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A poem by Robinson in tribute to Veterans Day

Posted: November 10, 2011 9:59 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Dear Readers: Today is Veterans Day. In honor of our veterans, here is a piece written by John Alton Robinson of West Monroe, La.


From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

To the silver-haired crowns of our fathers

From the shores of Tripoli

To the Pacific’s pearl-green waters

I wish to give a tribute

A four-starred salute today

For those who fought so bravely

For our freedom and American way.

We take our rights for granted

But they were earned in blue-red blood

And courage beyond the call of duty

In France’s cold wet mud.

Beginning with the Revolution

Through the Saudi Arabian sands

Men have fought and suffered

And died on foreign lands.

So salute this Veterans Day

And many more to come.

Through blood and guts and glory

Our freedom has been won.

Dear Annie: About 12 years ago, my husband started to have all the signs of irritable bowel syndrome. He refused to see a doctor and ended up in the hospital with extreme bleeding. He was discharged after two weeks, and the doctors told him to rest and watch his diet. He didn’t.

Three weeks later, he was back in the hospital and diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Again, he was told to rest, watch his diet and take his medication. Again, he wouldn’t listen. Four weeks later, he woke up in the middle of the night with a temperature of 107. At the hospital, they said his system has been extremely compromised, and he was diagnosed with active tuberculosis. I am now at risk.

He is 67 years old and retired. He refuses to give up a lucrative hobby that keeps him outdoors, even though we don’t need the extra money. My health is failing, but it doesn’t seem to matter to him. I’m ready to leave. -- About To Give Up in Oklahoma

Dear Oklahoma: Your husband sounds stubborn and difficult and possibly depressed enough not to care about his health or yours. Try to get him to see a therapist, but if he refuses, understand that you are not responsible for his careless approach to health. Talk to your doctor about how best to protect yourself.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from Greg Montgomery Jr., the former NFL player who is bipolar. I am also bipolar. I almost died because I feared the stigma of being mentally ill.

When I got home from the hospital, my boyfriend showed me an essay written by a woman who was a successful doctor and bipolar. She said mental illness is a disease with physical symptoms that cause mental and emotional problems. With the right medication, counseling and support group, you can live normally again, or close to it.

Those words -- “it’s a disease with physical symptoms,” just like heart disease, diabetes or Parkinson’s -- made me realize I was going to be OK. Please print this. It could save a life. -- Recovering Nicely

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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