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Poetry Worth a Read- very apt.

rickeee

Badgeman
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?


Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simply headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."
 

Salty_Dog

Badgeman
THE OLD MAN AND THE SAILOR
by Robert L. Harrison (1997)


He was old and worn and a bit forlorn as he ambled through the park,
He spoke to me and I could see that his eyes had lost their spark.
His gait was slow and his voice was low as he asked to sit with me,
And I answered him with a friendly grin, The sittin’ here is free.

He gave a smile and we talked a while and his voice was rather weak,
But his mind was strong and it wasn't long til he began to speak
Of yesteryears and I saw the tears as the mem’ries flooded through
For he spoke of times and other climes as old men often do.

He smiled at me and I could see as he glanced at my Navy blues
That he’d earned his keep on the briny deep and paid his share of dues.
I asked if he would share with me some mem'ries from his career,
He said he might if the price was right, and the price was a can of beer!

I’ve shipped on subs and oily tubs, on battleships and cruisers,
Ten thousand mates and I can state not one of them was losers.
LST’s on foreign seas, from Tarawa to Leyte,
You name it, lad, I’ve been there, from Alaska down to Haiti.

Liberty ships of paper clips, balsa wood and glue,
I saw one break apart one time and lose her gallant crew.
Marine Corps I took ashore on Tarawa and Truk.
Oh what the Hell, for quite a spell, I've had my share of luck.

One thing more, he said, before I move along,
There ain't no air that’s quite as fair as the pipe of the boatswain’s song.
And the place to be is on the sea riding a fair sea swell,
With mates like you in Navy blue who’ll follow you straight through Hell.

So here’s to you and your Navy crew who take our ships to sea,
You’ve fought and died and never cried throughout our history.
You’re heroes all and ten feet tall and your spirits never lag,
You’re the nation’s best and you never rest in defence of our country’s flag!

He rose to leave and I believe that he seemed to move much faster,
His eyes agleam like a laser beam and his skin was alabaster,
He glowed at first then soon dispersed in a cloud of misty cotton,
A dream at most, perhaps a ghost, but not to be forgotten.
 

Blackrat

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
By Rudyard Kipling:


THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER


When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!
 
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