Thursday, April 17, 2008

Corey Daniels' My Steady Catchphrase

This was a past Web site item in 2006. Cadet Lieutenant Corey Daniels' Web site is a dead link and I can only find his one book of poetry, which you can order from Buy My Steady Catchphrase at

I hope that Cadet Lieutenant Daniels, another contact from the great Carolyn Howard-Johnson, is doing well and is safe wherever he is. Please, Cadet Lieutenant, reply and let us know how you are!

Soldiers Return

Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Corey Daniels, US Air Force

Note: Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Daniels, referred by PWP friend Carolyn Howard-Johnson (SUPPORT OUR TROOPS), is our first USAF poet! We salute Carolyn and Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Daniels for being awesome poets, and offer gratitude to the impressive young man whose poem we reprint with pride! We are also happy to support a fellow PublishAmerica author (Kristin Johnson has been published by PA.)


CONTACT: Carolyn Howard-Johnson, publicist or Corey Daniels, author

Phone: (610)-342-7146

E-mail: or

For Immediate Release

Author Publishes First Book of Poetry at Only Twenty-Two

"The soldiers stood proud,

their chest out and backs straight,

except for their hearts"

Allentown, PA -- Corey Daniels, a twenty-two year old poet, will release his first book of poetry, My Steady Catchphrase, this fall.

Daniels, a young Air Force veteran, says he is fond of the quote above from the
poem "Soldiers Return" because "people tend to hide on the outside what they truly feel on the inside."

A resident of Allentown since grade school, Daniels' second book of poetry, My
Steady Catchphrase II Broken Confessions
has been submitted to PA and he is
working on a third.

Daniels' poems deal with failure, misunderstanding and gratification, emotions
that touch us all. The military is an important thread as well and he gathers
images from his experience in high school Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Corp
(ROTC); and his service with the Air Force. At Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton
Beach, FL.

Publish America, Baltimore, Md., has been serving authors since 1999. Ingram's
chairman John Ingram stated recently, "Having worked with Publish America
throughout its six-year history of steady growth, I am proud to be associated with such a forward thinking company that is bringing the reality of traditional book publishing to many thousands of new authors."

Learn more about Corey Daniels at

# # # #

Support Materials available electronically or by post on request.

Corey Daniels,
Author of My Steady Catchphrase: Book of Poetry

Soldiers Return

The soldiers stood proud

Their chest out

And backs straight

Except for their hearts

Disserted for years it seemed

Waiting patiently

Incapable to withstand the steady pain

Of the emptiness and lonely emotions

Trying not to show it

Still they stood strong and quiet

Pondering what was next

Questioning their very soul

Knowing for sure they were very confused

Stock-still they remained

Meditating in restraint

The burden of control

Hindered from their leathered hearts

Only to look more disturbed




To whom they waved

Longing to be molded back to society

And thus attempting to forget the past

The killing

The Torture

Wouldn’t be missed

Resentment much too great

And so they stand

Staring into the crowd

As they waved

Saturated in selfless depression

Hardly showing expressions

Not just one soul

But for all

Those who live in the shadows of guilt

Such is a true soldier…

Copyright ©2006 Corey Daniels

Past Press Room Items

From the PWP previous incarnation as a Web site...we even got positive coverage from France!

A big thank you to Terri Lukach of the Armed Forces Information Service for doing a brilliant story on the Poet Warrior Project!

Also, thank you to Jerome Bernard of Agence France-Presse Washington D..C. Bureau for bringing the Poet Warrior Project to the attention of the international community.

In other Poet Warrior news, our Memorial Day Mom poet Lloyd A. King and PWP booster Carolyn Howard-Johnson both won MWSA 2006 Book Awards for FROM 'NAM WITH LOVE (Gold Medal Award) and TRACINGS (Silver Medal Award), respectively.

Read my reviews of TRACINGS and FROM 'NAM WITH LOVE (FNWL):

  1. FNWL

  2. TRACINGS on

  3. TRACINGS on


War Poetry Contest

Although War Poetry Contest is not strictly for soldiers, I know the people at Winning Writers and give them my stamp of approval.


Seventh year. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $5,000. Top prize $2,000. Submit 1-3 unpublished poems on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in all. Winning entries published online. Sponsored by Winning Writers. $15 entry fee, payable to Winning Writers. Postmark deadline: May 31. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Include cover sheet with contact information. No name on poems. Submit online or mail to Winning Writers, Attn: War Poetry Contest, 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060. Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007). More information:

Voices From Iraq

ALthough LaChance Publishing isn't accepting poetry at this time, the mission of the Poet Warrior Project is to give soldiers and their families a voice, so I highly recommend looking at their submission guidelines. This is a publishing company with a sincere mission to help people speak and other people understand about life-altering events that are difficult to talk about (without being turned into political footballs).

Voices from Iraq
The front line soldier, the hospital staff, the returning veteran, the family and loved ones of those serving overseas, the citizens of Iraq… they all have stories to tell about how the Iraq war experience has transformed their lives. In Voices from Iraq, individuals personally affected by the conflict will share gripping, inspiring and informative stories of their roles in Iraq, in support of those in service, or those whose live were affected by the war. If you have a story which will give strength, insight and understanding to others, we would like to hear from you. Suggested story topics include:

  • How the culture of Iraq affected your perspective on life or on the world at large.

  • The affect that a person you met in Iraq, a service person, national, journalist, or other had on you.

  • Your experience with the loss of a person you came to know during the conflict.

  • The struggle of one person to overcome his or her wounds suffered in the war.

  • The positive change in your attitudes towards the military as a result of your experience.

Submission Deadline: September 1, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cup of Comfort for Military Families --- Last Call

I posted this call for submissions before, , but it deserevs another blog entry. The post on PayingWriterJobs says, "Please note that deadlines are sometimes extended by one to four weeks."

A Cup of Comfort for Military Families

It has been said that military life is "not for the faint of heart."
But neither is it without its benefits and blessings. One thing is
certain: it is an experience like no other—for both the soldiers and
their families. For this book, we want positive stories about how
military life affects the personal lives of service men and women
(enlisted and officers), how family affects soldiers' on the job, and
how military life affects family members (primarily spouses, children,
and parents but also siblings, grandparents, grandchildren,
aunts/uncles, fiancés, etc.). Any situation or subject that is
significant and/or unique to military personnel and their loved ones
is acceptable. Our goal is to compile a collection of inspiring or
uplifting stories that cover a wide range of topics and reveal a
variety of perspectives, experiences, and emotions specific to
military families. Stories may be written by the service man or woman
or a close family member; military service may be current, recent, or

Military Families submission deadline: April 15, 2008 (last call)

Basic Guidelines

All Cup of Comfort stories must be original; true; appropriate for
mainstream Americans (adult, primarily women); inspiring, comforting,
and/or uplifting; and 1,000 to 2,000 words.

