Between Stops

a poem by Hudson Phillips about growing up in the Military.

I lurch from side to side carried forward

by the force that I have grasped,

Does it have a face?

I am bonded to the flow of strangers,

circuited to an energy

of destinations,

all drawn


hands placed

close enough to show the differences,

some tired and turgid, telling of their toil,

and others marked by manicured and selfish haste Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving Panama (1941)

by Hudson PhillipsChristmas 1941_Ft Davis Panama Canal_Ann_Bill_HudsonOur evacuation from the Panama Canal was a terribly sad and sudden thing.  As we approached the time that we were to leave, my father’s demeanor changed to a terse and commanding presence. It was time to be soldiers.  When I think back now, it explains why he acted this way. A barrage balloon hovered over the house, tethered not far away.  Piles of sand were placed near our back door to help extinguish fire from incendiary bombs. The entire family was issued gas masks. I was informed of a stash of emergency items in a compartment in the kitchen (in case my parents were out of the house during an attack.) Read the rest of this entry »

Night Watch

Bellied down


Head cocked

On crossed arms

I struggle to stay


Count your breaths

Your clenching fists

The miles your feet run

Towards that bunker


our sheets

Jacqueline Murray Loring


A Year

This poem is from a 1976-1977 DODDS Anthology, Bud. 

Scan 3

Celebrating Asian American-Pacific Islander Heritage month

Courtesy VA Historian

In 1932, Hazel Ying Lee was the first American woman of Chinese heritage to obtain a pilot’s license in the U.S. She later became the first woman pilot of Asian descent to serve in the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) and made the ultimate sacrifice for her country during World War II.

Hazel Lee was born in Portland, Oregon on August 24, 1912 to Chinese parents. She took her first plane ride at an air show in 1932 and got the “bug” to fly. Despite her mother’s objections, she joined the Portland Flying Club and learned to fly under famed aviator Al Greenwood. In October 1932, at the age of 19, she obtained her pilots license, making her the first known woman of Chinese heritage to do so.

In 1943 she signed up for the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) and received her training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. The WASPs were civilians who aided the U.S. Army from 1942-1944 by ferrying planes between manufacturers and military air bases, testing planes for mechanical problems, and towing practice targets for aerial gunnery students. Roughly 1,000 women served as WASPs and 38 of them, including Hazel Ying Lee, died while in service to their country. Hazel Ying Lee died when her plane crashed near Great Falls, Montana, in November 1944.

Public Law 95-202, signed by President Jimmy Carter on November 23, 1977 and known as the G.I. Bill Improvement Act of 1977 (Title IV, Section 401), provided WASPs with official military status for their service during World War II, making them eligible for federal veterans benefits.

Photos (top): Hazel Ying Lee in flight simulator; (bottom) with fellow WASPs in uniform Read the rest of this entry »

Suicide on the homefront in military families

25Code of Support Executive Director, Kristy Kaufmann, has been a leading voice in the fight not only to track suicides among military family members, but to increase the mental health support they so desperately need.

 While many military families are thriving, there are far too many others who are struggling in silence – who feel like they don’t matter. We must have the strength to have this conversation out loud. Only then can we find solutions.

 We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read Kristy’s op-ed, and reach out to us at to learn how you can help.

 Suicide on the homefront in military families

By Kristina Kaufmann
 updated 5:55 PM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014

Editor’s note: Kristina Kaufmann is executive director of the Code of Support Foundation, which tries to bridge the gap between military and civilian communities.

(CNN) — When I married a soldier in June 2001, I knew my life was going to change. I moved from Berkeley, California, to Fort Sill, Oklahoma — talk about a culture shock. But I was in love, and enthusiastically dove head first into a military life I knew nothing about.

And then 9/11 happened, and my husband went to war. And then he went again, and again … and again.

After more than 12 years of sustained war and multiple deployments borne by less than 1% of the population, we now have an entire generation of military families that know nothing but war. And war comes home. I’ve known three Army wives who’ve taken their own lives.

Although we’re certainly not the first generation of military families to deal with the aftermath of war — there’s simply no precedent for how repeated deployments have affected the mental health of military spouses, children, parents and siblings. It’s like living in a continuous state of emergency for more than a decade and never being able to fully exhale in relief. As soon as your soldier comes home, you’re just counting down the days until he or she leaves and returns to the battlefield.

What is wars’ true toll on the spouses and children? Read the rest of this entry »

First Press Release About our Upcoming Exhibit in May 2014

Sacrifice & Service