Borne the Battle

The first poem Army Veteran Erika Land composed was meant to be her farewell gift to the world before she committed suicide. Now she travels around the country to share the art which motivated her to keep on living.

Show Notes

This week's Borne the Battle features Army Veteran Erika Land, who shares the story of how she changed her suicide letter into “War Song.”

Before 9/11, Erika joined the Army as a pharmacy technician. Her job was to dispense medications in the emergency department. At work, she experienced pain, sorrow, anger, anxiety, depression and helplessness. After leaving service, she believed the only way out from feeling those emotions was to take her life – until she found poetry.

VA’s Art Therapy Program allowed Land to express herself. She wrote about the trials and tribulations she experienced while being deployed to Iraq. But in Poetry, Land felt she could speak from the soul, to express to others on the same path that they, too, could find healing. "Poetry is the window into the soul and a reflection of life," she says, in the podcast.

After service is when Land realized she wasn't alone. As she found poetry, she found passion for life and began touring and making arrangements for theaters and venues to market her shows. On Borne the Battle, she talks about how her performances not only allowed her to heal, but how it enabled her to connect with others to answer the deep questions she never asked herself.

PTSD Hotline Phone Number

National Suicide Prevention Hotline Phone Number

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What is Borne the Battle?

Hosted by Marine Corps Veteran Tanner Iskra, Borne the Battle recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits VA offers our Veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse or officially sanction any entities that may be discussed in this podcast, nor any media, products or services they may provide.