- Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
- Mary Decker | @mishmhem
- Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
- Silver James | @SilverJames_
- Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
- Bill Engleson | @billmelaterplea
- Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
- Vivien Dean | @VivienDean
- Louisa Bacio | @Louisabacio
- Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
- Nellie Batz | @solimond
Silver James | @SilverJames_
Veronica says: One of the things I remember the most about being in the military was the sense of camaraderie, the sense that when push came to shove you could trust those around you to protect you, and that you would do the same for them. This reminded me of that, and the idea that anyone would betray that sense of trust makes the scene stand out for me.
Louisa Bacio | @Louisabacio
Veronica says: Although there wasn’t a military connection in the traditional sense, this topic is exceedingly relevant to the military community at present. I’d like to think that the military is at the bleeding edge of social change and reform. Your ability and desire to protect and serve shouldn’t be governed by your gender or sexual orientation. This was a very vivid scene, and I like how the author used the prompt.
Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
Veronica says: This scene reminded me of that old saying, “Once a soldier, always a soldier.” I like that this scene demonstrates that friendship is a crucial to the support system of those serving in the military and how difficult deployment can be on marriage. I wish that every service member had this kind of friend.
Bill Engleson | @billmelaterplea
Veronica says: For me this was somber and vivid, and so very telling of what happens to too many military veterans as they get older. As an Army wife, this gave me reason to pause and reflect. It moved me and I loved the poem at the end.
As I walk down the concrete stairway, to a place I do not want to go, I am overwhelmed by the dark, by the unavoidable sense of entering the loneliest cellar in the universe.
I stop in the damp outer vestibule, turn the worn knob on the door and enter.
Lili Marlene is playing a little too loudly, “Resting in a billet just behind the line...”
It was his favorite song. Other than that connection, I should not know it.
A few voices, sounding as old as sorrow, sing along in low, throaty chorus.
There is a stench, stale beer, urine, a host of stray, illusive corrupted odors. They collide in a putrid crescendo of smells.
The lounge is gloomy; lamps, placed on small round tables, barely illuminate the shadows.
I am approached by an old soldier, leaning awkwardly on a crutch, one leg limb short.
“Welcome. We rarely get strangers at the Battlefield Lounge. You are so young.”
“I’m Will Staten. I’m here to play the bugle. At 11?”
“Of course. And to read the poem?”
And so, at 11, I play Taps, badly, on his bugle.
And read his final poem.
“Lost to the war; lost to peace
Battles fought within his head;
Battles that will never cease;
Not quite alive yet not quite dead.
Lost to a peace that never was,
And for a war that cannot end;
Peace is such a futile cause
War has a grip; it will not bend.”
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