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A Dedication To Our Troops

A Soldier Died Today

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 once fought in And the deeds that he had done, In his exploits with his buddies; They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors His tales became a joke, All his buddies listened quietly For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer, For ol' Jim has passed away, And the world's a little poorer For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many, Just his children and his wife. For he lived an ordinary, Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family, Going quietly on his way And the world won't note his passing, Tho 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 of 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, Some jerk who breaks his promise 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?

The politician's stipend And the style in which he lives, Are often disproportionate, To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier, Who offered up his all, Is paid off with a medal And perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them, For it is so many times That our Jims and Bobs and Johnnys, Went to battle, but we know,

It is not the politicians With their compromise and ploys, Who won for us the freedom That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, With your enemies at hand, Would you really want some cop-out, With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier-- His home, his country, his kin, Just a common Soldier, Who 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, We find the Soldier's part Is to clean up all the troubles That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor 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 the paper that might say:

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm Howitzers.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.

He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is not unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
Prayer wheel for our military...please don't break it Please send this on after a short prayer.
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen."

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those who will fight somewhere else in the future. His can be very powerful.... Just send this to all the people in your address book. Do not stop the wheel, please.... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor or Airman Prayer is the very best one.

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All these POW's really touched my heart during this time, My pryaers and thoughts were with them and their family threw this hard time. I am so happy to see them home and doing well.

Spc. Edgar Hernandez, Pfc. Patrick Miller, Sgt. James Riley and Spc. Joseph Hudson arrive at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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A Soldier's Heart. Release Date 4/03
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