by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I look down upon this man
as by his bier I stand,
I fought beside him
in a war so
very long ago,
he was an just an
ordinary GI Joe.
We didn't win
no hero stars as
you can plainly see.
It was tough enuf
to get your stripes,
if that was to be.

They threw us out
when it was done,
we came back home
where it all begun
and took up being
citizens, 
husbands and fathers —
just working men.
We kept in touch
he and I
we did not let
the time go by
without a note
to just say "Hi".

He knew my kids
and I knew his,
we thought that 
they were a whiz.
He never failed
to send a note, 
with each Xmas
card he wrote
to let me know
that all was well.

When Evie called,
that's his wife,
her tearful voice
spoke soft
and quiet
to let me know
he was no more.
They found him
lying on the floor
beside his favorite chair.
They had no idea
how long he'd been there.

I made my way to
where he lay in state 
of our own doing.
So here I stand
beside this man
who stood with me
in a faroff land
and held the enemy
at bay till
all was safe,
so they say.

We pass him
to you, oh Lord,
as we give him his due.
Let the rifles fire
their volleys, 
let the bugler
sound his taps.
Let the flag be folded,
let the drummer 
give a rap.
Another Marine
comes your way,
to you we are
beholding.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Reg. Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942-44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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