Creative nonfiction and narrative essays preferred (that is,
incorporating such fictive elements as scene, dialogue, character/plot
development, imagery, and literary word usage). Whether serious or
humorous, the story should be authentic and engaging.

Electronic submissions preferred. One submission per email. Copy and
paste (or type) into body of email. No formatting (no indents,
centering, doublespace, bold, underline, etc.). To: wordsinger@aol. com.

Mailed submissions are acceptable. Standard typed manuscript
(double-spaced, indents). Send as many submissions per envelope as
you'd like, but include one SASE per submission. To: Colleen Sell,
71563 London Rd., Cottage Grove, Oregon, 97424, USA.

Each submission must include: author's full name, mailing address,
email address, phone number, story title, story wordcount, and theme
of volume for which it is being submitted (i.e., Grieving Hearts).

In a related comfort story, I want to give a shout-out to Carolyn-Howard-Johnson's blog for graciously inviting me to be a guest blogger!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Run


Sergeant Charles E.G. Harding, US Army, 15PSB 1st Cavalry Division

Note: Sergeant Harding retired from the Army after he returned from Iraq in 2005 and is putting together a book of his collected poetry dealing with "war and love and and life." Like our first poet warrior, PFC Jamie A. Goldstein, whose mom lovingly e-mailed his poem, Sergeant Harding has a loyal fan who submitted this moving verse: his fiancee Samantha from the United Kingdom, who met him face to face for the first time once he left the Army after an eighteen-month long-distance romance. As Samantha says, it's a real love story. We salute Sergeat Harding for his service, courage, dedication and eloquence. We also salute Samantha for supporting poet warriors--she's helping him make his book a reality--and wish Charles and Samantha happiness as well as success with their poetry book!

I run for the soldiers,
Who can't run, no more
Or walk the way they did before
I live and breathe, all the memories
Of all soldiers passed, who are here, no more

Old soldier, old soldier!
Tell me again.
The people you've known
And the places you've been
How do I deal?
With the loss of my men
And what do I tell, their next of kin

Honor all soldiers
Who have passed away

By leading the living

When you train and pray

Tomorrow is not promised

So, seize the day!

And let the strain of gain

Wash the pain, away

I run for the soldiers, who can't run, no more

Or walk the way they did before

I live and breathe, all the memories
Of all soldiers passed, who are here, no more

Iraq, June 2004

Copyright Charles E.G. Harding, 2004

DISCLAIMER: All poems are the intellectual property of the poets involved and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Gold Star Moms

Poet Warrior Project Archives

Tribute: "To a Gold Star Mom"

Lloyd A. King, US Army, 101st Airborne Division-Airmobile (1968 and 1969), author, FROM 'NAM WITH LOVE

Note: On May 27, 2006, in Lafayette, Louisiana, an area that missed the full force of two hurricanes and helped nearly 100,000 Louisiana citizens ravaged by the hurricanes, a momentous event took place.

Star poet warrior Lloyd A. King joined all generations of veterans organizations such as the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, active, guard, and reserve units, the Military Order of the Purple Heart for combat wounded veterans, the VFW, and Vietnam Veterans of America and their respective members who have fought in foreign wars, the City of Lafayette, and the local news media such as KLFY TV-10 and the Advocate to pay tribute to Louisiana Gold Star Mothers.

Gold Star Mothers, founded during World War II, honors mothers who have lost a son or daughter in war. This is the first time in Lafayette and possibly United States history that the Gold Star Mothers will receive such a tribute. Specifically, the ceremony will pay tribute to 65 Lafayette soldiers killed in Iraq and two killed in Afghanistan.

Lloyd King wrote to us the week of May 22, 2006:

As an individual and combat veteran from the Vietnam War, I was
asked to read a poem from my book. I declined because none of the
poems in my book is suitable for such an event. Instead, I offered to write a
special poem dedicated to the Gold Star Mothers; which I completed about thirty
minutes after I hung up the phone. This was over a month ago.

In addition to this and, as the newly elected commander of our Military
Order of the Purple Heart Chapter here in Lafayette, I asked our members to
consider presenting a special certificate to the mothers and widows
where applicable. Our members readily agreed. However, no existing certificate stated what needed to be said to these mothers and widows. So, I took it upon
myself to design a special certificate that will also be presented on May 27th.

As it has turned out, I will be the keynote presenter, as I will read
both the certificate and the poem and then present a personalized copy of the
poem, which will have the Gold Star Mother's banner, picture of the mother's
child/soldier, and the Purple Heart Medal at the bottom of each poem. Our chapter will be putting the certificates and poems in frames to be presented on May 27.

When we read Lloyd King's poem, it moved us to tears the way that, fittingly, Pfc Jamie A. Goldstein's "When Eagles Learn To Fly" did. Since the Poet Warrior Project was inspired by the mother of a soldier, Pfc Goldstein's mom, we want to honor those military moms and families to whom America owes so much. We salute those fallen Louisiana soldiers and the many other soldiers that died in the war in Iraq, and we respect and recognize the sacrifices made by their families.

The Poet Warrior Project is proud to commemorate Memorial Day, May 29, 2006, with a poem by one of the finest poet warriors we've ever met, a true American hero like the moms and the fallen soldiers, whose wisdom, courage, and caring should be a beacon for us all.

"To a Gold Star Mom"

As a mother, you never dreamed though a bit chagrined

That the child you nurtured, loved, and disciplined

Would leave home without your watchful eye unprotected

And face the world alone while being subjected

To life’s wrath and to mankind’s unthinkable wickedness

Naïvely stating, “I’m going to fix the world’s mess.”

As a mother, you developed your offspring’s foundation

Though some days, tears were felt, instead of elation

Yet, lessons you learned and taught helped you resolve

To allow freedom hoping that right would evolve

But some choices, though tough, left you with little doubt

You might lose your child and be left forever without.

Today we honor your sacrifices and hope you understand

That we are here for you to hold your trembling hand

And let you know your grief is felt from both near and far

Pain felt and seen by everyone like the brightest star

An eternal reminder of your sorrow and of your sacrifice

Knowing your child fought bravely and paid the price.

We honor your love and devotion to a child that is gone

To the memory of a soldier that sees no dusk or dawn

We honor you today as an American Gold Star Mother

And ask your forgiveness, as we remind one another

That freedom has a price and it cost you a daughter or son

Preserving peace though the battle has not been won.

