Dock Burke

By his lifetime friend.


Benard Doss Trail, the son of Colonel Charles D. Trail (now deceased) and Dr. Billie M. Marburger Trail, was born August 3, 1940 in Bryan, Tx. He attended primary and secondary schools in Japan, England, Nebraska, and Texas. At Texas A&M in May 1962, Ben earned a BA degree in English and a commission in the U.S.Army. In his seven year career as an officer in Military Intelligence, he attained the rank of Captain, served in Europe, and completed two tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. In Vietnam, CaptainTrail, a sector advisor in Quang Tin province, was decorated with the Bronze Star and awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

In 1969, Ben returned to graduate school at Texas A&M and earned a Masters of Education degree. His first teaching appointments were at I.M. Terrell High School and Dunbar High School in Fort Worth. In 1973, Professor trail obtained an appointment to the faculty at Tarrant County Junior College where, as a tenured professor, he taught literature and writing for eighteen years.

B.D. Trail published his first poetry while still a student in 1962. Upon returning from his second tour in Vietnam, he focused his poetic energies to describe and explain the multifaceted condition of warfare and its impact on the people involved. From this experience emerged a selection of vivid war poetry that has been widely published and critically applauded. Not just a "war poet", Ben continued to write poetry to illuminate human nature. He wrote more than 300 poems, of which more than 200 have been published in various journals, books, and magazines.

Ben's poetry is most widely known for its intense illumination of his impressions of death and war, particularly the war in Vietnam. But along with the critical success of his war poetry, Ben's work also contains a wealth of images and language that gives us unique insights into his family and friends, his teaching career, his life's loves, and his own rich and bountiful sense of humor.

The complete collection of B.D.T's poetry is housed in the Walsh Library on the Tarrant County Junior College campus in Fort Worth.

Bernard Doss Trail's suicide occurred January 1, 1992 in College Station, Texas.