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Monday, September 10, 2007

"YOU BASTARDS BETTER NOT CUT MY ARM OFF"

1st Lt. Dawn Halfaker, June 19, 2004 Baquba, Iraq


by Terry M. Dugan


Dawn Halfaker is interviewed by James Gandolfini in the documentary Alive Day Memories broadcast on television on September 9, 2007. Her quoted words appeared in a news article in the Washington Post by Donna St. George on April 18, 2006, “Limbs Lost to Enemy Fire, Women Forge a New Identity.


Maimed by war,
unconscious at Walter Reed Hospital
No other way to save her life, they said.
She lost pieces of herself in war.

“Get us out of the kill zone”
The female platoon leader yelled
When the rocket-propelled grenade
Exploded behind her.

“I didn’t want to know
What I looked like.”
Burns on her face, her arm missing,
Towel covered the mirror in her hospital room.

A basketball standout at West Point,
A commissioned army officer,
Wondering now how she could hold
A child close to her.


Terry M. Dugan's anti-war poetry has appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly, Poetry Ink, and New Verse News, and the Anthology of New England Writers 2008. She is currently finishing a graduate writing degree at Manhattanville College.