Lloyd A. King, Commander, The Military Order of the Purple Heart, William E. ‘Bill’ McKenzie Chapter #504

Copyright (C) Lloyd A. King, 2006

DISCLAIMER: All poems are the intellectual property of the poets involved and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dessa Byrd Reed, USO Volunteer, Poet

I have known Dessa Byrd Reed, author of THE BUTTERFLY TOUCH and SEVEN BRIDGES, for many years. She is a gifted poet and teacher. She donates her time to the USO at Palm Springs International Airport. In her column "Poetic Living," originally publishing in January 2008 in our local publication The Desert Woman, she has this to say about poetry:

Life itself, with its intense emotions, is poetry ~ just as poetry reflects life. Living poetically is acute awareness ~ how we interpret people, places, and things. It is about originality and creativity. Our daily “routine” can be an adventure poem of imagination and fantasy or it can be a dark poem of drama and lessons learned.

What a profound summation of the poet-warrior's journey. People such as Aaron Gilbert and Lloyd King are certainly acutely aware of life in all its fullness. I adore Dessa's insights and highly recommend her Web site,

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Marine


Sergeant Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine Corps

Note: Sergeant Gilbert is well known on the Internet and among patriotic Web sites for his writings. We honor Sergeant Gilbert's family and their sacrifice. We support Corporal Gilbert and applaud his service and sacrifice. We also thank people like Richard Carlson, US Navy (Ret.), and his wife Merlene, for bringing Sergeant Gilbert's message to the public that supports American soldiers.

We all came together,

Both young and old

To fight for our freedom,

To stand and be bold.

In the midst of all evil,

We stand our ground,

And we protect our country

From all terror around.

Peace and not war,

Is what some people say.

But I'll give my life,

So you can live the American way.

I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.

But still I fight on,
I don't bitch, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people
Who is doing your time.

I'm harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I'm the immortal soldier,
I'm a U.S. MARINE!

So stand in my shoes,
And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.

Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you've won.

Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door.

But when your time comes,
Do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done.

USS Saipan, Persian Gulf, 2003

Copyright (c) Aaron M. Gilbert, 2003

DISCLAIMER: All poems are the intellectual property of the poets involved and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Project Boresnake

I received this message from a talented writer in Southern California. I second her recommendation on boresnakes, as well as her call to support the soldiers.

I am sending this email to let you know about a very special project the NRA Members Councils of Southern California (I am the secretary of the Inland Empire MC) is promoting to support our troops overseas. Please go to You will find information about a simple but potentially LIFE-SAVING tool that the NRA Members' Councils of California are supporting to purchase these boresnakes and have them shipped overseas to our troops. Firearms get filled up with sand, grit and dirt, causing them to misfire and/or jam up, placing a soldier's life in horrific danger. Our soldiers are doing their jobs and standing up for freedom. A small donation will be more than enough to help us in this mission.

Despite what the media is telling us, there is more than enough evidence to support that we are winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and putting a serious amount of hurt on the enemy. And no matter how you feel about the war, the bottom line is our soldiers, fellow Americans putting their lives on the line, are over there battling the enemy and the elements for freedom. If you are looking for a good cause to support, please contact me at Just know that you will make a soldier's day less stressful by helping him keep his weapon, the firearm that protects him and defends freedom, clean and ready to go at a moment's notice.

Thank you for your support and God bless America, the greatest nation on this earth.


Caroline Cronin
Secretary, NRA Inland Empire Members Councils of California

Friday, February 29, 2008

Flag Retirement Plaza--From John Kovach

This is from Marine Vet John Kovach, who started a movement in Pittsburgh to counteract the disrespect shown to our flag and our military--thank you, Berkeley.

"Old Glory", even the name should make us all aware of the reverence we should hold for our flag. A symbol that millions of American men and women have defended and died for. A flag recognized all over the world, even by America's enemies. A flag that protects each of us as citizens of a nation that have the greatest freedoms in the world. But yet a flag that has been disrespected and desecrated by those very people who look for her protection in time of strife and let her blanket them and protect them.

For many years I have observed flag retirement ceremonies being conducted in areas where basically a hole or container was used to do the incinerating. I am sure many private places have retirement areas also but felt that there should be an area for the public to be able to reserve and conduct ceremonies for the dignified retirement of United States Flags. In November-December of 2005 I spoke with and met Allegheny County, Pa. Council Member Vince Gastgeb and proposed and idea to him to construct an area in one of our local parks for private citizens, scouting, veteran and civic organizations to be able to use to conduct these ceremonies, to show our flag that we as Americans do respect her, do care about showing her total respect. Council Member Gastgeb was 100% receptive to this idea and took my basic design to the necessary individuals within the county government where it received unanimous approval for its construction.

We then met with Allegheny County, Pa. Director of Parks Andy Baechle and went to look at some potential areas within Allegheny County's "South County Park". It was almost as if fate intervened as the first first site we stopped at hit us all as the ideal spot for this plaza. it is nestled within a serene setting, birds chirping, wooded landscape, all facilities close at hand. Additionally it was within 100 yards of the park Boy Scout building.

An essay contest was held so that all high school students in Allegheny might have a chance to select a name for the site and write an essay as to what our flag mean to them and why they chose this name. The winning essay was written by North Catholic High School Student Natalie Sippel and the site is now known as:

"By The Dawn's Early Light"
United States Flag Retirement Plaza

Construction began shortly after wards and the dedication ceremony was held on June 14, 2006. However the site was not completed in its entirety but we felt it was completed enough to dedicate.

This site was always designed to be a work in progress as we would like to make some improvements to enhance its beauty and give even more reference to it so that people may come to just sit and reflect. To view some of the improvement we would like to make, you can go to This web page was graciously set up by Donn Dade of The Americans Veterans Network.

I have tried to apply for grants for these project but was turned down by one and told by others that it did not fit into their eligibility criteria. It is sad that our flag takes a second place to all else and that she does not fit into any American funding project criteria. It is hoped that people of an individual will see these and wish to donate to insure their completion. The Mosaic wall mural is our top priority and currently students from Allegheny County Community College are doing designs and will then submit them for selection.

I have always followed a philosophy: "The type of American we show our children how to be will be the type of American they in fact grow up to become."

We must show children how to respect our flag and hope in turn they will show their children so that in time she will not be forgotten, degraded or desecrated by any American.

June 14th has been reserved by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania for the annual county United States Flag Retirement Ceremony. The ceremony will be conducted on June 14, 2008 at the site.

