Jacqueline Murray Loring has five poems in this collection. Holes in Our Hearts is more than a collection of works written by individuals with some connection to the United States military services. Whether active duty, veterans, or relatives of those who served, these short stories, memoirs, poems, essays, etc., are the expressions of deeply ingrained memories and experiences.
It is often difficult for those who have served and their family members to verbally relate memories and experiences to others. Whether too personal, too poignant, or traumatic, these memories and experiences, more often than not, rest in the back rooms of their minds, never to be shared. This lack of sharing is tragic on two levels. First, those who never had the privilege of hearing these stories will never fully understand what it means to serve their country through the military. And the people who had the privilege of serving never have the opportunity to realize the catharsis of sharing their experiences.

This anthology includes offerings from members of all the armed services, as well as family members of men and women who served. It is a beautiful collection of works that are, at times emotional, humorous, frightening, enlightening, or thought-provoking. The reader should be aware that the recollections in Holes in Our Hearts are, in many instances, the only way that the authors could share with you their memories and experiences.
And I hope that the contributors to this collection have realized some psychic and cathartic relief through the relating of their memories and experiences.

Joseph Badal

Holes in Our Hearts provides snapshots of military life and how the military has affected lives. It is written from the perspective of New Mexico active-duty military members, veterans of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as their family members and caregivers. Some of the writing represents the first time many authors have revealed their innermost thoughts to anyone. Some of the stories are written by established authors with numerous publishing credentials. All are worth your time to learn why we continue to honor the military on behalf of a grateful nation.

The contributions are organized alphabetically with memoirs, poetry, essays, humor, fiction, etc. mixed. A total of ninety-five written contributions were accepted from fifty-four New Mexicans. Each represents a tale worth reading, internalizing, and contemplating the experiences we as a nation expect our young men and women, their families, and their caregivers to deal with — sometimes long after their military service has ended and nothing is left but holes in our hearts.

—Jim Tritten, Editor

This collection of prose and poetry was gathered and created by SouthWest Writers and funded through a grant from the State of New Mexico Arts Agency. These stories were written and contributed by New Mexican Veterans, their family members and caregivers including:

Rosa Armijo-Pemble, Joseph Badal, Rebecca Black, Steve Borbas, E. Joe Brown, Laurel Burnett, Sherri Burr, Ivan Calhoun, John J. Candelaria, Judy Castleberry, Brenda Cole, Brinn Colenda, Joshua Colenda, Mark Fleisher, Paul David Gonzales, Linda G. Harris, M. Elder Hays, A. Michael Hibner, Carl Hitchens, KE Hopkins, James Houston and Molly Houston, Carol Kreis, Caroline A. LeBlanc, Jacqueline Murray Loring, Butch Maki, Elaine Carson Montague, Sam Moorman, Evelyn Neil, Thomas Neiman, C.L. Nemeth, Paula Nixon, Harper O’Connor, Jeffrey Otis, Donna Pedace, W. Howard Plunkett, Léonie Rosenstiel, Earl W. Rugen, Lynne Sebastian, Barb Simmons, Ted Spitzmiller, Dale Swetnam, Jasmine Tritten, Jim Tritten, Lawrence Trujillo, Vicki Turpen, KL Wagoner, Regina Washington, Dan Wetmore, Ben White, Josephine White, J. Allen Whitt, Circe Olson Woessner, Norbert Wood, Kay Yoest.