Celebrating the Military
The Harsh and The Heart – Celebrating the Military. The tenth anniversary of September Eleventh 2001 inspired this collection. While the horror of that day touches the pages, the warriors in armed services uniforms dominate, and that’s more than appropriate. Ten years ago we met the malicious terrorist attacks with waving flags and indomitable spirit, united, of one mind.
For a moment, we shared the fervor of those serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Merchant Marines. Many left the comfort of home to join up, and found themselves in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and at other military bases.
The subjects of these stories and poems stand in a long line of heroes who have put our freedoms ahead of their own safety since the nation was founded. In these pages you will meet men and women who have served in uniform through almost a century of armed conflict. A few stories come from America’s allies, and several pieces celebrate the role of sweethearts, spouses and family members who also serve by sharing the lives of their loved ones with the rest of us.
Many of the authors are sharing true stories. Others have crafted fictional representations of experiences true to the culture of military life. Some pieces celebrate the bittersweetness of the unique world of the armed services and some probe the aching reality that this is, more than most, a job that calls men and women to lay down their lives for others. The Silver Boomer Books editors invite you to read along with the dreams of our patriots to a deeper understanding of the “harsh” and the “heart” of military life.
Thank You For Your Service
The Editorial Ensemble
Barb’s dad wrote love letters
from North Africa then
letters from Sam to Mrs. Sam
censored by Sam.
Her uncle Joe memorized
the eye chart to get to Korea,
was shipped home on a hospital ship,
discharged when glasses broke.
Sending a Texas flag to a nephew
at Diego Garcia, books to Iraq,
two of each, ready for sharing,
a murmured “Thanks for your service”
even in the courtroom,
judge to defendant.
Ginny says both her dads,
Navy men, shared a birthday
and fondness for tattoos.
Becky, daughter of a Marine,
Air Force wife, saw Spain,
Japan, Germany from base pivots.
Patriots, sure – the easy way,
loving liberty, accepting its gifts,
Then sniping escalated,
exploding to unthinkable
as terrorists made weapons
of Americans, as horror came home.
Ten years have passed,
thousands have sacrificed lives,
limbs, sons, daughters, their hearts.
Thanks for your service? Oh, yes.
Simple words, heartfelt words.
But it’s what we can do.
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