If any individual would like to contribute to helping complete these improvements, plans are underway to allow for provisions to do so. Please contact me and I can put you in touch with the appropriate county official. My name and email are
John L. Kovach Jr.,

Please help us respect our flag and maybe this will be the first of other sites designed for people to use, a site that is truly for "We the people..."

Thank you, John Kovach, a great American.

Salute to Military Families...From the CUP OF COMFORT People

Salute to Military Families:
An Opportunity to Share Your Story

It has been said that military life is “not for the faint of heart.” But neither is it without its benefits and blessings. The popular Cup of Comfort book series now seeks powerful and positive stories about how military life affects the personal lives of service men and women, how family affects soldiers on the job, and how military life affects families. The stories in A Cup of Comfort for Military Families will cover a wide range of topics and reveal a variety of perspectives, experiences, and emotions specific to military personnel and/or their loved ones. All branches; all ranks; active and veterans.

Submission deadline: April 1, 2008
Stories must be true, original, uplifting, and 1000-2000 words.
Writers' guidelines:
$500 grand prize / $100 each, all other stories published in book; plus copy of book.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Now that our soldiers are also bloggers, and their contributions to the blogosphere have become legend, I'd like to invite those same soldiers and bloggers to submit poems. Contact me (or leave a comment) and you can be a Guest Poet Warrior on my blog! I'm waiting to hear from you and give your poems a voice,

This applies to loved ones of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard--PFC Jamie A. Goldstein's mother submitted the poem that started it all.

While I'm waiting for your poetry, here's a propitiatory offering of mine:

The Known Soldier

You are invisible
As true courage so often is
But we know your faces.

You are the son
Who puts on boots when the dawn
Opens its eyes,
You think of your mother
And those school mornings when
She told you to tie those laces—
It was snowing then,
It’s a steamy swamp today,
Bivouaced in a country not your own,
You write another letter home.

You are the daughter
Who straps on gear the way
You once tossed on a school backpack,
Your dad watched you walk into school
With parental words, “Do your best.”
“You can do whatever the boys can do.”
He never imagined, and hides his heart
Without success every time you call home,
That one day you’d shoulder freedom
Along with the men.

You are the husband and the wife
Who pairs a wedding ring with dog tags,
Sends words and prayers on missed anniversaries,
Thinks, in briefings and when poised
To enter that mosque, apartment, or hospital,
Of a colonel on your doorstep
Bearing a folded flag and starched face
To your beloved, whose own face
Spurs you on to survival, to honor
Even as you prepare to give your life for duty.

You are the grandson or granddaughter,
Who wishes for those stories of how Grandpa held
For forty-seven days (Grandma says it was forty)
Without sleep and with the grace of God,
All the soldiers in his unit, gone now,
Watch over you, as Grandpa does, proud
That the spark of passion for his country
Lives on in his blood and the breath you’re holding,
Saving like Grandma during the Depression
Until you can hear their voices again.

You are the sister and the brother
Once play-fighting in the backyard,
No Mom and Dad to call a truce this time,
And isn’t that your sister’s favorite sweater
Or your brother’s cherished Rolling Stones albums
You never dared borrow, sent in a care package
Glued by love and packed with faith—
Only in distance across oceans and deserts,
As close as if you still shared a bedroom,
Can you feel the preciousness of this bond.

You are the former student
Of a professor who knows well that the words,
The gentle prod to excellence, are only possible
Because you fight, and sacrifice, and build
Classrooms so that frightened girls, tearing away
Oppression and hate, can learn for the first time—
In-between faculty meetings and lesson plans
Your teacher reads the paper, scanning
With grammar-correcting eyes for your name,
Knowing that in the exam of life, you’ve earned an A.

You are the Known Soldier,
The people you leave behind are monuments
To a life lived fully, unrestrainedly, even with rifle drills,
Daily reports, chain of command—within the orders,
Duties and small moments of soldiering, you find
Your own freedom, shared by example with the frightened,
The poor, the defiant, the tortured, the oppressed.
The people you leave behind are our testament
To an existence too often hidden by your own heroism,
But love can never be truly invisible.

We are your faces, we are your voices
Proclaiming as loudly as your deeds
That you are the Known Soldier,
Loved by all, forgotten by none.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lloyd A. King and other Vietnam Poets

The Torch of Freedom by A.R. Nash, UMSC, 1968-1970, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st MarDiv, and Alameda Naval Air Station Marine Barracks,  Lance Corporal

As emotional as Vietnam will always be, we must never again show disrespect to the soldiers who lived through the conflict and wrote of it so eloquently. The Poet Warrior Project recognizes that Vietnam will always be a source of debate, but asks for respectful attention to the thoughts and feelings of the soldiers.

Lloyd A. King, Selections, FROM 'NAM WITH LOVE

Lloyd A. King was born in the rural town of Batavia in western New York State. Lloyd graduated high school in Sweetwater, Texas and attended college at Philadelphia College of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania majoring in Industrial Design with a minor in Fine Arts.

Lloyd’s many aspirations were put on hold in 1967 during the Vietnam War when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Lloyd served as a non-commissioned officer in the infantry with the 101st Airborne Division-Airmobile during 1968 and 1969, the worst years of the war.

Poet Warrior Project Note: Lloyd A. King received the Silver Star, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Gold Star, National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Ribbon, and Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.

This decorated soldier writes movingly of Vietnam. We salute Lloyd A. King for his sacrifice and honor his family's strength, and more, we applaud him for his courage in recording his battlefield history in rhyme. We encourage everyone to buy FROM 'NAM WITH LOVE after reading this "Vietnam Quartet." All poems copyright (c) Lloyd A. King.
From 'Nam

Day One of Three Sixty-Five

30 April 1968

Hurry up and wait and reams of unnecessary paperwork

As usual ... the Officer of the Day was an arrogant jerk

Telling us we were his property ... knowing he didn’t care

Based on the insolence in his words ... and in his stare.

“Welcome to the ‘Nam!” he muttered ... emotionally flat

Said he didn’t have time for questions or any idle chat

Instead ... he said to look at the person on our left and right
Adding ... one out of three would miss next year’s flight.

The 22nd Replacement Detachment was like a bad joke

I felt like a cow in a herd for others to prod and poke

Doesn’t he care that I’m here ... and ready to join the fight

Or that I’m a human being ... and his attitude isn’t right?

I hope the rest of my tour isn’t a big SNAFU like today

Hell, a little common sense would go a long way

But, I doubt if he cares about the fear that’s mounting

Or that today’s my first day and I just started counting.

First Kill

24 May 1968

I was a squad leader and I’d only been in the jungle eleven days

A fully trained buck sergeant, but feeling lost in so many ways

I couldn’t stop shaking and my heart was pounding in my chest

Knowing that I had to prove myself worthy, like passing a test.

