Letters to the Pilot
'For a soldier died today'
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast, And he sat around the Legion. telling stories of the past,of war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done. In his exploits with his buddies, they were hero's every one.
And though sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke, but all his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke. But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bob passed away. And the worlds a little poorer, for a soldier died today. No, 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, quietly going 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, for 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 politicians stipend and his style of life, are sometimes disproportionate, to the service which he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all, is paid off with a madal, and perhaps a pension small. It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago, that our Bob's, and Jim's, and Johnny's, went to battle, but we know, it was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys, who won for us our 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, who has sworn to defend, his home, his kin, his 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 likes again. For when the Country is in conflict, then we find the soldiers part, is to clean up the trouble, that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor, while he's here to bear the praise, then at least let's give him homage, at the ending of his days. Just a simple headline, in the paper that might say:"
"Our country is in mourning, for a soldier died today."
I thought of this poem, by an unknown author, at the recent Memorial Day ceremonies. "War is an ugly thing...but a man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight... is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." That comes from John Stuart Mill.
And this can be found on the wall of the Navy Seals hootch in Dong Tam, RVN: "Live by chance, Love by choice, Kill by profession, Die by spite"