"Just a Common Soldier"

Jeffrey Herman jeffreyh at HAWAII.EDU
Tue Nov 9 23:38:31 EST 1999

"Just a Common 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 the war that he had fought in and
    The deeds that he done,
In the exploits with his buddies, they
    Were heroes everyone.
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'll not be mourned by many,
    Just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quiet,
    Uneventful life.
He 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 the politicians leave this earth,
    Their bodies lie in state,
And thousands note their passing
    And proclaim that they were great.
Newspapers tell their life stories,
    From the time that they young,
But the passing of a simple soldier
    Goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the
    Welfare of our land,
A person who breaks promises and
    Cons his fellow man;
Or the ordinary fellow who in times
    Of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country an
    Offers up his life?
It's so crazy to forget them,
    For it was not so long ago,
That the  "Old Bills" of our country
    Went to battle, but we know,
It was not the politicians with their
    Compromises and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that
    Out country now enjoys.
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
    Others often start.
If we cannot give 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 a simple notice
    In the paper that would say,
"Our country is in mourning,
    Cause a soldier passed away."


At at the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific ("The Arlington of
the Pacific") we'll have our annual Massing of the Colors which includes
an Army 21-cannon salute and an Air Force Missing-Man flyover. I hope
you all will also take time out at "... the 11th hour of the 11th day
of the 11th month..." to salute and give thanks to those who've kept
us and continue to keep us safe. We owe them so much.

Semper Paratus,
Jeff KH6O
U.S. Coast Guard

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