From the 63rd Chemical Company (O.I.F. 2003-2004)
"98 separate identities,
drawn together to make just one team.
The hardships we endured along the way,
made us stronger each and everyday.
As friends were gained from what once were foes,
as we all dealt with so many unknowns.
We tried to watch each others backs,
picking up where ever we might see slack.
A tight rope we were all forced to walk,
each a link in the chain that would never be lost.
Loneliness just might have set in,
except for the laughter of our friends.
Equals we may not all be,
but when put together made an awesome team.
We are defiantly soldiers of the 101st,
but first and foremost we are 63rd."
By Sgt Faitha Esposito, 63rd Chem. Co., written while serving in Iraq.
Day after day they ask me
"Why do you go away?
What makes you leave your family?
I think that you should stay."
My child who's standing at the door
Clutching Daddy's hand so
Pleads again with choking voice
"Mommy, please don't go."
For me, I must answer them,
I need for them to know.
It is not for fame or glory
Or riches that I go.
I go for each of you,
For all that have a son,
For all that have a daughter
Or a special loved one.
I go that when they hurt,
Or harm's bullet has settled deep
Someone will be there for them,
To ease them as they sleep
I go to hold them as they die,
In some deserted place
To listen to their last goodbye
And still their troubled face.
I go because you can not go
And hold them when in fear
And soothe the troubled brow
As they cry for home so dear.
So when you see me pack my bags
And leave for lands so far away,
It is not hardness of the heart
Or mother's conscience gone astray
Its for love of country, freedom,
Duty and honor too,
But most of all I go
To bring them back to you.
Capt. Cheryl Lockhart, USAFR, NC 914th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
UNITY AND STRENGTH
It is time we come forward,
we have waited long enough,
to be recognized as veterans.
We've fought numerous battles
of attitudes and prejudices.
We are, indeed, unique,
for we are risk takers,
and ground breakers,
by joining the service.
We've marched in every war,
helping fight behind the lines
and on front lines with you.
We've dealt with hositility
by being put in places
where we weren't wanted.
We've been ignored, harassed,
threatened and assaulted.
We've faced the same enemies as you,
even had more enemies than you,
for sometimes you were our enemy.
We're not here to point a finger,
to condemn or make accusations.
We're here to join hands and voices
in unity and strength,
to claim our right to be recognized
not just as women veterans,
but that we're veterans, too.
WOMEN ARE VETERANS, TOO
We weren't just tokens or pretty faces,
to decorate your offices and platoons;
we weren't dumb, too plain or too stupid
to make it in the real world.
We've marched your muddy roads,
carried and shot your heavy guns.
We've been shot at, wounded, and died,
and been prisoners of war.
We've been active in all services,
and risen to high ranks.
We've tended your bleeding wounds,
and held you when you were dying.
We've flown your mighty airplanes
and naviated your giant ships.
We've fixed your broken engines
and driven heavy equipment.
We've mailed letters for you,
and brought you news from home.
We've stood along side of you,
without flinching or running away,
and continue to stand by you today.
We are not asking for special treatment,
or that you should go out of your way.
We're only asking that you recognize
that womens are veterans, too.
Both by Lynda K. Dokken USMC 1966-67
Side by Side by Jennifer L. Best, SPC US Army currently serving in the Republic of South Korea.
Women have fought
Women have died
Women have served
and served with pride
From the revolutionary war
and yet still today
Women stand side by side
with men in uniform and say
That they will support and defend
the constitution of the United States
Proudly, in the air on land and sea
They continue to fight for our freedom
wherever that may be
Their dedication to duty
reflected, their selfless service was so true
from private to general
these women did and still do
So be thankful for these women
past and serving still today
be thankful that they gave so much
and include them when you pray
Yesterday we were parents
We were called mom and dad
I sat and watched the news today
How times over there turned bad
A fear welled up inside me
A chill ran down my spine
The USS Cole was bombed
And she held a son of mine
Fear ripped through my heart
As I searched for any news
Part of me not wanting to know
Part needing to know the truth
I called up my husband
And told him what I heard
He rushed right home to hold me
Not able to say a word
We started calling the Navy
Our fate was in their hands
It was her who took him to
That Eastern foreign land
It was his call to duty
To honor, serve and protect
A call to duty so many of us
Now seem too easily neglect
We have to call back later
No answers can they provide
Don't they realize how that response
Tears me up inside
Now there is a number
For all the next of kin. That phrase will forever haunt me
And make my blood run thin.
Yesterday we were mom and dad
for right now we still don't know
if we'll hear those names again
or drown in complete sorrow.
I was in the USMC, 87 - 91(CPL Keim, M.R.) Served in Desert Storm I wrote this after the Cole was bombed.
Return to Beauty - written in honor of Veteran's Day and to recognize our Native American veteran warriors.
Come home my brothers and sisters,
come home to the sacred mountains,
come home to the sweat lodges,
come home to the ceremonies,
come home to your moccasins.
Let the guidance of the creator bring you
along the path of the rainbow,
through the echoes of sacred songs
where beauty will encircle your soul with comfort.
The feathers that protected you ,
the tobacco offered,
the prayers sought,
the sage drifting in mid air,
purify your senses, purify your soul, purify your body.
Renew your spirit for you are the child of the creator,
follow the sacred path, the corn pollen path,
where beauty and harmony
will nourish your tattered soul.
You are my honored guest,
you hold my pride,
you have done well
to protect our rights,
to protect our homeland we hold so dear.
The legacy of our ancestors,
who fought for our rights,
who fought for our land,
is innate in your soul.
You pave the path for the noble spirit of our patriotic ancestors
who have gone before you,
who gave unselfishly.
You will never be forgotten,
our MIA's our Code Talkers, Ira Hayes,
our Chiefs of distant past,
our Women Warriors,
Lori Piestewa, our fallen hero of a new beginning,
and our Vietnam Warriors.
We praised you long before the country
stigmatized your efforts in Vietnam.
Your duty and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
We honor you at Pow Wows,
we honor you as the drums beat,
to the prayers spoken,
to the Gourd Dance.
You will always be my honored guest.
Return to beauty my Native Veteran Warriors,
return to the path of the creator,
return to harmony.
In beauty it is so-
Jeanette Long. Desert Storm Veteran. U.S. Army Medic
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