We’d been humping in the steep mountains ever since I arrived

The company had been in a firefight and most of them survived

But, after the firefight, there were only six men left in my squad

Everyone said it was a miracle they were alive ... an act of God.

Two were wounded seriously and two others had tragically died

The survivors had to pull the weight of ten, as the order implied

I was a nervous wreck finding out about my squad’s recent fate

New replacements was a moot issue, we’d simply have to wait.

Stand-to was at 0600, and unbelievably I was told we had point

Fast Eddie my automatic rifleman promptly rolled another joint

Then informed me he couldn’t function unless he was on a high

I told him “No”, took his hash, and thought he was going to cry.

I decided to walk point knowing I had personal issues to prove

I struggled forward, but the dense jungle made it tough to move

I kept climbing the steep slope until I finally reached the crest

Soaked with sweat, breathing heavy, burning pains in my chest.

I signaled halt ... spread the guys out, so I could recon a clearing

I didn’t like the eerie feeling and unknown sounds I was hearing

A peculiar odor was permeating the air making me very uneasy

My nerves were on edge ... stomach in knots ... and I felt queasy.

Scanning the clearing I saw something in my peripheral vision

I turned quickly and spotted the VC, requiring a quick decision

I yelled, “Dung yen” meaning don’t move repeatedly to the VC

But when he reached for his rifle, I knew it would be him or me.

I stood, face-to-face, staring at my very first Vietcong guerrilla

He was a short, skinny kid and had skin the color of pure vanilla

Wearing long, black pants and shirt that were worn and tattered

But, in that fleeting second of my life, only one thing mattered.

I crouched down fast squeezed the trigger and fired three rounds

My slack man reacted instinctively and responded to the sounds

Spun around quickly, as he fired his grenade launcher or M-79

His single round hit the VC in the gut a split second after mine.

I’d never seen a person shot before or blood and flesh splatter

I watched in complete horror as his tiny body began to shatter

His left bicep, right knee and abdomen mutilated beyond belief

I stood frozen, totally shocked, feeling a deep, emotional grief.

My grenadier and squad were all smiles, patting me on the back

I tried to settle the guys down because I was afraid of an attack

But nothing else happened so we began digging in for the night

Yet, all I could think about was his body and the horribly sight.

After my squad was squared away I had to confront my anguish

Wondering if he was married with kids and if he had a last wish

I couldn’t leave him lying there without burying him properly

His death was strictly personal and again between him and me.

I got out my trenching tool pretending to go and relieve myself

But instead, I solemnly dug a grave rather than thinking of self

While I was digging, the tears began to flow until I couldn’t see

Yet still I asked angrily, “Why the hell didn’t you listen to me?”

I dug a trench and covered the bottom with big palmetto leaves

And carefully placed his body in the grave adjusting his sleeves

I straightened both legs, then folded both arms across his chest

Telling him under the circumstances I was doing my very best.

I told him that he was the first enemy I had ever seen or killed

And tried to explain to him his fate had apparently been willed

I recited the Lord’s Prayer then I read the Twenty-Third Psalm

And when finished felt relief, but knew I’d have no inner calm.

Walking back to my squad I kept seeing his expressionless look

The empty look I’d seen vividly with each round his body took

I’ll never forget his cold stare or how bullets hitting flesh sound

Nor ever forget the sight of his blood soaking the fertile ground.

My very first kill remains indelible because of how it took place

Staring into my enemy’s cold eyes for the first time face-to-face

Knowing I had to take a life or lose mine, neither willing to give

Both of us proud, infantry soldiers, and both determined to live.

I spent the night building his cross and at daybreak set it in place

Then quietly spent some time with him, part of my morning grace

I apologized to him for taking his life and being where I had been

I saluted his grave, said he had been brave then said a final Amen.

Mama San

04 October 1968

Small ... frail ... hair graying and sparse

Face drawn ... wrinkled and thin

Crippled fingers ... red and calloused

Now hide once feminine skin.

Personal looks ... minor or forgotten

With age and the passage of time

Self ... quickly became second

To her babies helpless whine.

With child wrapped to her bosom

She still tends daily to the fields

Nurturing patiently and caringly

Hoping her toil reaps good yields.

Grossly undernourished ... and gaunt

Results from a life of toil and strife

Remaining faithful as an unwavering

Mother, laborer, and devoted wife.

Lips stained a deep, purplish red

Resulting from betel nut addiction

And diet of fish, rice, and poor water

Compounding her poor condition.

Her teeth were jet black

Her gums swollen and bleeding

Ruined by life ... her personal dignity lost

Now humbled to a life of pleading.

I looked down at poor Mama San

Now on arthritic knees at my feet

Tears welling in her eyes as she begged

GI #1, Mama San need food to eat.

Then my own tears began to form

Deeply touched by this pitiful sight

Wanting desperately to give freely

And help ease her appalling plight.

Yet, we had heard about a soldier

That decided to give C-Ration bread

And, as unreal as the story sounds

Was found stripped naked and dead.

Our military orders are to do nothing at all

But I couldn’t leave or turn my back

So I disobeyed orders ... followed my heart

And I gave her the food in my pack.

Chao, Vietnam!

23 April 1969

Today was my last day in the Republic of South Vietnam

A terrible day of mixed emotions going off like a bomb

When I left my squad and the many, many others I know

I fought mental chaos and gloom that I tried not to show.

I wanted to leave my buddies as a strong friend and leader

And help ease the tense moment for the emotional bleeder

But it wasn’t easy leaving knowing what they meant to me

Our bond was close and the reason I was still alive and free.

A battalion awards ceremony brought us all together again

Many medals were awarded to my squad and the other men

I received my share as well, but my mind was on my squad

Worrying like a father, yet I knew their fate was up to God.

I stood in formation watching proudly each separate salute

No applause greeted the recipients standing stern and mute

As all eyes were focused on the rifles, boots, and steel pots

Symbolic tribute to the dead; ending with a volley of shots.

The rifles were inverted, stuck in the ground with bayonet

Their boots placed in front, steel pots on top carefully set

A stark reminder of soldiers in the battalion that had died

And as the chaplain read each name ... many soldiers cried.

Military tradition surely didn’t help strengthen my resolve

To remain impassive like I had truly hoped would evolve

When the time came to bid my friends and squad goodbye

I hoped the moment would be brief and without teary eye.

Saying Chao to my squad and my friends was heartrending

Emotionally debilitating, yet the bond will be never ending

We faced death together, saw friends die and we shed tears

Developing a brotherly love to last for my remaining years.

