A SIMPLE SOLDIER
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 politicia n'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's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jim's and Johnny's,
Went to battle, but we know,
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."
Pass On The Patriotism!
can make a difference
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed 'round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine or a Ranger huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
What are you doing?" I asked without fear
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said, "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night".
"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
"My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am".
" I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
To insure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust
that we mattered to you as you mattered to us.
Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking
with 4 young marines near his foxhole live on CNN. He had been
telling the story of how well the marines had been looking out for and
taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the
hardships the marines had endured since the war began and how they all
after one another.
He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and
they could use his video phone to call home. The 19-year-old marine next
him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to
call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in
three months. A stunned Savidge, who was visibly moved by the request,
nodded his head and the young marine ran off to get the sergeant.
Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young
marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to
call home first. The marine closest to him responded without a moment's
hesitation. "Sir, if it is all the same to you, we would like to call the
parents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida
who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing." At
that, Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he
could get out before signing off was, "Where do they get young men like
The answer, Mr. Savidge, is: the same place we got them for WWI, WWII, the
Korean War, the Viet Nam War, and Gulf War I. They come from the heart of