by Paul Wilkison


Every civilization

Contains within

Itself two types

Of seeds:

At the beginning,

Seeds of greatness.

At the end,

Sees of destruction.


VAMC, Albuquerque, NM

Writing Ade: Phyllis Bibeau

Typist: Jane Harvey

Double Love

By Jesse W. Sturghill, Jr, VAMC—Memphis, TN

Writing Aide/Typist: Susan Matthews


To measure your love is a very hard test.

It must have the unity and highest respect.

People talk of hate and pain every day,

The only solution is to have double love in play.


To live a good live, you must know what these things mean.

Today is not promised, tomorrow is never seen.

I met an old man who once had a good start.

His hopes were all crushed by a broken heart.


One day it will be my chance at success.

Until that, I’ll work hard and do my best.

To live a good live you must know what these things mean.

Today is not promised, tomorrow never seen.

Veterans’ Day

By David B. Waldon, VAMC – Prescott, AZ


Today I saw grown men cry

As they looked a statue in the eye.

A flood of memories they have to hear.

We will never understand since we were not there.


They served this country like many before,

But we pit on them and slammed our doors.

So many died; I watched the news wild eyed.

I could not wait to fight by their side.


Fifty-thousand young men never came back,

So we built a wall that makes it fact.

The parade was great, the smiles, puppies, and people galore.

For an hour we forgot that we still at war.


Our freedom each day has been paid for with blood.

There’s a solider somewhere in the rain and the mud.

He never really knows if he will ever come home,

As he sits on a hill afraid and alone.


The one thing he has is his brother beside,

And together they fight for all of our lives.

So remember these men in your prayers every night,

They are standing guard so we can sleep tight.


By Karen Green

I’d like to have a dime
for every teardrop that I shed,
then it wouldn’t seem worthless
to shed tears to clear my head.
Sometimes my heart feels heavy,
my life so filled with fears,
I could relieve myself from this weight
if I just would shed some tears.
I’ve always been told to stand tall,
that crying’s a waste of time,
but to hold back those tears
only hurts the mind.
Tears are like raindrops.
They cleanse the inner man,
so I don’t have to hold back,
I’ll cry, I know I can.
When my heart feels heavy
and my life starts to fill with fears,
I’ll relieve myself from that weight
by crying some healthy tears.

VAMC—Las Vegas, NV

My Gratitude

By Michael D. Monfrooe

“Do no harm,” a sacred oath to which you swore.
I too took an oath preparing me for war.
You trained long and hard to be the very best.
I served our country, medals on my chest.
You treat the suffering, comfort families that wait.
I trained men and women, not knowing their fate.
You visit patients at night to ease their fear.
I’ve consoled many a soldier as they shed a tear.
Your skills are a true gift, to ease one’s pain.
Patients see in you, hope, a future and that you care.
Once people saw in my eyes a “Thousand Year Stare.”
Such awe inspiring words, “Do no harm.”
You did fine by me, Doc; I didn’t buy the farm.

VAMC—Fargo, ND

A Gift of Hope

by Charles S. Parnell

Give me a gift that none can give,

A gfit of hope, a reason to live.

Grant me this gift within your reach,

A lesson to learn, a lesson to teach.


Give me the faculty to cry,

To start again, a reason why.

Grant me the strength to fill the need

As never before, in word and deed.


Grant me a life to live in hope,

To smile each day, to fully cope.

Grant me this gift, I ask once more,

From your full house to my front door.


This gift of hope will fill a need;

From dusk ’til dawn it scatters seed.

And when this gift is mine to keep,

Calm comes again like peaceful sleep.

                     VAMC-Pittsburg, PA

Hope for Humanity

By Carlos Ortiz

A great person once told me life is a journey to be lived,

Not a problem to be solved.

I continuously reiterate these words to all my friends and family

Who are overwhelmed with life or are dysfunctionally involved.

These words are the essences of my sanity,

For I am constantly worried about superfluous things like vanity.

We are social beings that need each other,

In order to coexist we should live like sister and brother.

I close these few linkes with total reservation

And hope one day all humans can show each other love and dedication.

VAMC-Brooklyn, NY

Typists: Deena Jacobs


By Earnest Jenkins


Healing comes when we come together

to bring peace.

Our faith keeps us connected

to one another.

Our thoughts constantly rotate around

in isolation.

We fall into a deep sleep.

We awaken to a sound of a new day

a day of reckoning

that gives us the power to heal

the brokenhearted.

Healing comes with our minds are renewed

by our faith

that created a new being.


VAMC-Las Vegas, NV

Thanksgiving Dinner

By Joseph W. Krawczyk

VA Medical Center- ST. Louis, Mo


I believe the year was 1998. My mother was terminally

ill, and I was taking care of her. My cousin, brother

and his wife were the only family left. We were not as

close as we used to be. However, that year, we all had

Thanksgiving dinner together. My brother and his wife

prepared the dinner, and Cousin Jerry also brought some

fantastic desserts.


We were so glad to see each other in one place,

together again like old times. We never said a word about

how seldom we saw each other but we were reassured

By the fact that we loved each other, no matter what. we

talked so much; we talked our way through dinner. We

also prayed in Thanksgiving for all we had meant to each

other. God bless that day. It was important to all of us; it

was soon after that, my mother passed away.

Writing Aides: Jacque Burgess
Liz Rice-Sosne
Typist: Nancy S. Dunn

Nurse Ratchet’s Mistake

by Gregory J. Topliff
(published in Veterans’ Voices Spring 2003 issue)

Come my comrades and you will hear
about an infamous nurse that all did fear.

She entered the ward all dressed in white,
screaming, “Attention! Attention! Attention!” with all
of her might.

“Get out of those beds
you sleepy heads!
I’m here to bring you a new respect,
for God and country, you bunch of rejects!

“Get up! Get up! you lazy bums,
you service wrecks, you low-class scum!”

As I looked to my left and back to my right,
all stood at attention shaking with fright.
They stood there in fear, my comrades in arms,
as the witch dressed in white bellowed more of her charms.

“You’re in my service now,” she said,
“So clean up those floors and wash down the head.
Get out your brooms, your dust rags and soap.
Get to work on it now or I’ll hang all you mopes.”

And out of the corner a soft voice did shout,
“But ma’am, we’re all wounded; we have no such gear!”

“What did you say?” as she responded in fear.
“This is Ward Eight, is it not my dear?”
“No ma’am,” came the answer from all in reply.
“We are here from the war; this is Ward Number Five.”

“Oh no!” she exclaimed, “I’ve made a mistake.
I was told that this was Ward Number Eight.
Those men are in training to be young Marines.
They had only cuts and scrapes to be seen.”

A black tear came running down from her face,
as she hung her head in total disgrace,
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! To all you poor dears.
I’ve made a mistake; please calm all your fears.”

As she walked down the hall we could hear her say,
“Oh, Lord, forgive my stupidity, forgive my mistake,
I’m off to get those slobs in Ward Eight.”

VAMC—Augusta, GA