by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I stop what I'm doing,
I stop and I do stare.
Words are hard to realize
because I truly care.

The man is more an icon
of much that we hold dear.
Memories of times gone by,
a time of grief and tears.
He brought to us
a smile, a laugh while 
sitting in the mud.
We all read his humor
and passed it to a bud.

He brought empathy
to every fighting man
no matter his rank.
From foot-slogging 
doughboy to marines
in a tank.

He leveled out
the playing field,
generals had no rank.
He gave lowly privates
the presence of a tank.
He brought forth
wrongs and errors
of officers and men
and made them all
human,
forgave them of 
their sins.

We all morn his passing,
he was one of ours.
A symbol of
"the Great Generation,"
the nation's 
shining hour.

*     *     *
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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Tribute to Bill Mauldin
"Just give me the aspirin.
I already got a purple heart." 
Stars and Stripes, 1944
"Remember that
warm, soft mud
of last summer?"
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