by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I'm glad I take 
Leatherneck,
it's a damn good
magazine.
I've read it in
a foxhole
when I was a
young Marine.

 I keep up with 
the young'ins
wherever they
must roam.
I read about 
old outfits,
that were once
my home.

I keep up with
the weapons,
the gear and 
all that stuff.
I wonder if
they need it,
to tote it
must be tough.

I recall the
miles I hiked
through mud
and sand
and slime.
And wondered
if I could have left
most of it behind.

I never saw
a fightin' man
who didn't 
toss his gear.
It's tough enough
to shoot and run
without a pack
upon your back
not helping 
with your fear.

Marines don't fight
like others do,
has always been
my thought.
If we don't win
the landing
what use is
all we brought?

So lighten up
on gear we pack,
don't load us
down with junk.
If you can't get it to us,
the whole campaign
is sunk.

                       *     *     *
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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