View Full Version : "A Veteran Died Today"

USMC 2571
11-14-15, 07:38 AM
A crusty ol' Top Sergeant just sent me this a minute ago. We were stationed together in Puerto Rico in the mid-1960s.
A Veteran 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 a war that he once 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 buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Joe has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

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,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Veteran 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
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 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 politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

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 really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour
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 the paper that might say:


11-14-15, 08:43 AM
our country and our leaders should take more notice of when veterans pass,, at least the local gov. should..

USMC 2571
11-14-15, 08:54 AM
Yes, Pat, and it would nice if they did that with LIVING veterans too.

11-14-15, 08:55 AM
Politicians and a great majority of Academia consider Veterans a modern disposable item, use at their discretion and throw away with out any further though..

Sadly, that's the way I see things happening...

RIP Marine, Semper Fi...

11-14-15, 11:09 AM
Any idea of the poet's name? I may have to borrow this for possible later use. I share with my students what I'm researching (USMC culture/cadences) and my process of doing so when applicable (i.e. broad contextual reading/research, seeking a knowledge/understanding of the different factors that affect a culture/group they may write for or about, etc.).

I also try to pull in different texts (where they work) that shine light on issues facing our military and veterans. (Ex: political cartoons addressing issues with the VA, works referencing the issues of PTSD and TBI in veterans, and social media memes/posts that bring awareness to the 22+/day veteran suicide rate)

At their age and into my 20s, I was ignorant (perhaps willfully so) of what veterans went through and later deal with while living basic, everyday lives in the civilian world. I work to be informed now and do what I can to make sure that if my students are completely ignorant on this front, it's because they've chosen to ignore what I've shared.

USMC 2571
11-14-15, 12:32 PM
Excellent post as usual. I have no idea who the writer is.

11-14-15, 03:32 PM
Great post Dave !

USMC 2571
11-14-15, 03:48 PM
Thanks, Jimmy.

11-15-15, 08:14 AM
What's so sad is......in this Country, where so many take their feel good life for granted, don't feel the least bit obligated to the men and women in uniform who assures them the luxury of being self centered azzholes. It's outrageous that we are more fixed on making sure that illegal aliens are treated with respect and afforded all the same benefits our veterans have. The ones who put their life on the line for this Country, take a back seat to the transgender issue, gay pride, planned parenthood, and other immoral issues. We spend all our energy making sure everyone is a winner and has a trophy. We are deeply concerned about the way Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, gays, transgenders, atheist, anti-american scum, and the hump-back whale. All the while our Veterans are being given the run around and treated like, ho-hum, who cares. America should hang their head in shame for the second class way our Veterans are viewed. I would love for some of our entitlement elite to spend one day in combat smelling blood, hearing the cries for Mother and God, fearing that your life or your brothers life will end in an instant. All Veterans either have or could have gone through this nightmare, of which so many thousands have gave their life. So today when thousands go to Wal-Mart or the football games, or just stay at home taking it easy. Who do we thank for this privilege........?? Congress....NAACP......Muslim brotherhood......those married to the same sex or the Hump-Back Whale?????

11-15-15, 09:34 AM
I too see the entitlement/comfort focused mindset in our culture all around, especially as I deal with 18-20 yr old college students every day. Part of me thinks that we should seriously consider reinstating the Selective Service. Some sort of compulsory service (like Israel does) might be very beneficial. Not popular of course. Far from it. Thinking back to the 18 year old me, I would have howled at having to do something like that, but it sure would have woken my self-centered, rather flighty, irresponsible, and undisciplined arse up in a hurry, not to mention bringing reality into focus much more clearly.

Naturally, one of the issues with a strictly volunteer service is the disconnect that inevitably happens between those who serve and those who don't. This didn't happen with the Greatest Generation in part because of the draft but also the culture at the time. It was a national effort, and "we the people" were all involved in the war effort. The way we've evolved as a nation and culture very much supports the mindset that "we the people" stay home while we send others to do the necessary and inevitably dirty work for us. "Oh, and please, let's just not really talk about it during or after the dirty work is done," we say. "It makes us uncomfortable, after all." Absolutely infuriating.

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 09:45 AM
Billy is right and you are right, and I think we've gone so far in the direction of me me me me me that it will not be reversed in quite some time, if ever....BUT, look at the average person in America who DOES in fact welcome veterans, respects them, says to them Thank You for your service! The overall climate among REGULAR PEOPLE is respect of veterans and their service. So it may not be what we think it is when it comes to the average guy or gal on the street. Maybe it's different with higher-ups, but then again, it's always different with the elite class.

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 09:51 AM
Now take a look at the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation, and how a lot of them "parent", and therein might lie the key to it all, or at least to a great part of it. And their parents (sons and daughters of the Greatest Generation) weren't all that selfless either. So it continues on, until we once again have a Greatest Generation, but for that it takes adversity, Great Depression, WW I, WW II-like occurrences. Just like a great president is not great unless and until he shows himself in a crisis e.g. Civil War. Lincoln might not have been great, might not have had any reason to become great, if he had been president during peacetime. His abilities might not have come to the fore. But anyway------only time will tell, as to whether we ever pull out of this me me me me mentality, that has been in the making at least 50 years.

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 09:54 AM
In other words, what can parents teach their kids when they have never themselves been taught properly in the areas of responsibility, respect, manners, duty? Very tough to pass on what you've never received.

11-15-15, 09:54 AM
I agree with you, Dave, in regard to the general respect held by the average citizen. We've at least corrected that from the climate present during Vietnam. General respect doesn't always equal a desire to understand, empathize, or help/serve in return, though. It also doesn't equal an awareness of reacclimation/reintegration struggles faced by many veterans. Most citizens expect veterans to come back from deployments and fit right back in as if nothing has happened or changed (in or around them). The respect is a great step in the right direction but awareness of the reality faced by many veterans and the need for advocacy for them in issues surrounding medical/mental health care and transition challenges (to name only two issues) still are greatly lacking.

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 10:07 AM
True, especially that last part, but that comes from those in charge not doing their duty to veterans----and, how many non-veterans are able to truly understand veterans? And how would they be able...

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 10:12 AM
Mandi, let me give you one concrete example. Russ (advanced) and Billy (Mongoose) are combat vets, as you know. Now, I have no way of understanding what they went through except just by thinking that...

11-15-15, 10:14 AM
Civilians can't fully understand veterans, but they can work to learn what they can. At least to sympathize and advocate for them. When the higher ups don't do their duty, it's the voting public's responsibility to hold them accountable for their neglect, broken promises, and mismanagement. If the suits on either side of the aisle hear enough rumbling from their constituents that they begin to fear the foundation of the pedestal is in danger of collapsing, they'll perk up right quick. The fact that the grass roots discontent hasn't yet reached a high enough volume is possibly due to the me me me mindset as well as the lack of information/talk about these issues. Many organizations are getting the word out and the discussion going, so let's hope it grows from there.

11-15-15, 10:19 AM
I'm totally with you on the "can't understand front." I cannot understand what veterans, let alone combat veterans experience. I can, have, and do research and read a great deal about it to inform myself as much as possible. A civilian's job is to hear those who've been there, who do understand, and listen to what veterans say they need, what is important that we know/do. Civilians need to listen to the veterans who know and are speaking out and support them in their work to advocate for themselves and other vets.

USMC 2571
11-15-15, 10:23 AM
Well, let's hope things work out for the best, and that this country makes more of an effort to help its own vets.

11-15-15, 11:13 AM
Keep Electing Liberal Scum & Very soon this Whole Country shall be a Combat Vet