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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Military · #1035566
Dedciated to Bill Oelkers, a Korean War veteran and retired Fire Chief


Dedicated to William Oelkers for a life well lived

He stood tall among the men
who had fought in the Korean War;
one of those who had survived
and a credit to the two-score

who wrote the words of a book
so that the world would not forget
a Christmas in July, with the pain
each one remembered - even yet.

Bill was trained in heavy weapons;
a member of H Company, 180th Infantry
in the 45th Division, a Thunderbird
who took pride serving his country.

The war raged, with bitter fighting,
taking a toll on each young man -
something that anyone not there
could never really understand.

When the war for him was over and
the troops made their way home,
he found another chance to serve
and then to take care of his own.

A different kind of war he fought,
where flames were the worst enemy;
he became a firefighter in 1954,
still serving his beloved country.

He joined the ranks of brave men
who put their neighbors lives higher
then their own, as he became Chief
to lead others in fighting fire.

Later in life he dispatched crews
"an easy job with benefits" he said;
Somehow he always found a way to serve
- ah, what a great life this man led!

The Band of Brothers has lost him
to the ravages of age and time;
Bill has attended his last muster -
but I'm sure he's doing just fine.

Somewhere up in Heaven, there
may be more work for him to do;
he may become our guardian angel
watching over me and you -

"May peace be with you, Bill"
a friend wrote and as I read,
I could picture a banquet table
waiting somewhere way up ahead.

"Save us a good place at the table"
for someday we will again unite;
and for each and every comrade,
there will be peace and light.


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