eagle, globe & anchor
My Time In Line
by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

​I was once 
a young Marine,
dedicated with 
record clean,
I didn’t always
march and guard,
I spent some time
outside the yard.
Now keep this part
under your hat
but it was nice,
at that.

There was a place
in town that
kept the GIs
hangin’ around,
a place called
a house of 
ill repute.

It sat on a street
they called Hotel, 
'twas a busy place
most time of day
and into night.

Payday came
but once a month
to guys in uniform,
they kept a few bucks
in the kit for just
one occasion.

On liberty you
found them there
all lined up in a row,
in their hands
they tightly held
well-earned dough.

Their uniforms
were neatly pressed,
they were a sight to see,
impatient to be sure
but waited patiently.

When they were
finally called
they quickly
entered in and
when it was over
they came out
wearing a grin.

I must admit:
I was one of those
who stood in line
and waited.
Was it worth it?
You can bet
it was the best
that we could get
so that was why
we waited.

Time has come
and gone and
memories fade
but I remember
vividly the time
I spent in line
holding onto
my dough until
it was my time.

*     *     *
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.

Due to WWII's night curfew, GIs line up for brothels during the day on Hotel Street in Honolulu, circa 1942.