To Take A Stand
by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

“To take a stand
in a faroff land
is a job for the
Leatherneck Corps”

Words written for
Marines long ago,
Marines sent
hellbent to
a land of 
ice and snow,
the first to take
a solid stand
against a mighty foe.

To Iceland’s rugged
shore they went
with arms they bore
they took themselves
to stand watch from
every place around,
attending the job
at first-hand they
were so profound.

Through lonely nights
and weary days they
kept the vigil sharp,
with frozen toes
and frozen nose
they gave no retort;
maintain the status quo
was their main resort.

There was no happy hall
where they could hoot 
and holler, beer was
rationed by the can,
ciggy cartons a dollar.
At times they slept
in overcoats when
oil was in short supply
and therms they put out
weren’t very many.

They came home
at start of war men
of a better measure,
they had endured
and were secure
with feelings
they did treasure.

So lift a glass
and pour the wine
and toast a mighty few
who stood the test
and were the best
standing for the red
white and blue.

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.

>> Poetry Page
>> Memoir Page

Dick Bailey (veteran of Guadalcanal and Tarawa) was posted to Iceland before being shipped to the Pacific. Click to read his account:
Chap 3--Iceland: British Marines?
Chap 4--Iceland: U.S. Army Marines?

Dick Bailey's memoir:
Barracks Ballads, Sea Stories And War

Below: Dick Bailey in 2006 and fresh from boot camp, before being shipped to Iceland.

Iceland at 11 p.m.—Dick Bailey (left) and Chris Christofferson, who wears the Polar Bear patch on his right sleeve, in 1941, before Pearl Harbor.