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A Veteran Died Today

(Editor’s Note: The regular blog will resume Nov. 22. but I thought the following, which was sent to me by an anonymous Amelia Island resident, would be appropriate as we observe Veterans Day, Monday 11.)

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 honor
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:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY

A Veteran Died Today

(Editor’s Note: The regular blog will resume Nov. 22. but I thought the following, which was sent to me by an anonymous Amelia Island resident, would be appropriate as we observe Veterans Day, Monday 11.)

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 honor
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:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY

18 Comments

Jack Williams

10 November , 2019 at 8:43 am

Thanks Dave for posting this poem, it means a lot to us old vets (emphasis on old); RVN 66-67. Jack , a classmate of HBPHS class of '61. Remember Brenda, aka Tex and Texas.

Margo J Story

9 November , 2019 at 10:24 pm

Thank you very much......we salute our veterans!!

Skeet Taylor

9 November , 2019 at 4:39 pm

Thanks for putting this up there Mr. Scott. My old dad fought on Okinawa In WWII he didn’t talk much until he was near his end, and sure saw some stuff. My draft number in 1971 was real high but had friends who went over in Nam and most came back but not all of them was right. Like shaky. When I see these young uniformed men like at the airport or something it makes me well up every time. There putting it all on the line for us in America

tony crawford

8 November , 2019 at 5:52 pm

Good words about a good man, much thanks for sharing

Bonnie Eisele-DeMerle

8 November , 2019 at 3:33 pm

Thank you, Dave, for posting this very touching poem. May God bless all Veterans for their service to help keep our great country free.

Jeanne Brown Wyatt

8 November , 2019 at 12:54 pm

Tears are in my eyes, Dave, for this truth that needed spoken. The debt is unpayable. My Dad was WWII, my ex was Vietnam, and now my Joe served 20+ years in Korea, Germany, Somalia, Djibouti, and stateside. Thanks for sharing and posting and being a friend of all those who did their duty.

Jenny Steele

8 November , 2019 at 12:25 pm

Yes - we all owe Veterans a debt we cannot repay. We miss you Dave!!

Craig Brewis

8 November , 2019 at 12:14 pm

I would like to also Thank the spouses and children of our veterans. As a 20 year Coastie, I always had 3 hots and a cot.

SGM (Ret) Lloyd R. Hutchinson

8 November , 2019 at 12:03 pm

What a great tribute. I am proud to have served in Vietnam and retired from the US Army in 1987. I live in a community that has many veterans and was shocked to have met one yesterday who had served in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. So few of WW2 vets left so it was amazing to meet one who had served in all 3 wars. Happy Veterans Day to all my brothers and sisters!

Daniel Sloughter

8 November , 2019 at 10:57 am

Very famous poem! Written in 1987 by ~Lawrence Vaincourt

Bill Dean

8 November , 2019 at 10:23 am

Dave, I often think about how lucky you and I were that we didn't end up in the jungles of Viet Nam, but were able to serve our time in an air conditioned building at Fort Benning. I still weep for some of my friends who went to Nam and didn't come back.

Charles Mullen

8 November , 2019 at 9:42 am

Thanks, Dave. And thank you for your service too.

RTroxel

8 November , 2019 at 9:39 am

What a great way to pay homage to all those who fought in wars in far away lands. I lost an uncle in WW11 and Nam.My dad served in WW11 and came home safely but was not the same man as before. RTroxel

Jerry K.

8 November , 2019 at 9:17 am

To all our Veterans "God Bless You and Thank You" for your service! We wouldn't be the great nation without your sacrifices... Thanks Dave for posting...

MICAH WARD

8 November , 2019 at 8:27 am

Thanks for posting Dave. While living in Colorado I was associated with a veteran's advocacy group called Team RWB. It was through them that I learned an average of 22 veterans commit suicide EVERY day in the United States. That's right.....22 veterans a day commit suicide in the US. Why is that not a major news story every single day?

Jim Hogan

8 November , 2019 at 8:22 am

“America: Land of the free; due to the brave.”

Jeff

8 November , 2019 at 8:18 am

Sad but true. Thanks to all our veterans for their service to this great Nation

chuck hall

8 November , 2019 at 8:04 am

thanks Dave a wonderful poem

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