Several readers had thoughts about the poem “Christmas in Iraq” by Kathryn E. Darden.
I recently read one of your poems in another publication I receive and as a woman
veteran I wanted to share with you my reaction.
The title of the poem is “Christmas in Iraq.” As a woman who spent 20 years
in the military, I was disappointed that your prose assumed that only men
serve in combat zones and miss their loved ones. In line 4 you say “each
and every man.” May I suggest you change that to read each and every
“soldier” which will be inclusive of women. In the next line you say “other
men missed their moms”. You might simply have said others and left out the
word men so that it would have read “others missed their moms” and it would
been inclusive of our women soldiers. If you made those two changes your
poem could have meaning for all our soldiers now and in the future.
I hope you can accept constructive criticism. I really do not mean to
offend you but it does offend me when, women in particular, fail to
recognize the contributions of women to our Nation’s defense. Today, women
are carrying weapons and working along side men in very dangerous conditions
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, many have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Please do them the honor of calling them soldiers. What they are doing for
our country deserves nothing less.
Nancy A. Russell
LTC USA Retired
I understand what you are saying, but I hope you can understand that since the military is predominantly male, I didn’t and still don’t feel the need to change the rhyme scheme in an effort to join the PC “inclusion” movement. It’s a poem – take it or leave it. If mine disappoints you, read another poem. There are many good ones out there.
More Letters for “Christmas in Iraq.”
Thanks ever so much for the poem. My husband Bill and I have a grandson, William, over there.
Happy New Year!
Thank you, Jane,
I wrote “Christmas in Iraq” in 2005 for a friend whom Christian Activities sponsored and his troops stationed in Iraq, and I run the poem on my website every year. I know it is hard having a grandson over there. My father was military, so I certainly appreciate all our troops do.
Happy New Year,
Great poem for the troops!! Never was in a war or war zone, but my contribution in the cold war was just as important in keeping the Russians at bay!! Worked in Naval Security Group, Naval Communications Unit 43 Midway Island in 1957-58…now you know where my screen name comes from…..also Navy 85 Div. G Wahiawa Hawaii – ’56-’57 and Northwest Naval Radio Station VA ’58-59. All those bases closed and due to internet no one uses morse code any more!! Maybe I need to write a poem about those days!!
Congratulations on the poem and have a Happy New Year.
My father was a military man, and I had a friend who went over in 2005, which is when I wrote the poem. Thank you for your service. I am sure a poem about your days at Midway would be very interesting.
Happy New Year!
Thank you, Kathryn, for your lovely message. A dear friend from our church is preparing to return to Iraq. We need to remember all these brave men and women in our daily prayers.
God bless you!
Just lovely. Thank you.
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