Veterans

In Memory of the Gold Star Mothers

I worried
when the Black River was so low some years,
poking along underneath
the Main Street bridge
in front of our home
on Memorial Day.

The Gold Star Mothers
had just arrived
in one of Ludlow’s only convertibles:
they struggled out of the car
wrapped around in American flags,
looking enormous
waddling up to the edge
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Rage Transmuted

My Quaker meeting knew I’d long been enraged about our country’s misadventures in the Middle East. They knew I’d been volunteering at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, but they didn’t really know what I’d done about the fury that possessed me. This is a testimony to what can be done when we think we’re faced with helplessness.

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Friends, Veterans, and the Military

I remember what it felt like, during the last two years of the Vietnam War, to go into town wearing my US Navy uniform.  Often, I felt invisible.  Sometimes, just silly. Frequently, I got the cold shoulder.

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Dangerously Comfortable

My experience as a Navy pilot for a third of my life is fundamental to who I am.  The military has significantly impacted my experience as a Quaker. This is most evident to me when I compare the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Peace with the military codes and traditions that have shaped me.

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