They were kept in the dark
about where they
were going,
nobody came and told
them shit.
They were not to learn
That bit until
they were many
miles from shore,
which did not
 worry them a whit.

On the boat they
read and gambled
or they wrote
letters to the ones
they loved.
One morning when
they arose
and looked out
to the sea,
they saw the
biggest bunch of
Navy ships that
they'd ever see:
over the horizon
they stretched 
across the sea.

After that they
knew damn well
it wouldn't be long
before word
would be passed
and they would
learn, yes, learn
at last,
just where they
would be going.

They got the word
right after chow,
all gathered 'round
a Sergeant, now,
the one that
they'd come to know
from boot camp,
where he did show
his mettle and intent
to go wherever
the Corps
would him send.

'Twas somewhere
they had not
heard about
with a strange
new name they
could not shout,
it being long
and kind of funny.
The Sergeant explained
the ins and outs
as much as he was told,
which was not much,
as time did prove.

"Just get ashore
from where they
throw you out
and shoot like hell
at who's about
and try not to get
blown away and
waste your presence
on that day when
every man will
surely count.
Pay attention to your buds
who each of you must cover."

Days after that
were filled with time,
it bore with them
in rain or shine,
sitting on the
hot steel deck
making gun belts
till sun did set.
Their rifles were
all shiney clean,
their gear in fine repair.
They could not be
more ready if
given lots more care.

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