“Thirteen Tomorrows”

By Merissa Lee Kelley

*This is an article from the Fall 2021 issue of Combat Stress


Merissa Kelley was born in Omaha, Nebraska, where her dad was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Being raised in a military family as an “Air Force Brat,” she was fortunate to be able to travel to many countries and to experience their cultures. She made wonderful friends and created many treasured memories over the years. She is still in touch with several families that they were stationed with over the course of her father’s USAF career. Her dad retired from the Air Force in 1974 at Langley AFB. Her family still resides in Virginia, where she has worked for Ferguson Enterprises for the last 10 years. She has two grown children and four grandchildren.

“There is a bond like no other growing up military. It still stands strong and is the most important reason for the deep respect and love I have for Veterans and their welfare. I write poetry to express my thoughts and this poem is my way of honoring them. Poetry is like painting pictures with words… and I wanted my words to resonate how awesome our military and Veterans are across the board.”


Combat Stress Magazine

Combat Stress magazine is written with our military Service Members, Veterans, first responders, and their families in mind. We want all of our members and guests to find contentment in their lives by learning about stress management and finding what works best for each of them. Stress is unavoidable and comes in many shapes and sizes. It can even be considered a part of who we are. Being in a state of peaceful happiness may seem like a lofty goal but harnessing your stress in a positive way makes it obtainable. Serving in the military or being a police officer, firefighter or paramedic brings unique challenges and some extraordinarily bad days. The American Institute of Stress is dedicated to helping you, our Heroes and their families, cope with and heal your mind and body from the stress associated with your careers and sacrifices.

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