Derrick Graham

Derrick Graham

by Derrick Graham
Stripes Guam

Editor’s note: Derrick Graham is a veteran you cares deeply about service members. He’s also a poet. Derrick reach out to us to share his poems with the military community. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.


Derrick Graham: I served in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman for 20 years. I retired in 2012 and I reside in Huntsville, Alabama with my wife, Felesha. Throughout my tenure in the Navy, I had the pleasure of being stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  I began writing when I was 12 years old due to my father’s untimely passing.  That was the most difficult thing that I had endured. 

Being the youngest of 10 children, I felt it would be better for me to write because it would allow me to illustrate my emotions without being judged.  The more I would write, the more I enjoyed it. 

I wrote these first two poems because I do understand the arduous duties that come along with being on active duty. This is my way of telling the military servicemen and women that I do appreciate what they all do for our country. 

For over 30 years I have written many poems, but when I look back, I realized I have evolved.  My writings have matured through three decades and I just want to be able to share them with the world.  My main purpose is to be able to touch others hearts and provoke a deep thinking process.  And if I can do that, mission accomplished.




For all the sacrifices you have made

It was a difficult thing to do

For all the long deployments

It was something you had to do

For all of the letters

I received along the way

The words meant so much

I thought of you each day


For all the times you spent

For making our world so safe

For all the precautions you took

To make this a better place

For all the restless nights

You all stayed on alert

For all the relentless bombs

That landed in the dirt

For all the scary moments

For placing yourself in harm’s way

For you loyalty and dedication

And all the nights you prayed

For all the holidays that came by

And for those you didn’t see

Because you were on the battlefield

Protecting the world for me

You all will never be forgotten

I wish I could give you more

But all I have is these words

And this is what I thank you for




Through all their preparation

Through all their sweat and tears

Through their final hours

Through their greatest fears

They have faced many enemies

In which they’ve paid the price

To fight for our freedom

An unselfish sacrifice

As we reflect on those times

On what they did that day

There’s not enough words

That can express what I must say

This is the greatest country

That will ever be

Because of what those fallen soldiers

Did for you and me

So as we give thanks

Let’s hold our heads up high

And place your hand over your heart

As Old Glory continues to fly

We commemorate you all

 By thanking you today

 For our independence

On this special day


“Crisis of the World”

Why must this continue?

Hasn’t everyone seen enough?

These trials of injustice

Disdainfully against us

Are there any sadden hearts

Are there any tears of pain?

Why can’t we make peace?

Or better yet just abstain

What motivates this attitude?

Is it right what we see?

Do you not understand the basis?

Of Dr. King’s famous dream

Someone’s family is in mourning

And no one can answer why

There is no justification

Why someone had to die

We have to understand

We must correct what’s wrong

If we continue to ignore it

Our generation will soon be gone

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