Hi, I came across this as a "random" review and am glad I did. I think I can give you some helpful pointers. First of all, I'm a Vietnam vet, so you're being reviewed by a U.S. Army combat veteran from 1965-1969. I just heard you say, "Thanks for your service." You're welcome. Don't get me started what's going on with out country presently.
Poems should look pretty as well as sound pretty. Notice how yours has kind of an "odd" look to it? This has to do with word order. After writing six novels and dozens of poems, let alone a professional art career, I feel some level of confidence in giving you a few tips. Which you are free, of course, to take to heart or ignore.
I've copied your poem below because I want to punctuate it a little, and show you what I'm talking about. Compare my version, word-for-word, with your original. Look for periods, commas, spelling and such. Thanks. This is just the fastest way to zip through this where you can learn the most, the fastest. Then apply what's here to future work. Or retroactively to older works as well. Sometimes, not always, this is very subjective, meaning it's my opinion. Mostly, however, I'm inserting "rules that make writing "sing". I'm changing some word order, but that's me. If you like it, try to catch why I did it that way. Then get back to me with a specific question (or two) if you like.
I live in a small town near an air force base.
The days are either really hot or really cold;
A happy medium would be a shock to everyone.
At the bank, I noticed two members of the military.
My normal reaction is to shake their hands,
And as each walked past me, I held out my hand.
"Thank you," I said, "for your service to our country."
One asked if I had someone in the service as well.
I told them that my husband had served in Vietnam.
They both then held their hands out to me,
And thanked me for my husband's service.
After all these years, my beloved finally got his thanks.
Though I could feel my eyes welling up with tears,
These were happy, grateful tears.
Three strangers shaking hands,
And sharing what our country is all about.
A Brotherhood and Sisterhood,
Each looking out for each other, willing to
Right the wrong and carry on.
To make valor and courage ring loud and clear,
Step up and say, "Thank you!" when you can.
You have no idea what it means to hear.
This is difficult because I can't see it all centered as I'd like. I might still want to adjust a few lines, but I think you get the idea. Notice all the many little punctuation bits that, in poetry, are not always critical. But sometimes they are, such as in this kind of piece. The reason is because we want the reader to know exactly what you're saying, and how to read it. No funny business with this kind of stuff. It should be written in near-military fashion, if you catch my drift. And again, if you don't agree with all my words, put in your own -- just always have a reason for doing so. I did. Let me know if this was helpful. I really like it. Any vet would