I stared blankly out the window of the huge Freedom Bird

As the plane rolled down the runway, I didn’t hear a word

Just the roar of the jet engines pressing me against my seat

And mental disbelief, that my Vietnam tour was complete.

My heart was heavy and I was trying to swallow the lump

Thinking about my squad facing yet another rugged hump

Alone deep in the jungle ... forced to continue without me

Confronting their own mixed emotions, fighting the enemy.

Finally saying Chao to Vietnam seemed an impossible feat

My heart and mind ached and the emotion was bittersweet

Saying the final Chao to my squad left me spiritually beat

With heart torn and bleeding and thoughts far from replete.

Selections from Kurt W. Hearth, E6 First Class, US Navy, Vietnam

Kurt W. Hearth enlisted in the Navy in July 1955. He was a commissioning member of the USS SARATOGA CVA60, April 14, 1956, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In 1957 he became a Navy Diver, 2nd class.1961, and expanded his diving position to 1st Class Diver. He missed Korea, but made up for it in Vietnam. In total, he thinks he was attached to seven ships. He was a diving
instructor at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. and was on the island of Guam for several years in a diving capacity.

He retired from active service in January 1977. Throughout his naval career, he wrote off and on. After retiring, and settling in Jacksonville, Florida, to raise his family, he began to take a more serious approach to writing. He self-published a book of nautical poetry, Of the Sea. He became a DOD Police Officer
and soon will be retiring from law enforcement after twenty years. We honor him for his poetry and his service.


I walked the field of battle,

eerie silence accompanied me.

The bitter odor of confrontation,

lingered mutely in the air.

I trod where warriors clashed.

Did my imagination soar, or

Could I hear in the quiet,

sounds of dying souls?

Everywhere I stepped, I touched,

mute tokens of past conflict.

Haunting evidence of siege.

I shuddered as the chill of fear caressed me.

On scorched earth a helmet lay.

What account might it cradle?

Who once, had been its owner?

Had it been discarded, or orphaned?

An empty boot, a broken blade,

a long gun supported by bayonet.

Dented helmet graced the butt.

Had once, young hero rested here?

In this field of battle,

‘midst smoke, fire, screams.

Did valor accompany fear,

and violence cultivate history?

What lie hidden, covered,

in these now so silent meads?

Were fainthearted to become hero,

had victors, and vanquished, dwelled together?

I wondered,

as I walked the field of battle.

Jacksonville, FL, Feb 10, 2006


On the field of battle, filled with terror, chaos.

I face him squarely, my enemy.

Eye to eye, so close we stand.

Our confrontation not impersonal, all other action fades.

Others loudly boast, of the many lives they took.

But did they attest, their foes stood face to face?

Do I really desire, to terminate his life?

Is his sole intent, to seal my fate?

With but a flash of hesitation, we close, engage.

Lunge and parry, slice and stab.

Suddenly an opening, wthout pause I attack!

Disbelief paints his face, a look of surprise,

But short lived my victory, as I watch his life fade.

My guard is down, his bayonet bites deep!

As we die, our eyes meet, the look not of pain or hate.

As with me does he, tears well and fall.

I know now, my enemy he is not.

Nor I his, ours was a common one.

Our enemy a spirit, spirit of hate, greed.

Spawned by evil gods, born to weak men.

We must band together, a single force.

Defeat this scourge, drive it from our lives.

Enemies will be no more.

Conflict shall be known, only by legend past

Jacksonville, FL, March 14, 2006

All poems copyright (c) Kurt W. Hearth, 2006

"The Poetry Within" by Red Dog, Delta Company, 4th Battalion, US Marines, Vietnam

Red Dog's poem sums up the Poet Warrior Project philosophy perfectly. It appeared in Vol. 1 Issue 2 of Salute by Red Engine Press and RRP Consulting, the brainchildren of master promoter and PWP supporter Joyce Faulkner.

We honor Red Dog for his poetry and his service, we salute his family for their sacrifice, and we believe that soldiers' heroism creates the most moving poetry.

Poetry hidden in a warrior’s heart,

Slowly makes its way to his mind.

Expressing himself in this way

Is all the peace that he can find.

He hasn't done any more or less

Than others by his side

But he looks on them as heroes

And knows the tears that they have cried.

Marines lying dead on a battlefield

Someone's husband, brother or Son,

He's wondering what they may have thought

As their last day on earth is done

Did they cry for Mother or God?

Please don't let me die

Or did they gasp; say something nice

To whomever it was by their side

Some of us express our war

The fighting and remembered dead

The only way that we know how

With the words that reach our head

In this way we find comfort

As we choke down the tears

While our mind takes us back

To our fighting years

We can be with our brothers

Fighting side by side

And we may be there once again

Holding one that has died

We know our words won't be taught

By professors to college kids

Because they themselves dodged the war

By going to college, where they hid

War poetry to a poet is truer

Than history that is written and taught

Because war poetry is written by the hero,

The boy that went to war and fought

History books are written

By documented or guessed at fact

While war poetry is written

With every little heroic act

Those that have read the history books

And can quote them well

We do love to hear them speak,

And the stories they can tell

The boy that went to war a fighter

And came home with poetry in his heart

Should also put it all on paper

And let the healing start

So when we read our poetry

Or history books so smart, remember,

History is written over the ages

Where poetry, comes from the heart.




Delta Company 1st Battalion, 4th Marines

Sergeant of Marines


Vietnam 1965-66

Copyright (c) 2004 Red Dog

James Kirk, "Why Memorial Day?"

James Kirk served in Vietnam from December 1967 until Dec. 1968 as an Army Infantry Platoon Leader with the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. He left the Army in 1975. We honor him for his service, his dedication, and poetry.

"Why Memorial Day?"

Asked the old vet,


"We've always celebrated

Veteran's Day. Memorial Day is for the dead."

"Yeah," the young vet replied,

"Your dead lie quiet.

You won your war fair and square!

We didn't.

Have you seen our monument?"

"Our dead lie uneasy -

They toss and turn

In our heads and ask

'Why?' "

"Because we have no answer, they say

'Never again let this happen!';

And they tell us, 'Do not forget us -

Your dead... and those

Who were left behind!' "

"Memorial Day is for the dead!

Hugging each other as we share

Our grief, we reaffirm our shared

Vow - We shall not forget!

And we raise our battered cups

In the old salute,"

"Ave atque vale!"

Vietnam '68

Prompted by a comment made by my VA Outreach Center counselor after Memorial Day, '90.

