Joy Damiani

Yellow Ribbon

Originally written as a song

Take that yellow ribbon off your car
Take that waving flag off of your door
Don’t act like you understand what we’ve been
fighting for
Take that fake concern off of your face.
Take that handshake and just move along.
Stop appreciating me for all that I’ve done wrong!
And take that yellow ribbon off your car.
You tell me I went to liberate.
So when I come home you celebrate
But you can’t bring back the dead by throwing a
You tell me I made my nation proud
I wish you wouldn’t say it so damn loud
My boots were on the ground while your head was in
the clouds
So take that yellow ribbon off your car.
When you tuck your children in at night
Don’t tell ‘em it’s for freedom that we fight
Let them know that there’s a war on but don’t tell ‘em
their side’s right And take that yellow ribbon off your car.
Don’t pay for my meals, don’t give me special deals
Unless you want to hear all about the way I feel
Don’t make me your hero, just lend me your ear
Oh, and wipe the tears I cry
While I apologize for that goddamn yellow ribbon on
your car.

I Am The Savage

rubble beside the Tigris river
piled high above our waists
teeming with flies and also
the crumbling history of the world
tells me that this place is full of savages
but I am the savage

my eyes are dry until salty sweat
drips down the bridge of my nose
puddles in the corner of my lid
slides down my cheek
in place of tears
that don’t well up in my eyes

we walk into proud homes
searching for those who would kill us
overturning bookshelves
as the wives and children of the accused
stand in the doorway with fearful faces
but I am not afraid

I wield the weapon of ignorance
I hide behind the shield of arrogance
I speak with the voice of entitlement

My job is to tell the story of victory–
But I am defeated

My Money & Your War

Try Not To Be A Dick

Emily Yates

I am an artist in many media, using writing, music and visual art to help my process my experiences in life, the military and everything. Through my art, I express my many opinions and observations, casually brushing aside social stigma in the interest of breaking down communication barriers and shining light on the many ties that bind humans together.

After finishing six years in the U.S. Army, I moved to Oakland, California, where I learned to play the ukulele and decided to use my training as a military journalist for a greater purpose – turning my many opinions into songs and playing them for unsuspecting strangers. By 2012 I'd recorded my first album, I’ve Got Your Folk Songs Right Here, a fun romp through ideas ranging from human decency to sexual adventures and foreign policy. My second album, Folk In Your Face, was released in May 2014, and I released an album of original songs for kids under a pseudonym in December 2014. You can find me regularly traveling all over the country with my songs and stories on Perpetual Eventual World Domination Tour.

As an Army "journalist" – notated as such because military journalism is also called "public affairs" – I wrote lots of articles and editorials on varying topics having to do with the Army. Now I write songs, essays, a sporadic advice column and whatever else makes sense at the time. My poems "I Am The Savage" and "Yellow Ribbon" (which became a song) have been published in two Warrior Writers anthologies.

Ever since learning to use a camera as an Army journalist, I've been addicted to semi-obsessively documenting all the interesting-looking people, places, things and events in my life. I've shot a bunch of famous people and myriad events (including this thing called the Iraq War, which many people have forgotten is still happening), but lately my favorite subjects are musicians, babies and nature. Once upon a time my instrument of choice was a Nikon D90, but now that my primary instrument is an ukulele and we live in the Future, I mainly shoot with my phone.