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ODE TO A MARINE
In a crowd you're bound to spot him,
He's standing so very tall
Not too much impresses him;
He's seen and done it all.
His hair is short, his eyes are sharp,
But his smile's a little blue.
It's the only indication
Of the hell that he's gone through.
He belongs to a sacred brotherhood,
Always Faithful 'til the end.
He has walked right into battle
And walked back out again.
Many people think him foolish
For having no regrets
About having lived through many times
Others would forget.
He's the first to go and last to know,
But never questions why,
On whether it is right or wrong,
But only do or die.
He walks a path most won't take
And has lost much along the way,
But he thinks a lot of freedom,
It's a small price to pay.
Yes, he has chosen to live a life
Off the beaten track,
Knowing well each time he's called,
He might not make it back.
So, next time you see a Devil Dog
Standing proud and true,
Be grateful for all he's given;
He's given it for you.
Don't go up and ask him
What's it's like to be in war;
Just thank God that it's your country
He's always fighting for.
And thank him too for all the hell
He's seen in that shade of green,
Thank him for having the guts
To be a United States Marine.
Flowers at the Wall in Washington DC
A FEW GOOD MEN
I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell
stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather
because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who
suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their
I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the U.S. Marine
Corps. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given
anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than
my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was
part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for
I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those
are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrades drift far from me
now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could
fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always
As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure
that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my
comrades.....such good men.
from "These Good Men" by Michael Norman
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