The Old Corps
by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

There were Marines
of long ago who
walked the Navy’s planks,
they fired their weapons
from open tubs
unlike a tank.

They stood their watches
night and day through
rain and dark of night,
such were the duties
of seagoing Marines,
their honored plight.

Their duties were of a number
from lackey to gunners mate,
they kept up their appearance,
always being first rate.
When fighting a firefight
they were really great.

They sailed on every vessel
From can to mighty cruiser,
they never gave up in a fight,
they seldom were a loser.
Sticking to their guns, they
were the rightful chooser.

So never look down on them
for having dry beds and chow,
they couldn’t dig a foxhole
in stuff below the bow.
There was no place
for them to run
when things got
hot and heavy.

They were arines,
like all of us who
fought for freedom.
So give a nod
or a salute to
they who fought 
Beside us.

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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