Gerardo "Tony" Mena is a decorated Iraqi Freedom Veteran who spent six years in the Special Operations community with the Reconnaissance Marines as a Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC). During his tour in Iraq he was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with a V for Valor for multiple acts of bravery.
After the completion of his military service he attended the University of Missouri and surrounded himself with music and poetry as a means of dealing with the events he experienced in the war.
He graduated from Mizzou with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-Language Arts, where he was also awarded the 2011 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Leadership, as well as the 2011 U.S. Bank/Mizzou Student Veterans Association Scholarship.
His poems have won or placed in several national contests, he's twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he has pieces published or forthcoming from The New York Times, Ploughshares, Cream City Review, Ninth Letter, Diagram, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Best New Poets 2011, among others (check the publication page for more details).
He has read his work and shared the stage with Jake Gyllenhaal, Lili Taylor, Anthony Edwards, William Trowbridge, and David Strathairn.
His first full-length manuscript of war poetry is published by Southeast Missouri State University Press and can be purchased here:
or on Amazon: The Shape of Our Faces No Longer Matters
If you would like to help Gerardo on his journey to bring to light poems and stories about the Iraq war, please share his work with as many friends and family as possible.
Remember these men:
Kevin Dempsey, Killed In Action, November 13th, 2004.
Jonathan Simpson, Killed In Action, October 14th, 2006.
Kyle Powell, Killed In Action, November 4th, 2006.
Jose Galvan, Killed In Action, November 4th, 2006.
Nathan Krisoff, Killed In Action, December 9th, 2006.
Gary Johnston, Killed In Action, January 23rd, 2007.
Dustin Lee, Killed In Action, March 21st, 2007.
Luke Milam, Killed In Action, September 25th, 2007.
Michael Ferschke, Killed In Action, August 10, 2008.
The burden is heavy.
A multi-media version of his award-winning poem:
So I Was a Coffin (Iraq poem)
All music written and recorded by Gerardo "Tony" Mena.