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.