God Bless Our Troops – A Poem for Kristi

The Trade

Inspired by A1C Kristi P-L, USAF

By Karen S. Elliott, 2009

She packed up her comfy jeans and lying-around T-shirts,

She shrugs into a heavy canvas uniform, now her second skin.

Boxed up her peep-toe high heels and sandals and stacked them away,

Now all she’s got are dusty high-top boots with heavy tread.

No delicate black eyeliner around lovely hazel eyes,

Just smudges of purple, her badges of fatigue.

No long showers here, nope,

Just unshaved legs so she looks like the rest of the troop.

Forget salon haircuts with mousse or gel,

In marches a permanent helmet-head hairdo.

She strains to remember how lovely that last manicure felt,

Handling weapons with broken, scraggy fingernails, unpolished and blunt.

Velvety cosmetic powder abandoned at home,

She wears the Iraqi desert upon her face.

Late night chat-fest nights with friends of her choosing, no more,

Now, it’s early morning wake-up and drill.

No delicate sparkling pendants around her neck,

Just a dull metal chain with tags that identify her blood type.

While mother’s comforting shoulder and soothing touch wait at home,

She learns combat strategies and how to react to roadside bombs.

Instead of cradling a tiny baby,

She shrugs into a burdened flak jacket that hides her girlish figure.

She rolls out with a loaded M4 and a 9mm Beretta.

Kristi, front (kneeling)

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11 Comments

Filed under For The Troops, Personal Articles, Special Events

11 responses to “God Bless Our Troops – A Poem for Kristi

  1. Karoline Stock

    Thanks, Kristi, for all you’ve done and continue to do. I know how proud your family is.

  2. Beautiful! Thank you Karen and Kristi!

  3. karenselliott

    Thank you Karoline and Juliette, for visiting during God Bless Our Troops week.

  4. Kristi

    Thank you so much Karen…it means so much!!!

    • karenselliott

      You bet, Kristi! This poem will be in my poetry collection (book) whenever I get all the poems just right. 🙂 You are one of my heroes!

  5. Joseph Long

    As the father of Kisti I would like to say thank you for someone noticing that our children are leaving their families behind to protect these United States.God Bless Everyone who servied their county and God Bless You KRISTI. We love you.

  6. Kristi has always been one of the strongest people that I have ever known. It’s nice to see her get some of the recognition that she deservers!

    • karenselliott

      Thank you for visiting, Melody. I often think of Kristi, and the time she lost with her little boy while in Iraq. I’m so grateful she is “home.”

  7. Huey Long

    Thank you for those very moving words about Kristi, I know what you’ve said means a great deal to her. She has been a joy all of her life to our family, and we are proud of her. Most of all, we are very glad to still have her. My wish would be a happy homecoming for all of our young people serving so bravely.

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