March is Women’s History Month. With that, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote a couple years ago in Afghanistan about women in the military. The military has changed quite a bit over the course it’s existence. One of those changes have been the role of women in the military. When my grandfather enlisted in the 40’s to serve in World War II, women’s roles in the military were largely limited to secretary, nurse, personnel, or some other jobs that might traditionally have been for women. When my dad enlisted in the late 60’s women’s roles had already started to expand. When I enlisted in 1989 women could do most any of the military jobs available, but were not supposed to go into combat, and there were still a number of roles that women couldn’t have. My son enlisted last year. Now, women can go to Ranger School, Combat Engineer School, and do a host of other military jobs that were traditionally left to men.
This poem is for all the women I’ve served with over the years and the ones that paved the way for the ones that serve today. Many women went into the inspiration of this piece. One in particular was Amy, that I served with in Afghanistan. She was on her sixth deployment in her army career. She was always professional, always sharp, knew her stuff, and took care of her Soldiers. Everything a Soldier should be, man or woman. There is a small handful of people that I have served with that I looked and knew I should model myself after, if I were to be a better Soldier. She is one of those.
I hope you enjoy the poem. Feel free to share it with a female Service Member in your life. Good day, and God bless.
With Force and With Grace
Hidden in her eyes are things we cannot see
Stories she won’t tell- not to you or me.
But to her fellow warriors, maybe it is told
Of how she served her country with the brave and the bold.
No more pretty dresses, or heels upon her feet
She dons a Soldier’s uniform, makes it nice and neat.
Her hair must now be tucked, underneath her hat
No more shiny earrings, or pretty stuff like that.
Been to war her share of times, the battles she did face
Got the job done every time, with Force and with Grace.
Rising up, in the ranks, to where she is today
Did not come without a cost, what price did she pay?
A Mother, Wife, Sister, Friend- but some don’t understand
How could she leave those things to fight on foreign land?
Many Titles she must carry, this is all too true
One that matters most in battle: “Soldier”, through and through.
She is a Female Warrior, fellow Soldier, and my Friend
Admiration and my loyalty, will likely never end.
Side by side we fought- the Enemy we did engage
As Soldiers, not a gender, putting rounds down range.
And she is a Soldier, tough and strong, yes, among the best
In every fight, in every challenge, she has passed the test.
Male or Female, boy or girl- should not be the theme
I have seen her in the battle, and want her on my team.