Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just a Shell - A Hero's Poem

This poem was recently submitted to Family Of a Vet by an OIF Veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge (CAB). This Veteran, Joe McGovern, struggles with PTSD and wrote the poem below.

Just a Shell

Look at me I'm just a shell
A man who left and meant well
War was the task,no surprise
Harden your core,steel your eyes.

Trained to kill,fear unallowed,
I left hardened,returned bowed.
Never a moment of feeling safe,
Outside the wire or on the base.

Roadside bombs,RPG's, ambush,
Down the road the convoy would push.
On the FOB could be hell too,
Rockets and mortars aimed for you.

Look at me I'm just a shell,
I lived a year in that unholy hell.
Innocent death so grisly and real,
Even if starving you'd skip a meal.

My body made it home 38 years old,
My soul however sleeps somewhere cold.
Same blue eyes but now mirrors,
For inside a void that tremors.

Look at me I'm just a shell,
My soul's in Iraq,there it fell.

(Please note that this poem was posted with Joe's permission. It is his work and all rights belong to him. If you wish to publish or use it elsewhere, please contact us at Info -at- so that we may pass your request along to him. Thanks!)


  1. poignant poem... speaks volumes about the experience in IRAQ.

    Thanks for your service and welcome home.

  2. Joe, Great poem. You are a man of few words, but very powerful words. Your success in overcoming the hardships you have faces speaks to many! Thank you. Keep the writing coming! Sean Antoniello

  3. Just read your poem. As an OIF Vet with a CIB & PTSD, I understand fully. Thanks for putting it into words, because the majority of the time that's how I feel.