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Corpsman publishes book of war poetry
I'll be gone for up to a year
missing your warm embrace
now don't you go shed a tear
because your love I can't replace
I held you tight and kissed you soft
and kissed you soft
being with you was my delight
i remember life in our beautiful loft
it was our paradise from the
freedom was ours last
our emotions unfurled
like a ships mast
memories have seen me through
for now i can re-unite with you
It has been said that poetry is therapy for the person who writes it. Yuman Richard C. Hampton Jr., hopes it also helps those who read it.
A retired hospital corpsman who spent 21 and a half years in the U.S. Navy, Hampton has written a collection of poems that were recently published in an 88-page book entitled “War Time Poetry.”
Hampton said he began writing poetry a few years ago as part of his own treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but now hopes his poems will offer encouragement to other military service members who have PTSD as well, as they continue to regain their emotional health.
“I wanted to portray the human side of being a service member, and the pain and suffering these men and women go through, in and out of combat,” Hampton said. “We all notice the physical scars we carry, but no one notices the hidden wounds. Those can be the hardest to heal.”
Although he originally set out to write about his own military service, Hampton said he also wanted to pay tribute to his fellow brothers and sisters in arms through heart-felt verses of courage, sacrifice and coming home.
Having been deployed three times, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan, Hampton said he was traumatized by the violence he experienced and wrote poems about what he described as the call to war, detailing such experiences as what it is like to live in constant danger and loneliness, the shock of a wound, the loss of innocence, and having to leave loved ones behind.
“Writing the book helped me as well. The hardest part of it was acknowledging that some of these same things had happened to me. It was a way for me to come to grips with it,” Hampton said. “It was very difficult to write because these are my experiences as a corpsman, and the things I have been exposed to and went through.”
Hampton said the very first poem in the book, called “Wounds,” was by far the most difficult for him to write, and personally the most meaningful, because it deals with the invisible wounds service members often still carry.
Hampton said the reason he wants to help fellow military service members who are suffering from PTSD is that he understands what they are going through. He also hopes that by sharing his poems, the public will have a better understanding of what PTSD is and the challenges service members face as they work to regain their lives.
He added that the country has already seen PTSD destroy a large number of Vietnam veterans through drug and alcohol addiction and he doesn't want that to happen to the next generation of veterans.
Published by Create Space, “War Time Poetry” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other online sites for $14.99. He said Hastings will also carry the paperback book locally and that all the proceeds from the book's sale are going to various veterans organizations and programs.
“None of that money will go to me,” Hampton said. “It is all going back to my brothers and sisters in arms.”
The book took Hampton the better part of 18 months to complete, writing as ideas would come to him. Not wanting to forget anything, Hampton said that he would often keep a pen and paper next to his bed so he could write down any thoughts that came to him during the night.
The young and old
The brave and bold
Patrol these hostile lands
All to fit some politicians plan
Suddenly the patrol hit an IED
Gun fire rains in all directions
Screams abound this battlefield
Medics tend to the atrocity caused by the blast
They will forever be haunted of these memories in the past
Blood and limbs litter this field
when will this conflict yield?