BAYJI, Iraq - There are several ways for Soldiers deployed overseas to pass the time, such as playing cards, reading, watching movies or playing sports. How about writing poetry?
Staff Sgt. Roderick Boykin has been writing poetry in his spare time for nearly 20 years. He says that it's more than a just a way a to pass the time.
"It started as a way to cope with growing up in the ghetto. I just wrote about places that I wanted to be."
A high school teacher recognized his writing talent and encouraged him to continue. When other young men Boykin's age were playing sports, he preferred to sit under a tree and write about the world around him. "Miss Peacock was my eleventh grade English teacher and she really made an impression on me."
Boykin's ability to put thought to paper comes naturally. His mother and sister also enjoy "picking up a pen and writing with rhyming sounds." He says he will stop and write whenever he has an inspiration. Several of his poems have been published and he has many more that could be, but he says he has been procrastinating.
This is his second deployment to Iraq, but his calendar will be clearing up soon. After twenty years on active duty, he's looking toward the future.
"I would like to teach after retirement. Something involving the military studies, perhaps ROTC."
Boykin is from Goldsboro, N.C. and enlisted in the Army in 1985. He originally was in the Signal Corps, but transferred to Military Intelligence in 1993. He is currently serving at Forward Operating Base Summerall assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 1/33 Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, where he works in the unit's tactical operations center.