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Eulogy to a Veteran

[Contributed by Gerry PECK]

 

Anonymous

 

He was getting old and paunchy,
†† And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion
†† Telling stories of the past
Of a war that he had fought in,
†† And the deeds that he had done
In his exploits with his buddies
†† They were heroes, every one.

Though sometimes to his neighbours
†† His tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened
†† For they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer.
†† For old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer,
†† For a soldier died today

He'll not be mourned by many;
†† Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
†† Quiet and uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family
†† Quietly going his own way;
And the World won't note his passing,
†† Though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth
†† Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing
†† And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their life stories from
†† The time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier
†† Goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
†† To the welfare of our land,
A guy who breaks his promises
†† And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who,
†† In times of war and strife
Goes off to serve his country
†† And offers up his life?

A politicianís stipend and the
†† Style in which he lives,
Are sometimes disproportionate
†† To the service that he gives,
While the ordinary soldier
†† Who offers up his all
Is paid off with a medal
†† And perhaps a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them,
†† For it was so long ago
That the "Old Bills" of our country
†† Went to battle, but we know
It was not politicians,
†† With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
†† That our country now enjoys

Should you ever find yourself in danger
†† With your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician
†† With his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier,
†† Who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and country,
†† And would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier,
†† And his ranks are growing thin.
But his presence should remind us
†† We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
†† Then we find the soldiers part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
†† That the politicians start

If we cannot do him honour
†† While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
†† At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
†† In a paper that would say:
"Our Country Is In Mourning,
†† For a Soldier Died Today!"