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The Mask She Wears

Catherine Ulrich, United States Marine Corps

They see her smile and hear her laugh

But they don’t see what’s behind her mask

“You don’t look sick,” she frequently hears

If they only knew, if they saw her tears


The burning throbbing pain is everywhere

It is constant and some days is too much to bear

She hides her pain, and tries to stay strong

To make it appear that nothing is wrong


Inside she is screaming, so no one can hear

Steady and strong is how she wants to appear

They will always see her smile and hear her laugh

She will not show what’s behind her mask

Catherine UlrichCatherine Ulrich is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps where she served for just under six years before getting medically retired. She is married and has two children. She is currently taking classes at Cape Fear Community College in hopes of becoming an Occupational Therapist Assistant.

While in the Marine Corps, she was an intelligence specialist with 10th Marines HQ BTRY. As a female, Catherine was a rarity in her ground unit. In addition, she worked in the regiment CP with the Colonel and Sgt. Maj and the rest of the Regimental staff.

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