I love this country!

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I love this country!

Postby Jim Sheppard » Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:45 pm

I was reminded today of why I love this country.

I love this nation we served...not always voluntarily...yet most of us agree, the things this country cherishes are worth that fight, that commitment...be it a military career or a 2 year draft tour of duty.

I received the following poem today from a former high school friend who never served. He could easily be categorized as a staunch anti-war college student back during those years when we all slopped around in South Vietnam's rice paddies! As an adult, he was a school teacher...and, as we were in high school...tended to lean heavily towards the left in his political views. His father was a very well respected former Marine...and a WWII veteran of vicious combat on Guadalcanal. Father and son clashed in my friends adult years. So it was with some bit of hesitation that I opened and read the attached poem he sent.

I was blown away by my friend's obvious respect for my service back in those turbulent 60s! It reinforces my belief that we need both conservatives and liberals to keep this country great.

JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

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 had 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 Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though 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 their whole 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
A guy who breaks his promises 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?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes 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 was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was 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 a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and 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, then 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 simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

© 1987 A. Lawrence Vaincourt
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