Brenda Eidson read this poem in honor of her husband, Curtis (I/3/5), Doc Ron Parlee (senior Corpsman for I/3/5), and for their fellow Marines and Corpsmen, at the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Reunion 2001 in La Grange, Georgia, May 17-20.
A VETERAN DIED TODAY
He was getting old and his hair was falling fast.
He sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past,
of a war that he had fought in, and deeds that he had done.
In his stories he and his buddies were heroes, every single one.
Although sometimes to his neighbors his tales became a joke
all his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer for the old guy has passed away,
and the world is a little poorer, for a VETERAN died today.
No, he won’t be missed by many, just his children and his wife.
For his was an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way,
and the world won’t make note of his passing,
although a VETERAN died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing and say that they were great.
Papers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young,
but the passing of a VETERAN goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
some jerk who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or is it the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve his country and to offer up his life?
The politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
is sometimes excessive, for the service that he gives.
While the ordinary VETERAN who offered up his all,
is paid off with a medal and maybe a pension, small.
It is easy to forget, when the battles have all been won
and the war is over, what the VETERAN has done.
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 want some politician with his ever-changing stand?
Or would you rather have a VETERAN, who has sworn his country to defend.
Who would fight for home, family, and honor, until the very end?
He was just a common VETERAN and his ranks are growing thin
but his presence should remind us, we may need his kind again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find that the military’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 us give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in the newspaper that might say;
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING
FOR A VETERAN DIED TODAY
By Larry Vaincourt
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER (A Soldier Died Today)
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