Fighting PTSD One Poem at a Time by James H. Rose

VVA member Jim Rose’s Fighting PTSD One Poem at a Time (Xlibris, 152 pp., $29.99, hardcover; $10.66 ,paper), is a heartfelt collection of short poems, many of which address matters close to the hearts of many Vietnam veterans: daily life in the war zone, post-traumatic stress disorder, Agent Orange, homelessness, and Gold Star families. Each has a short introduction by the poet.

Some veterans who suffer from PTSD and the “effects of Agent Orange, have hobbies to help them deal with them in their daily lives…. I write poetry,” Rose writes. “It allows me to purge whatever is bothering me from my mind for a while by transferring it to paper or computer.” If the poems “help just one veteran to understand the situation that he or she is in, then they will have served their purpose for more than just one. ”

This excerpt is from “Colors,” which deals with Agent Orange:

Agent orange, purple, and pink

Agent white, green, and blue

it would have been so appropriate

if they would have added some red too

He could have taken the bullets and bombs

but what was so hard for him to know

was that what he was dying from

sounded like a rainbow

—Marc Leepson