by Cpl. Robert L. Cook
Jan. 1942–Sept. 1945

 Were there someone
I should be,
being a Marine
is fine with me.
I can walk with head held high
and nod to people passing by,
I can wear the uniform
on special occasions
like Veterans Day
and birthday balls
across the nation.

I belong to Marine outfits
who do me proud,
attend the meetings
with the crowd.
They treat me with respect
because I’m older 
than the rest.

There aren’t many of us around
who fought the fight
on sacred ground
and pushed the enemy
back to sea
or stopped his drive
with bayonets.

So pity not these old bones
though long they have endued,
I hope to make it one more year
before I lie me down.

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

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Once a Marine (Part III)