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June 29, 2006

I Was A Soldier

June 29, 2006 | By | No Comments

Only one American male in nine has worn a military uniform. This includes the WWll vets passing on.

Charmaine and I were talking about war and rumors of war and she remarked that it seems as if no one cares, if the polls are to be believed. This is a common conversation, when you have sons who want to serve and sacrifice.

Because some folks these days, usually in Blue States, don’t understand the military. And people these days are not having kids.

And so, as the cliche goes, The Greatest Generation has begot the Me Generation. A sad MyGration.

But there is hope. There are still soldiers. And the Roe Effect is rolling in. Soon.

I Was A Soldier

By Colonel Daniel K. Cedusky, USA, Retired

I was a Soldier: That’s the way it is, that’s what we were…are. We put

it, simply, without any swagger, without any brag, in those four plain

words.

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We speak them softly, just to ourselves. Others may have forgotten

They are a manifesto to mankind; speak those four words anywhere in the

world — yes, anywhere — and many who hear will recognize their meaning.

They are a pledge. A pledge that stems from a document which said: “I

solemnly Swear”, “to protect and defend” and goes on from there, and from a

Flag called “Old Glory”.

Listen, and you can hear the voices echoing through them, words that sprang

white-hot from bloody lips, shouts of “medic”, whispers of “Oh God!”,

forceful words of “Follow Me”. If you can’t hear them, you weren’t, if you

can you were.

“Don’t give up the ship! Fight her till she dies… Damn the torpedoes! Go

ahead! . . . Do you want to live forever? . . . Don’t cheer, boys; the poor

devils are dying.”

Laughing words, and words cold as January ice, words that when spoken, were

meant, .. “Wait till you see the whites of their eyes”. The echo’s of I was

a Soldier.

You can hear the slow cadences at Gettysburg, or Arlington honoring not a

man, but a Soldier, perhaps forgotten by his nation…Oh! Those Broken

Promises.

You can hear those echoes as you have a beer at the “Post”, walk in a

parade, go to The Wall, visit a VA hospital, hear the mournful sounds of

tap, or gaze upon the white crosses, row upon row.

But they aren’t just words; they’re a way of life, a pattern of living, or a

way of dying.

They made the evening, with another day’s work done; supper with the wife

and kids; and no Gestapo snooping at the door and threatening to kick your

teeth in.

They gave you the right to choose who shall run our government for us, the

right to a secret vote that counts just as much as the next fellow’s in the

final tally; and the obligation to use that right, and guard it and keep it

clean.

They prove the right to hope, to dream, to pray; the obligation to serve.

These are some of the meanings of those four words, meanings we don’t often

stop to tally up or even list.

Only in the stillness of a moonless night, or in the quiet of a Sunday

afternoon, or in the thin dawn of a new day, when our world is close about

us, do they rise up in our memories and stir in our sentient hearts.

And we are remembering Iwo Jima, Wake Island, and Bataan, Inchon, and Chu

Lai, Knox and Benning, Great Lakes and Paris Island, Travis and Chanute,

Bagdad, Kabul, Kuwait City, and many other places long forgotten by our

civilian friends.

They’re plain words, those four. Simple words.

You could carve them on stone; you could carve them on the mountain ranges.

You could sing them, to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.”

But you needn’t. You needn’t do any of those things, for those words are

graven in the hearts of Veterans, they are familiar to 24,000,000 tongues,

every sound and every syllable. If you must write them, put them on my

Stone.

But when you speak them, speak them softly, proudly, I will hear you, for I

too,

I was a Soldier, I AM A VETERAN.

Inspired By “Creed” I am an American by Hal Borland

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