Houston, TX

Original version written 1991

Revised and (c) 2004 Jim Kirk

"Misery Loves Company," Tucker Smallwood, US Army Lieutenant, Vietnam

Return to Eden

Tucker Smallwood, apart from serving bravely in Vietnam, is an actor seen on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and the NBC hit "My Name Is Earl" as well as "The One," "Traffic," "Panic Room," "Like Mike," "The Cotton Club," "Presumed innocent" and "Turk 182!" His next project is "Shut In," currently in post-production and due for release in 2006. He narrated "Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam" in 1987. Visit Mr. Smallwood's book, RETURN TO EDEN, is available from We honor him for his service and his prose/poetry. The following was written after September 11, 2001.

Tomorrow, September 14, has been designated as a day of prayer and remembrance for the tragedy visited upon our nation, this past Tuesday. I will grieve tomorrow, for the dead and for the unhappy survivors, (which include any American and foreign citizens not yet infected with the poison of hatred…if any still exist.) Now WE know the pain, uncertainty, horror, and bitterness so much of the world has endured in recent history.

Know it will beget further horror; administered with the same self-righteousness possessed by those who gave their lives to cause our present angst. We will retaliate; we must, we should, we know no other choice. The images are unforgettable, the affront unforgivable, America is once again, at war. And what had been for so long a time of personal reflection, for what I experienced on September 14th, 1969 in Vietnam, is now an anniversary to be shared with my countrymen, with citizens of the world. The irony is rather compelling, for both the timing and my connectivity to it all.

I know war. Even after 32 years, I remain a victim of its hold upon my emotional stability. So I know what lies in the years ahead for all now newly encountering this horror. “Misery loves company.” Trust me, I know this of war - what we are now learning is nothing that enriches human existence. Regardless, war is upon us. Until men learn how to exist without war, how to reconcile their differences without strife, war will continue – this much I learned in combat.

Years ago, on this day, September 14th, I was pronounced dead. That doctors managed to revive me, has long been a cause for celebration, reflection - and sadness, for many others were not revived. For most of the 80’s, I lived in Battery Park City, directly across the street from the WTC. (In the 70’s, living in a Tribeca loft 5 blocks away, I watched a man make his way up the outside of one tower, climbing to its summit.) I entered those towers daily, to take the subway and shop. To see them struck, burn and collapse, to see
my familiar neighborhood transformed into ground zero, (like Hiroshima or Pompeii), is difficult to bear. It is intensely personal; an attack upon my neighborhood, my city, my country. And when I try to express my sadness, I am astounded to discover the underlying rage beneath.

I watch the rescue efforts, admiring the courage and professionalism of our firemen and policemen. They are soon victims of their commitment to serve others...and I’m reminded of our Medivac pilots in Vietnam, who were similarly committed and all too often, victims to that selflessness. Their efforts saved many lives; many survivors will feel a debt of gratitude to them…and live to question why their lives were spared when so many others ended. It's called Survivors Guilt. This day will resonate in years to come, for countless
Americans. It's called Anniversary Syndrome. All this I know because I’ve re-lived this "Groundhog Day” for all these years. It seems unfair - to have survived and yet remain hostage to the horror of one day…but fair or not, (for life is rarely fair) this day will forever be a part of our being.

Those men who brave the dangers from collapse of surrounding buildings or the foundations, upon which they probe, will also be wounded beyond healing. Their friends, brothers, colleagues are entombed beneath that mass of rubble. They will work on, through exhaustion, rain, fire, smoke in hopes of finding someone, anyone still living…and in the process, be confronted with the remains of victims. Victims whose bodies have been transformed in ways that once seen, cannot be forgotten. Some bodies may even be their friends – bodies subjected to both death and decomposition…and with each passing day, it will get worse. In Vietnam, men assigned to Graves Registration (GR Point) were among the most affected by PTSD (even though many of them never heard a shot fired in anger.)

Those families now awaiting word of their missing loved ones and holding onto hopes for a happy resolution, now share the anguish of families of men missing in action, in years gone by – it is the same unrelenting, wretched, encompassing existence. It is to be endured, until they receive that certainty they both sought and feared, which brings an end to their hopes and a beginning, to that process of healing. There will be no shortage of victims here, obviously; there’s more than enough pain to go around. My tsuris, like an annual PMS has long been private, incomprehensible to others - and gratefully so. But what had been a time of personal grief seems now co-opted by those with compelling and worthy claims o call this time their own. Like a stream flowing into other streams, my pain might become a part of our collective open wound. How could it not?

Yet I remember how I felt when the red ribbons, which had for so long been symbols of those soldiers fallen in defense of their country, were suddenly co-opted into symbols for something very different. Something undeniably compelling and immediate and important. Those same red ribbons suddenly became an expression of solidarity amongst those committed to end the plague of AIDS. How do you criticize such a decision? AIDS must be defeated, no question. But I still resent that an immediate concern chose a symbol which already HAD meaning to many. I was born February 22, 1944, the birthday of George
Washington, which was once a national holiday…but no longer. And so I find myself resistant to surrender my connection to September 14th. I hope it is not just selfishness on my part…but time will tell.

For the moment, September 11, 2001 is a date that will be forever remembered by us all. Tomorrow, September 14th 2001 will be a day for prayer and remembrance of what we suffered on Tuesday. It will also be a day for which I commemorate the anniversary of the worst…and best day of my life.

Copyright (c) Tucker Smallwood, 2001

And two encore pieces:


I found a boot one day. It was during a sweep of a marshy flank. We were a
blocking force, intended to entrap any VC the main force succeeded in driving
toward us. It had rained off and on all morning, for we were in the midst
of that transition between the dry season and the intense monsoons, which
were yet to come. Any operations in my area generally involved continual
immersion in canals, rivers, rice paddies and swamp, so the issue was never whether we'd get wet (count on it), but whether we'd dry off before we got wet again. Leeches, trenchfoot, jungle rot were all simply a condition of life in
the Delta; keeping our weapons, ammo and most importantly our PRC-25 radio dry was as essential as breathing...and often required creative solutions to the
simplest of movements. Both Sgt. Sparks and Sgt. Brand were taller than I
but were rarely with me. One was usually manning the radio at the base camp, the other more often than not, with a separate element of the operation. As I was by now fluent in Vietnamese, I generally left our interpreter with one of

Because I was now the tallest man for miles, it usually fell to me to carry
across water the radio and occasionally, the machine-gun. Imagine crossing
water 6 feet deep, arms extended overhead, protecting the precious battery and radio from the salt water. (I am 5'10" on a good day.) You take a deep breath, focus on the far bank, gauge the current and set off for the far side, hoping not to get stuck in the mud bottom, praying you don't wander off course before your air runs out. One slip or moment of panic and we'd lost our communications, our lifelines to artillery, air strikes and most importantly, Medivacs. Occasionally a soldier was swept away by the water, but we always
recovered him and pressed on. In a squad-sized crossing, we'd send 2 or 3
men to secure the far side, I'd then cross with the radio, then the remainder
would cross over, while we covered them. In this manner we traversed what
constituted the majority of the terrain within my AO as commander of Mobile Advisory Team 36. After a few failures, I even learned to keep my Pall Malls dry.

