Select Poems by Veteran Mark Seery

Army, Battle of Mogadishu. Photo by Katie Lange

Isolated

by Mark Seery, 1998

the silent screams
of my sleep
surpassed only by
the stifled screams
of my wake
fear, rage and mistrust
i don’t bend
break like i used to
don’t push me
kick a dog
get bit

The Change

by Mark Seery, 2003

In my mind
I could clearly see
Back in my old world
How good it would be

Back in my world
Back from over the sea
Everything had changed
They said I wasn’t me

I didn’t understand
And how strange it felt
Looking into the mirror
Not recognizing myself

Family and friends
Tried to comprehend
I was numb to the emotion
And I could not defend

They, like me
Thought I would be the same
I search for answers
For someone to blame

Watching them watch me
I can sense the sorrow
That I know they’re feeling
As they hope for tomorrow

The Medic

by Mark Seery

Wounded and dying
I was there – for them
The medic call
Pierced the day
Drowned out by screams of pain
Blood and dismemberment
Entrails in my hands
Screams for his mother
False assurances
We’re gonna be OK
Cutting off the clothing
Exit wounds are large
Hemorrhage streams
Cut the air
Gurgling sounds
Of death
Blood coagulates
In my hands
Wounded speaking quickly
To say
All that they may ever say
Voices of desperation
I love them
I cry with them
Then and now

Wide Awake

by Mark Seery, 2002

They ask me what it was like
As I get into REM sleep
Just past the perimeter of consciousness
The enemy does creep

Have you ever been afraid?
Of being blasted to your wake
By a mortar that was fired
To seal your fate

Have you ever been so scared?
Of the nightmares you will have
Or the visions of the war
You wish they never had

Have you ever been so tired?
From sleep deprivation
Terrified to close your eyes
Its akin to starvation

People often wonder why
With the war so long ago
In the forefront of my mind
Its tracers still glow

Three homeward bound U.S. Army Rangers carry their bags and M-16 rifles toward a military transport plane at Mogadishu International airport Oct. 21, 1993, for the withdrawal from Somalia. (Hocine Zaourar/AFP via Getty Images)

Numb

by Mark Seery, 1997

This wall surrounds me
Pushes in, pushes out
Creates a void
Emptiness
It suffocates my feelings
Silent tears
I want to go back
To find myself before the wall

The wall is not fair
The wall cheats
Silent tears of sorrow
Silent tear of loneliness
Alone in a crowded classroom
Alone in my car
Silent tears
Desolation they cannot
understand

The wall was built to protect
The wall causes pain
Everyone is in the shadow of the
wall

Silent tears
Hidden by the wall
Silent tears spill over
To move beyond the wall

Mark Seery is a US Army veteran who served as a combat medic during Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. Mark currently lives in Hawaii with his wife where he is training for his first Huts For Vets trip this summer. This is the first time he has shared his poetry with the world, most of which has been written by hand over the years. We hope you enjoy the read.

The Science Behind Huts For Vets

The Science Behind Huts For Vets

By Stephen Otero

As a human who is consistently humbled by the power of our environment, I believe in the healing properties of life which exist all around us. Sometimes all we must do is stop, look, be present, and we can experience the education our planet has to offer us.

Meet our New Program Director

My name is Erik Villaseñor. I served in the US Army as an infantryman from 2006 to 2012, with two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m 33 years old. I’m a husband, a father of two amazing children, a reader and writer, hiker and mountain biker. I’m also thrilled to announce that I am the new program director of Huts For Vets.

A Veteran Discovers the Soul of Wilderness

Huts For Vets helped change a man’s life

By Erik Schlimmer

During the spring of 2019, when I finished my master’s degree in clinical social work and gained my license to practice, I was anxious to get to work.  Since therapists had helped me process my own post-military mental health challenges, I returned to school as a nontraditional student to get my degree and license to return the favor.  After all, it is always better to give than to receive.  Though I was a New Yorker, I sought an employer that was based in the Rocky Mountains, worked with veterans, and embraced wilderness therapy.  Huts For Vets checked these three boxes.

Why the Huts For Vets Method Works

Words by HFV alumnus Adam Stump

After attending a Huts For Vets trip in late June and early July, I left coming away wondering why years of therapy failed time and time again.

When I returned from deployment in 2011, I went to therapy after having a breakdown. In 2013, it was the same. Both times, I came back from deployment with a heavy heart and mind.

Revisiting the Past

By Mike Greenwood, HFV alumnus, trip leader and co-moderator 

Revisiting a painful past is never easy, and often not a good thing. I am a firm believer that we should live our lives focused on the future with the lessons from our past being just that, lessons. Over the past few years, I’ve allowed myself to move further and further into the future and towards the person I want to be when I am eighty-five years old. On September 21st, I was given an opportunity to see the person I am becoming through my own eyes. 

Brothers

by Meghan Counihan

I wished to fight with you “my brothers”,
I served my country but my sacrifice was somehow never your equal.
I weaned my infant from my breast,
a month later I covered them with the same uniform, and my shoulders with the same patches as you and I boarded that white bus.
Before dawn broke, my baby slept, as I slung that M-16 over my shoulder.
She awoke that morning; and her mother was gone.

A Leap of Faith

By Air Force Vet Dannelle Coatney-Reichert – 5th Grade Math teacher, Pasadena, TX

A leap of faith, nervous and anxious I stepped on the plane headed to Colorado. I thought to myself, can I do this, will it hurt? When I arrived I was met with open arms and encouraging words from strangers I had just met. I couldn’t help to wonder what was next.

I sat around the table with warriors from all over the United States. The look of nervousness and insecurity was present and precise. The next morning we packed our gear and loaded up to the trailhead. Why was I going to hike this mountain? Four days without technology or hearing from my family would be torture enough, or so I thought.

A Comeback Story

Published on July 23, 2019  |  By: Shawn Banzhaf

A year ago I wrote an article for my LinkedIn friends about my “near death” experience in Aspen Colorado. Read it here before you go on so you get the perspective of my journey.

Thanks for taking the time to read that and coming back here to hear the rest of the story if you will.

The trip in its essence was exactly like before. This time however I was asked back to be a discussion facilitator on some of the readings along the hike. It was a great honor to be asked back for this and a bit surprising based on my previous excursion up to Margy’s Hut. But founder and executive director of Hut’s for Vets Paul Anderson asked for my help and I wanted to be there for him and his team because they had such a profound impact in my life.