Two Poems by Tanya Whitney

Tanya Whitney

You can never understand the cost my / Service has had on my body and soul.

Consequence of War


gaping, oozing gashes, the skin puckered

the effect of war


red, crimson red, the color of blood

the result of war


dull, lifeless eyes stare at nothing

the outcome of war


cities, towns decimated, left in ruins from

the explosions of war


babies maimed; minds demented in

the impact of war


children shattered, orphaned, families ripped apart

the aftermath of war


innocence sweet, lost, hearts hardened by

the ravages of war


hope severed, shattered in a sensitive soul,

the horrors of war


pointless violence formed by inhumanity,

the lawlessness of war


lives, nations ruined, ideals destroyed in

the fallout of war


worlds changed, governments

collapsed the consequences of war




Standing Proud, Standing Tall


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
Do not ask me if I was a nurse,
Though I am in awe of those who are.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
Know that I served the same as my brothers
With the same equipment and missions.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
I do not want you to see me as special,
Do not see me as a separate entity.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
It’s because I am proud to be a woman.
I am a minority in a sea of fellow veterans.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
It’s because I am strong, I am capable,
I am patriotic to the core.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
Do not think it’s a joke, do not demean my service.
I served in combat, many of my brothers did not.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
I want you to see me as a veteran,
Who happens to be a woman.


When I say to you I am a woman veteran
Do not blow me off, for you do not know what
I’ve been through.


You can never understand the cost my
Service has had on my body and soul.
I am a woman veteran.



✽ ✽ ✽



Tanya Whitney retired from the Army in 2010 as a Master Sergeant after serving over 27 years both on active duty and in the Louisiana National Guard.  She served in the Aviation branch and worked on both Army fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. From Sorrento, LA, she returned there after retiring with her husband and two children.  She began writing poetry a few years ago as part of her PTSD therapy. Her poetry primarily deals with her military service, but she has also written other pieces.  In 2018 she was selected as a Gold Medal winner for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in the Creative Writing poetry category. She has won several poetry competitions and has had individual poems published. She recently had two short stories accepted for publication, one in a local anthology and one in an anthology being published in England.