A Veteran's Poem for Non Veterans | Eastern North Carolina Now

    I wrote this poem many years ago during a reflective moment on Veterans day. I have always felt that those currently serving should be given more recognition than Veterans. It is my believe that the best recognition and reward a Veteran can receive is to be alive and still enjoying life. That is in large part the result of those currently following a Veteran's footsteps and looking forward to the same reward. To be alive and well because others have chosen to follow them. For that reason, I offer this poem which I have never bothered to revise and correct the obvious poetic inconsistencies. Bobby Tony


Somewhere there is a soldier in the frozen snow
It was not a choice he made but he was told to go

Somewhere there is a soldier in the burning sand
A decision not made by him but by another man

Somewhere there is a soldier in the dark and churning sea
She was sent there to protect us both including you and me

Somewhere there is a soldier in the restless stormy sky
High above the ground and all alone he continues still to fly

Somewhere there is a soldier in the training field
Learning how to live for days without a decent meal

Somewhere there is a soldier with a medic's bag and kit
Anxiously awaiting for the call from another soldier hit

Somewhere there is a soldier in a single hospital bed
Missing limbs and wounded but at least he is not dead

Somewhere there is a soldier in a loving mother's heart
There they will always remain even thought they are apart

Somewhere there is a soldier in an old vet's memory
He will never be forgotten or make another reveille

Somewhere there is a soldier in a cold and darken grave
We should all be very thankful for the gift of life he gave

As we celebrate another year of living well and getting older

© 2000

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Grunge said:
( November 13th, 2022 @ 5:30 pm )
A beautiful tribute. It reaches anyone who ever knew, thought of, or was thankful for a soldier.
( November 14th, 2018 @ 7:35 am )
I am willing to concede that I may be a bit too much of a purist on this issue, but I see so many people playing the system both on the VA and the Welfare support system that I just want to be consistent in my beliefs and actions. When one of the Happy Hour Vets asked me why I have not filed with the VA, I responded that I would lose my bitching rights regarding Food Stamp and Welfare cheats. It did not go over well with the crowd, but I see numerous examples of veterans who think they are OWED something for their service.

I may be in denial but I don't think I have any residual afflictions from my service other than a few bad memories. To try and game the system would be taking away space, time and money from those who truly are in need of help.

As far as the free meal is concerned, I resist because the first step on the slippery slope of ENTITLEMENT begins with think you deserve payback for previous service. I was paid roughly $240 per month back in the day, and while I may agree it was a meager sum for the duty, it was a choice I made and was not presented as an annuity for life. I did take advantage of the VA educational benefits, so I may be throwing stones in a glass house, but so be it. That's how it is in BT's World.
( November 13th, 2018 @ 11:03 am )
Wonderfully said B.T., but, if I were in your shoes, I would at least opt for the free meal.
( November 12th, 2018 @ 9:04 am )
My views on Veteran's day have evolved a bit over the years. There was a time when it was a source of ridicule, then it became a source of pride. As I aged, I wore it like a sword in defiance of those who did not serve. Like all good wines, the view has mellowed over the years. Today I use it as a historical memoir being written for my still too young grand kids.

For the last few years, I see the coupons and offers for a free meal for veterans (with proper identification of course). I have always deferred accepting the offer because nothing is free and to paraphrase Rooster Cogburn "I have lived ten lustrums since my certificate of completion."

What started out as a duty, became an anchor, then an affliction, morphed into a trauma and finally made the transition into a PRIVILEGE.
I don't need a free meal;
I don't need any thanks;
I don't want a pedestal to stand on.

What I do wish, is that SOMEWHERE, that future Veteran will stay safe and return home to his loved ones like it has been my PRIVILEGE to do for the last 10 lustrums. (50 years for the non websters)

That is reward enough!
( November 17th, 2016 @ 7:19 pm )
Great poem Bobby Tony. You really get the the heart of the truth of what so many of us only can barely fathom.

Thank-you for your commitment to that truth my fellow poet.

Lafayette Escadrille Event - Veteran's Day, November 11, 2016 Poetry: The Song of Life, Today's Literature, The Arts Announcing The Embers with Craig Woolard


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