Haiku of Love and War: OIF Perspectives From a Woman's Heart

Haiku of Love and War: OIF Perspectives From a Woman's Heart

by Elyse Braxton

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Overview

Elyse Braxton was deployed to Kuwait as an Individual Augmentee, with the United States Navy, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 2007 to August 2008. She served as a Staff Nurse at the United States Military Hospital Kuwait Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Arifjan and at the Troop Medical Center at Camp Buehring.

Ms. Braxton enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve in April 2003, in an Aviation rating, and graduated as the Distinguished Graduate from boot camp in October 2003. It was, in December 2003, during her second volunteer vacation to serve at, the United States Army, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Germany, that she was divinely inspired to become a nurse. She was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Nurse Corps upon her graduation from Villanova University’s College of Nursing in July 2006.

It is the author’s wish to share her thoughts, feelings, dreams, observations, and prayers captured from the full circle perspective of a woman deploying for the first time.

I like the order

Of the Japanese haiku

Short and to the point

‘Tis ever constant

The rhythm of a haiku

Like a beating heart.

My book of haiku

A journal through poetry

Memories forever



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999218228
Publisher: Reflection Of Grace Publishing
Publication date: 01/27/2018
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

As a little girl, I remember seeing "Army trucks" on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to and from Philadelphia to Harrisburg to visit family. I had respect for the military as many in my family served, but there was never pressure or disapproval to join. Military service wasn't even a consideration. Fast forward to the summer of 2002; my flight landed in Philly International and I was struck with "military urges." I jokingly "blame" God, for these urges, because almost no one in their right mind, age 36, would consider joining the military so late in life. But this risk-taking positive thinker, who bought a stick shift before she had her driver's license, got on the path and enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 2003. That same year, I read football players were visiting injured troops in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

Not having the backing of the NFL or a public relations firm didn't deter me from finding a way to serve the troops. I took my first, of several, volunteer vacations through Landstuhl's Pastoral Services to provide troops clothing and toiletry items, as well as company. I cried a fair amount of time, my first trip. They weren't tears of sadness but of adoration. I always wanted a hero; here they were face-to-face. I loved and couldn't get enough of them! It was during my second volunteer vacation, over Christmas 2003, that I was divinely inspired to become a Navy Nurse. My financial and academic stresses PALED in comparison to combat. I kept and keep things in perspective, during my perceived "tough times", for the fact that I'm not getting shot at.

The motto of my first alma mater, Elizabethown College, is "Educate for Service." Little did I know this would become a way of life for me. First as a volunteer, especially with Special Olympics and the USO, and second as a member of the all-volunteer U.S. Armed Forces. I was humbly the recipient of the 2012 Educate for Service - Service Through Professional Achievement Award, from the alumni association, for service and achievements within and related to various medical areas of the military as well as disaster relief efforts. With further humility, I was granted the 2017 Nursing Leadership Award from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Nu Chapter of Villanova University. My scope of influence and leadership have grown as I have taken on greater challenges and responsibilities.

Our humility should raise with each promotion as we were once more junior to our current position. My greatest cheerleader and fan, Mom, thinks I should write a book on leadership. What it boils down to is love. Love yourself; love, empower and affirm those you have contact with; address and tough love people's behaviors, don't slam their character; and give and ask for forgiveness. "Lead", "serve", and "forgive" are synonymous with "love." It's our choice to edify or destroy people through our thoughts, words, and actions. Leaders choose wisely.

Table of Contents

It is the author’s wish to share her thoughts, feelings, dreams, observations, and prayers captured from the full circle perspective of a woman deploying for the first time.

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