So here we were, moving through a soggy reedy marshland, watchful of our front, to set up our blocking position, when I came upon a single jungle boot, clearly one of ours, a sign of the earlier presence of an American. And I experienced a momentary rush to judgment. "How careless, that a trooper should have neglected to take along his boot". (I was still pretty green.) As I bent over it, I realized that he had left behind not only his boot but also his foot... and the fragment of shinbone protruding from the rotting remnant of his misfortune touched me in a way that was new. In a sense, I lost my virginity that cloudy morning. Somehow this sad discovery affected me in a way no corpse ever did.

I took a snapshot of it as I passed, the first and only time I ever chose to record on film the human detritus of combat. To this day, I feel shame
that I chose to photograph it...rather than to bury it.

Copyright (c) Tucker Smallwood, 1992

THE WALL December 2002

I visited Washington DC, the city of my birth this past weekend, and as always, felt compelled to revisit The Wall. On it are the names of two of my Tac Officers, some of my OCS classmates, some of my OCS candidates. Six men named
Smallwood died in Vietnam, none of whom I knew. There should have been seven,
but for the grace of God. Yet to me, the most affecting, the most resonant
name there is Paul Savanuck. He was a friend from college; enjoyed guitars and
girls and beer and poker, as did I. Paul was easy going, with a ready smile
and sly sense of humor. He was a combat photographer, and he died with great
valor, while trying to protect and rescue several wounded soldiers.

I attended the dedication of The Wall, back in 1984 and have the strongest
memory of having touched his name that day. It is etched high atop Panel 26W;
oddly enough, fully ten inches beyond my reach on tiptoes.

This past Saturday was grey and overcast, a typical DC winters day. As I stepped back from Panel 26 to collect myself, I noticed among the crowd two middle-aged men, one in a flight jacket. After allowing them a private moment with their own memories, I approached and asked, "You were a chopper pilot. Did you fly slicks or gunships--or dustoffs?" He replied, "I flew Medivacs, 1969-70, out of Cu Chi." I said, "I was an advisor with MACV in 69; my dustoff flights came out of Bien Hoa...but someone like you, maybe someone you knew, took care of me and my people when we were most in need. Thanks."

Then we shook hands and exchanged the phrase that is our benediction; expressed with gratitude by all Vietnam Veterans who made it back. "Welcome Home."

Copyright (c) Tucker Smallwood, 2002

DISCLAIMER: All poems are the intellectual property of the poets involved and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Monday, January 28, 2008

When Eagles Learn To Fly

A big thank you to Terri Lukach of the Armed Forces Information Service for doing a brilliant story on the Poet Warrior Project in 2005.

The original Poet Warrior site has now been reincarnated as a blog!

From PWP Poet RED DOG:

"Kenneth R. "DOC" Walker and I have teamed up and we are going to try and put
together a CD.

If you will turn your speakers on (sounds better on a stereo system) and click the URL below. Once there, click the play button on the blue player and read the words below it as it plays.

Doc and I hope you enjoy the song.

The War Within

Thank You.

Semper Fidelis

Doc Walker & Red Dog

After hearing the song, all we can say is: These guys need to be on Bill O'Reilly!

Why Poet Warriors?

"It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech."--Father Denis Edward O'Brien

We of the poet Warrior Project honor the lives, thoughts and souls of our soldiers in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. We recognize that, while many of the intelligentsia believe the words "soldier" and "poet" are antonyms, poets and warriors have been synonymous since Sun Tzu. From the British World War I poets to the American Revolution to the ancient Greeks, soldiers have chronicled the military life. Our men and women in the armed forces are bearing witness to a life lived to the fullest. These poems are part of our history. We invite soldier poets TO submit their works.

When Eagles Learn to Fly

by PFC Jamie A. Goldstein

2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, US Army

This is the poem that launched it all...PFC Jamie A. Goldstein sent us this poem in May 2005 while he was in training. PFC Goldstein has now been deployed to Iraq. We pray for PFC Goldstein, applaud and honor his service to the United States of America, and applaud his mother, Wendy Goldstein, for bringing this poem to the attention of the American people. We honor and salute the Goldstein family for their sacrifice and for raising a remarkable young soldier whose eloquence, maturity and vision move us.

High atop a mountain,

The newest look around.

In their hearts they yearn to jump,

But to the nest, they’re bound.

They see what’s going on abroad,

And it consumes their thoughts.

There’s shoes to fill and prey to kill,

And targets to be caught.

They may be mean, they may be angry,

Strong may be their drive.

But all of that means nothing,

‘Til these eagles learn to fly.

They sacrifice their blood and sweat,

Earn feathers one-by-one,

And bleed and sweat they will, until

The day of training’s done.

And at that time, they then reflect,

On things they all have learned,

And often re-read passages,

From pages that they’ve turned.

With contempt for their confinement,

They sing verses as they cry,

But that will all soon change

When these eagles learn to fly.

Their blood is hot. Their eyes are cold.

Their hearts know not of fear.

They dream of wreaths of olive leaves,

But still clutch tight their spears.

Collectively they ponder,

The enemies they will try.

They’ve skills to hone and wings to grow,

But that, they know, takes time.

When the sand has fell completely,

And their wings spread true and wide,

They’ll soar across the skyline

And the world shall hear them cry:

“Those who dare burn olive branches,

Those who force their way,

Those who seize what isn’t theirs,

And dare refuse to pay,

Those who live by wicked values,

And dare to walk with pride,

Clear your throat and swallow,

For we have learned to fly!”

“Those who dare crusade,

Against the name of what is just,

Those who dare raise arms,

By exploiting others’ trust,

And expect a repercussion,

No more violent than a sigh,

Today you shall be proven wrong,

For we have learned to fly!”

“Those who dare condemn us,

For enjoying our free will,

Those who feel our choices,

Make us wrong enough to kill,

Those who dare assault us,

Anywhere at any time –

You’ve met your final adversary;

For we have learned to fly!”

14 January 2005

Copyright © Jamie A. Goldstein, 2005

DISCLAIMER: All poems are the intellectual property of the poets involved and cannot be reproduced without permission.