Award-Winning War Poem

Gerardo Mena, a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, recently won the 2010 War Poetry contest, sponsored by the Web site, for his poem "So I Was a Coffin." This video poem features music composed by Mena as well as photographs contributed by members of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion or their family members.


Comment-Tony Mena's War Poem

I am Staff Sergeant TJ Edwards and I was one of the Marines that Tony saved on our deployment after I was burned on 45% of my body from a roadside bomb on December 9th of 2006 in Iraq. I would be six feet in the ground right now if Tony hadn't used his medical training to save me. Not only am I thankful but I am also proud and honored to call Tony as one of my friends since that tragic day. Once upon a time I thought that men who wrote out their feelings on a piece of paper in the form of poetry were weak. However, I was a fool because after experiencing what I did at the burn ward and living each day with the survivors guilt like Tony has. I came to the conclusion that being brave enough to put your thoughts and feelings on paper and giving the world an opportunity to poke and make fun at your paper isn't weak. In fact, it takes a strong person to subject themselves to that potential scrutiny. The best part about Tony sharing his experience with all of us, is that many returning combat Veterans coming back from this war, think that they're the only one going through negative emotions and they feel like they're the black sheep. Well Tony probably saved a life or two after a service member read his poetry and said to themselves "Hey, I am not the only one who is thinking like this, maybe what I am going through is normal". And so those individuals are more prone to asking for help where as before they wouldn't of. I will end this extended comment on that note. Tony saved my life so I am entitled to let the world know he isn't your typical poet nor man.