Fort Wainwright, Alaska's post library, held a writing competition for Soldiers and their families recently. Very few submissions were received, but those received were infused with intense emotions. Three were chosen to represent different elements of war: expression of creativity while in the field, the pain of missing a loved one, and honoring the memory of fallen friends.

Two of the poems chosen were submitted anonymously; a Soldier serving at Forward Operating Base Warhorse wrote one. It was accompanied by a sketch. The only information attached was, "Missing you."

<b>Hold On</b>

This black earth it holds me back

I only wish that I were home

So you could tell me what was right

And I could try to change what's wrong

Diyahnnn diyahnnnnnn

It's all the distance between us now

That gives me fear that you are gone

Please hear my heart that beats loud

And just hold onnnnnnn

Just hold on...

If the battles I have lived through

Were in vain then give me death

In this war there are only losers

As the victors beat their chests

Diyahnnn diyahnnnnnn

I'm just animal in nature

Without knowing I am in your heart

Just not knowing brings out anger

And it's tearing me apart

Hold on...hold on...

The fertile earth consumes me now

Underneath this great dark cloud

Your last words deeply cut me

From my grave I'll cry out loud!

Diyahnnn diyahnnnnnn

<i>Someone waiting for a Soldier to come home wrote the other anonymous poem:</i>

<b>The T-Shirt</b>

Mingling musk

sweat scent

powder punctures

cotton creases

Tears trickle

Away now

save again for later

bring the ache

tomorrow still gone

another day

without you

Sgt. 1st Class Andre Anderson of 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment (attached to the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division), wrote a memorial poem for Soldiers who were killed within days of arriving at FOB Warhorse in October 2008. "We just got here," Anderson said. "I remember walking from the tricon, everyone scattering, doing the accounting thing...everyone converged on the area behind the pad...medics were running from everywhere with their bags on."

The newly arrived team had its first casualties within the first days of its arrival-Spc. Heath K. Pickard immediately, and Pfc. Cody J. Eggleston a week later.

Anderson tried to console his Soldiers. His concern at the time was that his Soldiers were too new-they were not yet ready. He listened to what they had to say. "They don't know how to put it down in pen," said Anderson. So, he wrote it for them:

<b>Fallen Soldier</b>

The pursuit of freedom brought you here

to rescue a nation, release them from terror and fear

it's because of you that others have hope

you have shined a bright light on strangers that were at the end of their rope

we will cherish the memories of you standing tall, proud to serve, a honorable soldier, heroes to us all

you believed in a cause, a desire to do what you felt was right

you gave your life, the ultimate sacrifice

your brothers in arms will keep you, YOUR MEMORY WE WILL HOLD TIGHT, you will walk with us stride for stride, OUR GUIDING LIGHT

fallen soldier, may you now have peace, may all that you tried to give lay at your feet

fallen soldier, we will never forget; your blood, your tears, your sweat

fallen soldier we will end this with you, just as it began

walk silently, your boot prints in the sand

you can rest now soldier, your work on earth is complete

we honor you, we salute you

rest in peace.

in memory of:

Spc. Heath Pickard and Pfc. Cody Eggleston, Company C, 1/5.

<i>Content gathered by Joy Wohlman Boyce, a library technician at the Fort Wainwright, Alaska, post library.</i>

Page last updated Tue April 27th, 2010 at 09:07