by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

In the days of
raggedy-ass Marines
we were spit-shined
and damn well clean.
Our brass shined like stars
like an officer's bars
and there warn't no 
in between.

In the days of
raggedy-ass Marines
we scrubbed decks
and also latrines,
we washed clothes
in a bucket
in lye soap
we stuck it
and it came out
salty and clean.
If a brush was handy
then it sure was dandy
for we were 
raggedy-ass Marines.

In the days of
raggedy-ass Marines
we salted our belts
to be white and clean,
we put blanco on our packs,
had foot lockers
by our racks.
After all, we were
raggedy-ass Marines.

When we were raggedy-ass Marines
our uniforms were spotless and clean
with our knees a showin' through
and our butt ends, too.
That's why they called us
raggedy-ass Marines.

*     *     *
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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Raggedy-Ass Marines