Brooks Poem on Louisville Veteran’s Hospital Wall of Heroes
Jerry D. Brooks from Rineyville, KY recently donated a poem and piece of art to the Robley Rex Veterans Administration Medical Center in Louisville, which has been displayed in the hospital’s “Wall of Heroes” for public viewing.
The original poem by Brooks, “The Soldier Pays” was inspired by his own service during the Vietnam War. With the help and encouragement of fellow veterans, Brooks was encouraged to share the poem with others, so he set out to find an appropriate, respectful way to do just that.
Over the summer 2012, Brooks finalized his thoughts and edits to the poem while visualizing a setting for its text. A collaboration with fellow veterans led to a collage art piece embodying aspects central to a veterans core with an eagle, flag, and military dog tags to serve as a backdrop to the powerful sentiment of Brooks’ poem:
What do they mean it’s the results that could not be foreseen? It’s about the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives that laid their lives on the line for the peace we enjoy at this time Liberty is not free and for it the soldier must pay.
There were those who came home and those who did not and on this day we will let them know they will never be forgot. Even this day around the world, we are here and there but that is our way of life, to help everywhere.
Remember each morning when the sun comes up, it was made possible by what each gave up. Let us not take for granted what we have today, it was given to us by those they took away.
Let us put into perspective the meaning of Memorial and Veterans Days and thank from the bottom of our hearts all those who showed the way. This thank you is from me and those who cannot, and let them know, they will never be forgot!
Once Brooks found and finalized the perfect background for his poem, it was put to canvas and donated to the Louisville VA in time to be hung for Veterans Day 2012.
Brooks was born in Lafayette IN in 1941 and was drafted into Vietnam in 1966 and served as a Radio Carrier Repairman, with the 52nd Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, 5th Signal Command. Though honorably discharged after completing his tours in Vietnam, Brooks later re-entered the Army, Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, and made it a career, retiring after 27 years as a Sergeant First Class.
He retired to Rineyville, KY with his wife Maggie where they enjoy country life and time with family, friends and Jerry’s fellow veterans; he can be located on the links in decent weather too.
Copies of “The Soldier Pays” are available for purchase, upon request; costs vary based on size and matte (cord stock, vinyl, etc.).