by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Once I led a fine platoon
of dedicated men,
I led them through
most of Hell and
led them out again.
And then they sent
 me home from war
to face the world
once more.

Now I have other strife
trailing after my lovely wife
who is the savior of my life
and leads me like I led.

As I guide the rugged cart
I charge the produce aisle,
I run a skirmish line of sorts
along the place that
 sells the tarts.

Then I run a search and seize
into the aisle of coffee and teas
 before I snipe at cleaning gear
somewhere over at the rear
within the range of bottled beer.

My mission is now very clear:
It’s can goods of most every kind,
it almost drives me from my mind
that there are so many kinds
of stuff that await me there.
I'm overwhelmed with fear
that I'll miss the chosen can
that I have been dispatched 
to search and recover.

When the battle is secured
and I am left to pay,
I'm happy to retreat
until another day.
I find the cost is so dear
and as I shed a silent tear,
I'm grateful I can bear the cost.

I join with others of my breed
who've left the Corps behind
and sweat in the field of life
for the good of kids and wife.
Bestowing on this nation
strength from battlefields
forged from wills of steel
that was the 
Greatest Generation.

*     *     *
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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