by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Way back yonder
in the days of yore
when I was young
and I was poor,
I joined an outfit
called the CCCs.

It was one of those 
government things
meant to make 
the poor folks sing
'cause it meant money
in their jeans.

It took the big kids
in their teens
off the streets
even then mean
and gave them
somthin' else to do.

There I was
one of them kids,
never a lick of work
had I did,
I was green as a gourd
and twice as soft inside.

After they laid out the gear
and gave us shots
both front and rear,
they sent us out
to do a day of work.

Now that was
a sorry crew
you can bet
and I would, too,
that work was farthest
from their mind.

They picked up a shovel,
they picked up a hoe,
what to do with them
they don't know
so the leader 
gave them lesson one.

Before that very
day was through
they was pitchin'
and shovelin' too
and I was there
doin' the same thing.

 It made a man of me
those days in the C's,
I learned to work
and how get along.
I have often thought
how good it would be
to have the old CCCs
to shape the younguns
of today.
Semper Fi! and Amen.

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

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In Days of Yore
"The slogan of the Civilian Conservation Corps is 'We can take it!' Building strong bodies is a major CCC objective. More than half the enrollees who entered CCC the last year were seventeen years of age. Work, calisthenics, marching drill, good food, and medical care feature [in] the CCC health program."
Wilfred J. Mead
Civilian Conservation Corps