Clematis in Our Garden of Eden

by Gene Groner


Unsung Heroes

by Ronald Nash


The Track Adjustment

by Brant Parker III


What Veterans Voices Means to Me

by Daniel Paicopulos


True Heroes

by David Marchant



by Dan Yates


Half Boy...Half Man

By Brant Parker III, Army

Writing Type: Poem

By Brant Parker III
VA Medical Center--Cincinnati, OH

The Half Boy…Half Man joined to fight
and do what he felt was right.
The boy had no understanding of the real world
when he trains for war. Just a game, just for fun,
toy soldier training in a man’s world.
Always a smile, a laugh, not a care in the world.
The man, testing agility and doing his best,
won’t let his brothers down.
The Half Boy…Half Man gets told it’s time to earn his pay.
In a combat zone.
The Half Boy soon gets lost somewhere in the blood
and guts of battles.
The Half Man devours the tender boy.
He becomes a man no one knows.
The boy is gone; the smile has faded; traded for fear,
tears, anger and rage. Always on patrol.
The man is in tune with his actions and thoughts.
He’s less careless and understands lives are at stake.
Many will be lost.
The man has learned to survive, not the boy,
in this man’s world.
The warrior, the combatant lives among the walking dead.
The perils of war made him who he is.
Somewhere, somehow the boy became a hardened man.
And should he ever be so lucky in this lifetime,
the hardened man will find the boy, resurrect the smile
he once possessed,
regain the joy, laughter and long-forgotten happiness.

Writing group: Cincinnati VAMC

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