Light the Way

by Michelle Pond


A Door to the Future

by Louise Eisenbrandt


Lonely Soldier

by Jason Bartley


Drifting Wood

by William Snead


Veteran’s Day

by James Breitweser


His Limbo Soliloquy

by Carl Palmer


Dog Days - A Blast from the Past

By Penny Deere, Army, Woman’s Army Corps

Writing Type: Prose

By Penny Deere

My son, who is 14 at the time, is punching his fist on a book, doing his best to break the binding. I begin to yell at him, my usual reaction during one of his common fits of rage. But what I say sends a chill up my spine.

“How would you like that done to you?” I scream. Where in the world did that come from? Then it hits me. All in a flash I remember those same words directed at me, a defenseless little girl, as I landed on our flagstone patio. I was recalling an incident that had been buried for 35 years. I am guessing I was about 5 years old. My recollection of the scene is this:

I had been mean to a little puppy. I would pick him up and then throw him back down again. I can still remember his yelps. I can't imagine doing that to any animal or anything today, which makes me wonder what led me to that act of violence. I have no idea why I would do such a horrible thing. Did I see other people treat animals and people like that? Is that why I hurt the defenseless little dog? I don't know why a quiet, pretty, blonde-hair little tike would do that.

My mother came to the dog's rescue. She had heard its wails from inside our ratty old house. This enormous woman – think white Aunt Jemima – was going to show her pip-squeak daughter a thing or two.

She comes at me screaming. "How would you like that done to you!" she bellows. Since I do not have a scruff on my neck like my puppy, she grabs my ponytail. As soon as she gets me high enough, she slams me down, then snatches me right back up again, over and over, again and again. This continues until her strength runs out. Thank God she was a heavy smoker – four packs a day.

That’s all I can remember from that awful day. The old battle ax always pulled my hair instead of giving me spankings. That same spot on my head still hurts. Every time I get angry or upset, it's as if she is still torturing me. This reminder has stirred up notions about what other awful events might have happened to me that I cannot recall.

I ask myself how a human being could do this to anyone. But that little girl was being evil to those poor little dogs.

As an adult, I wanted so desperately to break the cycle of abuse, and then I found myself doing the same thing.

My daughter also remembers that day I lost my temper with my son. You see, I had just gotten notice that he had not been attending school for a 20-day period. I was livid. I stormed into the house and found him playing games with another boy who had also skipped school that day. I picked up the nearest thing close to me -- a curtain rod. And I began to whale on him. This weapon was so very similar to the switches my mother found so handy throughout my childhood. Again I ask myself how anyone could do such a thing to their own child or any child. I ask you now: am I so different than that mother I despised?

I had no idea what I had done. When I saw I left welts on my firstborn’s legs, it was awful. I asked my daughter about it recently. She is a grown woman now.

“Mom, you never hit either one of us again,” she said.   


Well, I am glad of that, but still.

Too many years later, long after my son’s death, I found out why he did not go to school. His social studies teacher was molesting him. My son did not confide in me. I’m very sorry for that and my actions still today. As a type of repentance, I tend to look out for the underdog, for those who cannot defend themselves. 

MIA--Missing in America

by Matthew Davison


My Death Defying Life as a Soldier

by Dr. R. Douglas Iliff


A Door to the Future

by Louise Eisenbrandt


Haiku for Spring

by Gene Groner


A Tear

by Dan Yates


Why America Will Never Run Out of Marines

by Phil Hosier