Damian Zuniga served in the Marine Corps from 1989-1992 with the 3rd Marines.  He was stationed in Kaneohe Bay Air Station in Hawaii and served in Operation Desert Storm as a 3531/3533 Motor T Operator. He’s been a member of Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley since early September of 2019.

I am sad and lonely,
I have nobody to comfort me,
So I wear a mask that always smiles,
To hide my feelings behind my hurt.

Back in the day, I had many friends;
With my mask, I was one of them.
But deep inside I still feel empty, I am still missing a part of me.

Nobody hears my cries at night,
For I designed my mask to hide my hurt.
Nobody can see the pain I am feeling,
For I designed my mask to be laughing.

Behind all my smiles are my tears,
And behind all the comfort are my fears.
Everything you think you see, Isn’t everything there is to me.

Day by day
I am slowly dying.
I can’t go on,
There is something missing..

I’m still searching
For the thing that’ll stop my crying,
I want to erase my fears,
I want to wipe my tears….

But I’ll keep on smiling,
Hiding behind this mask I’m wearing.
Hoping one day I can smile,
Till then, I’ll be here…waiting.