Full Circle is Still Zero
by Cal Tobin, Jr.
13 February 1996

The Ayatollah says, "Seize the spies"; the mindless students did.
Our Marines weren't allowed to blast the walls, the way Dan Daly did.
He won the Medal of Honor, blocking that hole, back in Old Peking.
But TWICE that year, in Old Tehran, we couldn't do a thing.

Then Islamabad went down, HARD, and Cpl. Crowley gave it all.
Seven men fought for seven hours, stood their ground, tall.
Two days later Syria fell. Again, they were told to run.
Bullshit!!  Lock and load, run 'em through with the gun.

The Navy wasn't worth a damn that day, an Alpha Strike at noon.
Thousands of SAMs were shot, we lost aircrew and had gloom.
Even Jesse Jackson got into the  Beirut act,
When he brought Lt. Goodman back.

The Ambassadors don't want much, just disarmed Marines,
We TRY to keep them free but they control OUR "scenes."
So, it was inevitable that Beirut would blow, and again we'd get to go.
Round 2 started in '81, engineers on the beach, eight blown up one by one.

Then General Dozier was grabbed near the Vatican,
And The Red Brigade was at it again.
CIA psychics told rescuers where to find him,
We were lucky that time but they'll come out and then. . .

The USO gave a night show, and people slept where they could,
A suicide truck bomber ran for the gold, Marines dead; not good.
When politicians, no matter the stripe, call the shots in the field,
Like there in Beirut, with empty guns, the mission loses it's zeal.

About this time my career was half through,
'84, and Beirut no more, my dad asked me a question.
I told him I liked my job, IT was what I do,
He asked, "Where will they try to kill you next, son?"

They even kill us when we're TAD, I can plainly say,
Lt. Col. Higgins was hanged that day, wearing the Blue Beret.
I'm glad to retire after 20 years, I gave them five chances to try,
Someday we may run out of tears, that's the day that we die.

Adding insult to injury, back in '86,
We're called back to Libya, Kadafi to fix.
The first time, sink La Combatants, see,
And the second changed our tune—to the shores of Benghazi . . . in 263.

Seems we learned our lesson for Desert Storm,
We FINALLY got to DO our jobs with old Norm.
I got out, Clinton got in and it ALL went straight to hell,
Dropping standards, gays in the military, and you can Kiss But Don't Tell.

It's starting the cycle again, Capt. O'Grady downed in a No-Fly Zone,
Shot down by a SAM that he couldn't seem to track.
HMM-263 hauls his ass back to town and Clinton calls him on the phone,
They're dying this time in Bosnia for reasons the President couldn't hack.

Question:  Why on earth would a MEU Commander and his Sergeant Major fly on such a rescue mission when they are both grunts?
Answer: Looks good on a résumé, cuz the politicians are STILL at it.

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The author:
Cal Tobin, Jr.
SSgt. USMC
1972–1992

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