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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Military · #2243410
A salute to veterans of WWII
Winning the Peace

Stand and cheer our volunteers,
young men who’ve grown up tall.
Wave your flags and send them off
to answer freedom’s call.

Reveille and jumping jacks,
no time to drag your ass.
Learn to march and form a line,
TEN-HUT, salute the brass.

Shaping up and shipping out,
we’re basically prepared.
Acid stomachs churn with doubt;
crack jokes to hide the scare.

Machine guns chatter over sand
as troops heed duty’s call.
Shells come screaming overhead
to burst our grim resolve.

Desperate chaos storms the beach
with waves of men and gear.
Adrenaline and bravery
rush on through primal fear.

Hard-won footholds barely make
a pinprick on the map.
Seven hundred miles of hell
remain to be attacked.

Months of slogging fight-to-fight,
through heat and mud and snow;
the endless grind of pushing on
wears down our weary soles.

K-rations and cold-water shaves,
the smell of smoke and blood,
accompany the rifle crack
and whumping mortar thud.

Final push becomes a race
and suddenly it’s done.
A joyful world celebrates
the silence of the guns.

Liberation bells ring out
for freedom far and wide.
Lay down arms to build anew;
good will and peace abide.

Scant time to bask in moral glow,
again the conflict calls.
Korea, ‘Nam, Afghanistan;
war never ends at all.

So, stand again in silent grief
as time-worn heroes pass.
Salute a flag-draped coffin,
the only peace that lasts.

Author's note:
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