by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 42-Sep 45

You have heard stories told
of men that were bold and
didn't have an ounce of fear.
Now you can believe,
can even conceive,
that there really are
some members of that breed.

If you want to see the type
of which I write
then join the
United States Marines.

They make sergeants there
who are four square
and some of them
are really mean.
They don't mean to be
it's just that they
can see faults that
dwell in you and me.

You know it hurts their pride
and they cannot abide
a Marine that is not
as he should be.
A sergeant takes you aside
and explains in words
a little snide
that you had better
"Shape up or ship out!"

It is their prideful duty
and the Corps
will back them up
to make of you
what you ain't
never been before:
a United States Marine.

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

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Sergeant of Marines