Swim Suit Patch

Susana Gonzales

When I was a little girl on Scott AFB, we were issued round cloth patches to be sewn onto our swimming suits. The patches were admission passes to the NCO pool.  They distinguished who was allowed in and who was not.  My mother sewed these patches onto our suits with the same meticulous care she gave to my father’s uniform stripes. She was so entrenched by then in military life that she dedicated herself to each flawless stitch. Each stitch was an articulation of service before self, honor, integrity. 

Neither her children nor her soldier husband would ever be out of uniform. Stripes or swimsuit.

When she finished carrying out her role as a military wife and mother, summer had begun.

About the Author

Susana Gonzales is an emerging poet who has retired from teaching English literature for 24 years.  She lives in southern California with her partner Suzanne. She has spent the pandemic lock down contemplating and writing about her proud military upbringing and her Mexican American heritage.