by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

 We had an ol' Gunny
who came up thru the ranks;
think he was there
when cavalry went to tanks.
Had hash marks
up to his elbows and
his rank upon his sleeve;
he was all Marine
I truly do believe.

He quartered in his gun shack
'twas where he wished to be,
his foot locker and his seabag
was all we could see.
His uniforms were resplendent
all pressed in fine array,
he wore a spit shine 
on his shoes
which he wore
with his blues and
shined them every day.

He never went on hikes
or on parade,
I can tell you true
he really had it made.
He was slightly overweight
as any Gunny should be,
he spent some time
at the slopchute
consuming many beers.

Some mornings he'd
roust us out into
the company street,
he'd line us up so
straight and so neat.
He'd eye up every rank
and direct his line of sight,
this one up and that one back,
he kept rank & file on track,
he was a real Marine.

The last time I saw Gunny
was when we shipped out,
I don't know if
he went along.
In fact I rather doubt it
as he was beyond combat
but he had served
his country well.

Gunnys are the backbone
of every company,
they stand for all 
that is Marine
that helps to keep
our honor clean.
From the halls of Montezuma
to the shores of Tripoli.
Semper Fi! 

*     *     *
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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My Ol' Gunny