by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

They walked warily
down the littered street,
their eyes never stopped moving.
They carried their weapons
at high port;
no less would be
their undoing.

The sun beat down
upon their backs,
the sweat beneath
was flowing.
They wore their armor
close and tight,
it was tough going.

The route of march
was long and dry,
they walked beneath
a cloudless sky
with nerves on edge;
a daily state,
there was no denying.

A shot rang out
far ahead,
a good Marine
now lay dead.
They scattered
left and scattered right,
they hugged the walls
in sudden fright
their weapons
at full ready.

The lead man 
in this patrol
scoured the rooftops
through his sights and
found not a living soul
that he could draw
a bead on.

They called for help
and a corpsman's aid,
they moved the body
to the shade
and gathered forces
in a line and
made ready to
move out.

It was just another
daily chore,
one that they 
would endure
e'er they remained 
in harm's way,
be it one or
a thousand days,
for they were warriors
of the nation's
United States Marines.

*     *     *
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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And So It Goes
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LCPL James Miller, after12 hours of
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