Poem written by Josephaigh on Saturday 11, January 2020

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Hope to bring attention to mental health issues concerning soldiers and the affect war has on a soldiers mind

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“Violently, he was shook. His fellow soldiers shook his head. His head was ringing. Ears deafened from the bang. What happened was unclear. He came round, but his ears still rang. The nurses rushed around him. The acid ate away at his skin, Every limb had gone. What wasn’t gone was severely damaged by chemicals. The mine blew him ten feet in the air. The chemicals ate away at his raw flesh.” This was me 16 years ago, 2003, Iraq war, British soldier. Laid half dead on a hospital bed. Insides out. The mission started early. Me and buster were searching the land for shells. I stood on an unidentifiable mine. Most of my limbs had been blown off or disintegrated. Doctors rushed to fix me. There was no hope. The desert creeps into my dreams. Nightmares more like. How I cope is a mystery. Flashbacks, ears ringing. There is no hope for any of us. We all have broken minds. Remembering every second of it. As though it’s real life. Is it better to die there or Is it better to live? We come home to our families But, there is no hope.

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    Okay, I think you have made one big error here.

    You have written this as poetry. Write it as a real-life essay. If you are going to present it in poetry form, you need to be much more abstract.

    I feel I have the right to make this criticism as I am a Vietnam vet.

    Please give this comment some very serious thought.