by Cal Tobin, Jr.
1 May 1977
What's a Private worth, what does it take?
Months of struggle, a Marine to make.
What he hates the best is living in stress,
All in preparation for that final test.
Drill Instructors all day long, ending their night,
And still seem to be there in reveille's half light.
Drill Instructors all day long, always on their backs,
Trashcans flying through the air, people out of racks.
Mental-intensive combat from reville to taps,
Sing the song for Chesty and take the 8-hour naps.
Gas Chamber, Alibi Relay, smokers on the road,
Grenade range, dry nets . . . NOW you know, you toad.
Frustrated, nervous, exasperated calms,
Night sounds, live-fire, two hundred rounds.
Defensive combat holes and ambushing trails,
Separating the willing from the wannabe frails.
Shit-on-a-shingle and blouse your boots,
Now paint the rocks outside my hooch.
Humping Juliet, Oscar and up the Mount,
On the road for First Aid . . . Guide, gimme a count.
Dipsy Dumpster, Firewatch, two for early chow,
Mailcall, pugil sticks, locks in a ball.
Bore brush, boots shined, check your brass,
Military alignment and a PFT to pass.
Bends and thrusts forever, more PT, begin,
A Private often wonders — will this EVER end?
All of this and all of that and all the in-betweens,
And all of a sudden a Colonel sez,
* * *
Cal Tobin, Jr.