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thedrifter
06-29-06, 04:28 AM
Robert Cook is Sun City's military poet
Published Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Band of Marines

By Robert Cook

From the raising of the colors.

To the playing of "Retreat,"

With flourishes and ruffles

Each morning do they greet.

I am thrilled by their precision,

As they march so smartly by.

Their uniforms are spotless,

Their horns reflect the sky.

Their drums beat out the rhythm

For every step they made.

There can be no finer

From company to brigade!

Their duties end not in music.

For they have a greater span.

For they are still warriors

Like every other man.

When the Corps goes into battle,

They take along the band.

They may not be fighting,

But they lend a helping hand.

When called upon for service

They are there upon the spot.

Be it runner for the Colonel,

Or to help a man that's shot!

When the fight is over

And we have won the day,

They are there for ceremony

Be it sad or be it gay.

So let the band be honored.

To them let's give a cheer.

For the magic of their music

I'll remember thru the years.

Robert Cook is a poet, retired beautician, and former Marine whose love of words is rivaled by his love of history.

Born in 1920 in St. Louis, Mo., Cook grew up in East St. Louis, Ill. He counts the Civilian Conservation Corps, a initiative by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to combat unemployment for young men during the Great Depression, as one of his formative experiences. The group helped renew the nation's decimated forests by planting trees, and Cook found his love of writing by working at a camp newspaper.

After leaving the CCC, Cook headed to another government program, the National Youth Administration, where he trained as a beautician in Chicago.

Cook joined the Marines at the beginning of WWII and served in the South Pacific, through the campaigns of Guadacanal and Tarawa. He was discharged in 1945 and returned home to operate a beauty shop with his wife.

He is the author of "Once a Marine," a collection of military poems published by Publish America press.

Ellie