When we sorrow for our war dead, not only on Remembrance Sunday, but frequently nowadays on a daily basis, as British troops increasingly find themselves engaged in foreign conflicts, it's easy to forget those poor souls who, having been grievously wounded, return to their former lives damaged, both physically and mentally, beyond imagination.
Having to face Time and push on forward through the remaining years of their allotted span with disabling or disfiguring injuries must be a challenge, in some ways, far greater than that of marching off to war in the first place.
He did not die a hero, Jim.
Afghan shrapnel did for him
what no deft surgeon can undo:
one ear, pristine, as good as new,
just one ear where there should be two;
a crater where his eye should be,
but one eye left so he can see
the mirrored image he must greet,
a grotesque creature, incomplete,
that children stare at in the street.