Reservist shares gift of poetic healing

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Lori Fiorello
  • AFMAO Public Affairs
As a child, she climbed mango and coconut trees in her backyard to satisfy her hunger. Now, she is working on publishing her third book to feed her appetite for helping others.

Tech. Sgt. Enid J-Ellis is a Moroccan-born writer and 512th Airlift Wing reservist, who is a C3 technician currently deployed with the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations. She moved to the United States as a child and embraced the American dream with a life of hard work, dedicated to healing those who grieve with the written word.

"I want to help people process their pain before leaving here," said J-Ellis.

During one of her deployments here, J-Ellis experienced the loss of loved ones back home, but put service before self to tend to the mission. Upon returning home, the pain of those losses finally set in.

To help cope with the pain, J-Ellis turned to writing poems, a passion she once found in a school assignment when she was 12.

"My poetry is inspired by life's events and meetings I have with other people; but, for the most part, a lot has stemmed from working at AFMAO and the pride I have in serving my country," said the self-proclaimed military brat.

One of J-Ellis' poems titled "The Knight in American Armor" was inspired by a childhood friend who joined the U.S. Army and deployed during Operation Desert Storm. She has since dedicated the poem to all service members defending the country in times of war.

Men and women in uniform are knights, explained J-Ellis; they are fighting with their battle armor on.

According to her, the service the AFMAO team provides to fallen heroes and their families is not an easy mission; she seeks to provide courage and strength to others here through her writing.

"The people who take care of the fallen and the families of the fallen need consoling and empathy too," said J-Ellis. "This is my way of giving a gift back to them."

"I want to be the beacon of hope to someone else," she added with a sense of pride in her country and her work.

J-Ellis took her experiences here, along with her desire for helping others, one step further. She is now pursuing a full-time career in helping those through their darkest hour.

"The mission here has done so much for me," she said. "It has inspired me so much that I now have the ultimate goal of owning my own funeral home."

J-Ellis is currently studying at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science with a goal of becoming a licensed mortician by January 2013.