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Face of Defense: Marine Publishes Book of Poetry

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C., May 12, 2010 – Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Laura Stanislaw looked down at her desert camouflage uniform through big, piercing blue eyes. Her slender fingers and well-manicured fingernails played with the pen on her desk as she considered a question from a visitor who wanted to know what motivates her to get out of bed every morning.

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Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Laura Stanislaw has been writing poetry for five years. Her first book of poetry, titled “One Heart, True Words” will be published by the end of May 2010. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

“I’m just happy,” Stanislaw finally said with a shrug and a smile. The family readiness officer for Marine Aircraft Group 40 described her job as the most rewarding work she has done in the Marine Corps.

Stanislaw’s work, and every other piece of her day-to-day life, has inspired her to publish a book of poetry. “One Heart, True Words” is slated to be published by the end of May and will feature 18 poems she has written since 2005.

It all started with the poem “Passion,” Stanislaw said. She was dating a man and spontaneously decided to write a poem about the relationship. She then easily transitioned into writing about everything in her life, she explained, good or bad.

“I’ve been through a lot in my life,” she said. “Over the years, I’ve learned to turn every negative into a positive. I’ve been sad and unhappy before. That’s no place to be. It’s unhealthy.”

Stanislaw’s poetry probes every aspect of her life without preference or prejudice, a feature she described as being important to the therapy the poems provide.

“She is an ambitious and energetic person,” said Dawn Rae, the family readiness officer for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “She seems to get great satisfaction from helping people.”

Stanislaw said when she was participating in an advanced course in Quantico, Va., a gunnery sergeant stood up and told a story about a friend of his who was killed by a roadside bomb. As he told his story, Stanislaw said, she could see the shrapnel wounds from the event on the Marine’s face. That event was the driving inspiration behind the poem “Sacrifice,” one of her favorite poems from her book.

“Life is not as perfect as a bed of roses,” Stanislaw said. “There are ups and downs, positives and negatives. In the end, stick it out and turn into the person you want to be.”

Rae said she is a big fan of Stanislaw’s poetry and finds it absolutely inspiring. “Through her words, feelings and emotions come alive,” Rae said.


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