Poems in the Keys of Life: Reflections of a Combat Medic
Author: Kerry "Doc" Pardue
Publisher: PublishAmerica (2005)
Binding: Paperback, 100 pages
I have been many things over the past 57 years of my life. I have been a brother, son, friend, husband, father, soldier, medic, police officer, detective, letter carrier, college recruiter, grandfather, and now, poet. These poems are a reflective journey to find healing after the war in Vietnam. Thirty-five years ago I was a combat medic. When I came home, I was determined to put Vietnam behind me. Somehow, deep within my heart, soul, and spirit, Vietnam was a part of who and what I became. Finally, my journey to healing began, and these poems are the result of that journey, 35 years later. They will make you cry, laugh, and appreciate friendships. They are my road map to a place I call home. I only hope that other soldiers, medics, nurses, and doctors will be able to find a way to their home. So grab a beverage and curl up and join with me on the journey together as we find peace, hope, friendships, love and yes, even healing.
2005 Gold Medal Award for Poetry!
Poet-Warriors have always gone off to fight the wars since the beginning of time. The old tradition of taking emotional and spiritual inner photos of what they experienced and felt so they could record them in poetry latter on, is still carried on by one of the most prolific of Vietnam poets. Kerry “Doc” Pardue in his first book of collective poems, published through PublishAmeica, really captures those inner snap shot memories of what it was like then and now for those who were there.
Doc, as his friends and fellow vets call him, takes the reader on an emotional tour of his heart and soul. The poems are not just focused on war but speak out about the life journey that the poet has taken. In the poets own words these poems show “the struggle of a just war, comradeship and loss… a reflective journey to find healing after the War in Vietnam.”
The poet was a combat medic and not some behind the frontlines desk jockey and when you read his poetry you make this journey with him emotionally. Some of his writings deal with his search for himself and for healing from the war. They are about recovery and hope and some will make you cry but some will bring a smile – it is all about the journey.
This is one of the best collections of Vietnam era poetry in one volume by one poet!
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2005)