighteen and older.
So happens Joe’s number was
seventeen, and thus, he was sure
to be drafted.  And sure enough, that
draft notice came.  But one option was 
that the draftee had thirty days to join
another branch of the military, and
not just be scooped up by the
Army.  With Vietnam’s War,
the option was attractive. 

Fragile as a goblet Joe, and sure
enough would shatter into shards
too fine to see, subjected to such
pressure military would impose;
of course, he’d bleed away all
life, as weak his psyche,
tender sensitivity he
found abundant,
fear in every

Came the Air Force
as a fire, burning fears
to ash, finding metal hidden
long unbeknownst to young Joe,
developing stern character, the
face-to-face encounter gladly
welcomed by discipline, an
inner moulding brought
about by the man
inside the boy.

40 Lines
Writer’s Cramp Winner

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