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Veteran Voices

TWU faculty, staff and student veterans from the Dallas campus were asked to submit a creative piece to The Lasso in honor of Veterans Day. Below are the outstanding submissions we received.

Veterans Week Reflection

Tina Fletcher EdD, MFA, OTR, Essay Winner

Growing up in the 1960s, my family was a classic, with our dad sitting at the dinner table talking about when he was a Flying Tiger in World War II, surrounded by long-haired daisy-chain wearing peaceniks rolling their eyes at each other when he wasn’t looking. Aside from the interesting bits about life in China and Burma during the war, most of it was so far removed from our versions of reality that we didn’t think much about it until the next dinner session. When I grew up, I married another long-haired peacenik who had a dad that not only pulled the same dinner routine with his kids, but also became a career military officer. When I thought about this too hard, it made marrying my husband seem a little like marrying the son of a Martian.

But over time, as we grew a little older and wiser, my husband and I began to listen to and appreciate both of our dads’ stories.  And while we raised our own kids in an arty non-conformist home, apparently they had their listening ears screwed on pretty tightly, too, because our oldest daughter shocked us by joining the United States Air Force Reserves as a health care administrator. She told us this commitment to the Air Force was her way of honoring her grandparents’ military service. Hearing this was humbling and continues to fill us with admiration. When she describes transferring wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C. and evaluating the medical readiness of her Air Force wing, she seems to stand a little straighter, is lighter in her step and firmer in her stance.

Now we are the oldsters at the dinner table. We know our conversations about art happenings and music festivals seem a little trivial when compared to our daughter talking about the weekends and weeks she puts in for military reserves. What I fervently hope is that our dads’ spirits are right there with us at that dinner table, smiling with pride at this young but wise weekend warrior who can not only set up a MASH unit in the woods in no time flat, but can still make a pretty good piece of art when she’s got the time.

Veterans Day: A Tribute to Our Heroes

Cassandra Hipo is a junior in the Nursing program at the Dallas campus, and she is from Van Alstyne, TX. She says” “My clinical experience and working with the veterans at the VA has opened my eyes up to the wonderful opportunity to help give back to those who have given so much.”

Cassandra Hipo, Winning Poet

A veteran lays in a hospital bed awake

With unspoken words of triumph and tribulation,

Listen and lend an open ear,

Hear their stories of sorrow and worry,

Don’t just see another face in a crowd of hospital beds,

Listen and lend an open ear,

Hear their stories of joy and happiness,

Memories that they carry near and dear

A living, breathing historical book waiting to be sought

Something that can never be bought

Listen and lend an open ear,

Listen and lend an open ear,

Listen and lend an open ear,

Before their end draws too near.

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