Soldiers relieve stress through poetry
Sgt. Ronald Lopes, gunner for 656th Transportation Company, sings "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by John Fogerty while playing his ukulele, during an open mic poetry night at Spin Boldak Dec. 2, 2010.

Stress can be one of the biggest issues a war fighter faces while deployed and to stay healthy each Soldier must find a way to battle that pressure.

The methods that Soldiers use to release stress accumulated during a deployment are as diverse as the Soldiers fighting in the armed forces.

Soldiers seeking a creative outlet to relieve stress started a monthly poetry reading session at Spin Boldak.

"I wanted to present some poems and I felt like there would be other people on the base that needed a venue to express themselves," said said Capt. Tammi Summers, information operations officer. "So I started poetry night in September to give people a chance to share their work in a deployed environment," Summers is part of Headquarters, and Headquarters Company, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.

Summers said when she started poetry night there were only a few people who attended, but as word spread the numbers multiplied. She said they have gone from three performers to 15, with 30 spectators.

One of the first Soldiers to read poetry was Spc. Cheryl Springer, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear clerk, 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th BfSB.

"Reading poetry is like a small adrenalin rush so I enjoy it," said Springer.

The Washington, D.C. native said poetry night is a way for her to clear her mind and address some of the issues others may be dealing with.

This was one of Summers' goals when she began planning the event.

"It's like another world in there, it gets you away from the stress of work, and it gives you a chance to be able to relax," said Summers.

She said that poetry night creates a calming atmosphere.

"People of different race, backgrounds and ranks can come together and feel free to express themselves," said the Columbus, Ga. native.

Summers plans to continue holding poetry night as long as there are creative Soldiers who need a place to share their poetry.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16