From a Soldier’s Perspective (poetry) by Michael Lee Womack

The Book: As soldiers who have just returned from war, we fight a separate war daily in an attempt to leave the war behind. Many soldiers, just like myself, come home from war only to fight a separate internal battle, with debilitating illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. It was important for me to share my story not only for myself but for those who have fought, for those who have fallen, and for those who continue to wage war in order for the United States of America to continue to remain free. The price of freedom is not free.

War is chaos, and many soldiers bear the scars from it for the rest of our lives.

The Author: Michael Lee Womack is an 8-year veteran of the Gulf War. Michael deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division, Charlie Company 4-3 BSTB, to Ramadi, Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn from the summer of 2010 until the summer of 2011. His army career come to a close when was medically retired from the military in 2014. He had problems adjusting to civilian life and battling a tough bout with depression. God delivered him from depression, a testimony he now shares. In 2021, he earned his Bachelor of Arts with an area of study in English from Thomas Edison State University, hoping to become an English teacher.

My Thoughts: Such honesty and angst. Fifty-two poems, divided into three parts: We Fight a Separate War Just to Leave the War Behind, War is Chaos, and Change of Perspective. Returning after the war of chaos turned into the daily war of PTSD and depression. The author traded a machine gun for a pen, as a way to cope with his hyper-vigilance and seeking for control and happiness. Writing poetry has become his “drug of choice.”

At first, I didn’t know whether I could read such raw honesty, but in doing so I began to get an inkling of his struggle. The author articulates from his soul. Especially poignant is “Remember,” the friend he lost in Iraq and what Memorial Day is all about. The price of war includes the casualties, but also those who return to a a private internal new war after leaving the military.

From a Soldier’s Perspective

9 comments

  1. Poetry articulates so many things that cannot be said any other way. Raw emotions do well on a page of poetry. Distilled emotions that have had time to simmer also lend themselves to poetry. This sounds like an amazing book written by someone who has so much to share. Without books such as these, the world loses touch with the life of a soldier. We need these poems. We need these stories. We need words of poetry that touch our souls and help us to see the sacrifice others have made on our behalf…for our freedom, for our dignity, for our pursuit of happiness, and the pursuit of our dreams.

    • My, I can’t even imagine. I talked to a WWII veteran who was part of a water-cooled machine gun crew, Philippines, and was surprised that he could talk about it. He said his mother asked him tough questions when he got home and that seemed to begin to ease some of the worst.

  2. I always find poetry from combat soldiers to be a powerful witness. I’m sure that writing this book was healing for him and I reminder to us of the cost of war.

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