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 A Soldier Died Today

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Don Stephens
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Don Stephens

Number of posts : 1355
Registration date : 2008-01-25
Age : 81
Location : Wherever my hat's hanging today!

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyTue Jan 15, 2013 1:04 pm

JUST A COMMON
SOLDIER


(A Soldier Died
Today)


by A. Lawrence
Vaincourt


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 had 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 Legion buddies listened, for they
knew whereof he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer for
old Bill has passed away,

And the world's a little poorer, for a
soldier died today.


He will not be mourned by many, just his
children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary and quite
uneventful life.

Held a job and raised a family, quietly
going his own way,

And the world won't note his passing,
though 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 their whole 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

A guy who breaks his promises 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?


A politician's stipend and the style in
which he lives

Are sometimes 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 was so
long ago,

That the old Bills of our Country went to
battle, but we know

It was 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 want a politician with his
ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer a soldier, who has
sworn to defend

His home, his kin and Country and 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, then
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 a paper
that would say,

Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier
died today.

© 1987 A. Lawrence Vaincourt


Last edited by D. J. (Don) Stephens on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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Location : UK

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyTue Jan 15, 2013 1:59 pm

From the heart, Don.

_________________
A Soldier Died Today 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyTue Jan 15, 2013 7:04 pm

Wow! That is powerful! It should be posted widespread. The truth there is glaring and so real. I interviewed a Viet Nam vet for the Southwest Spotlight. He's raising money to help the homeless vets, most from the Viet Nam era. His stories from their lives and from his own experiences as a patient at the veteran hospital are heart rending.

I was a teacher under contract to the 8th U.S. Army Seoul, Korea in 1975-79 - most on the base were two and three tour Viet Nam combat experience. I taught enlisted personnel so they could get their GED's and muster out to attend college or get jobs. I was on every base in S. Korea including those close to the DMZ - at a time when the entire nation had a midnight curfew. Most of my friends were married to officers.

At least President Obama is trying to appoint a republican Viet Nam vet if the republicans will let him.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10696
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyTue Jan 15, 2013 11:00 pm

Thanks Don. It is heartfelt and true. I have been fortunate to know soldiers who survived war. Many die without talking about the horrors they experienced. Some live their lives with horrific dreams that won't go away.

On May 9th, Hermann Frech will celebrate his 85th birthday. His book, "On the Way to Siberia" records his recollections of those days that he revealed for the first time.

We take so much for granted today, our freedom and way of life that was bought with a price. The ultimate price was the loss of life during battle. Having survived doesn't mean forgetting and we should not forget.

Dick Stodghill's book is a great book to read. He is another soldier that passed. Fortunately he recorded his recollections of those days.

Don, your poem is a good summary. Keeping the memories alive may help prevent another war.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyWed Jan 16, 2013 12:42 am

Don, may I have your permission to copy your poem? I want to print it out a give a copy to Hermann Frech.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyWed Jan 16, 2013 2:39 am

This morning I went to visit my neighbor. The lady called to wish me a Happy Birthday and asked me to stop by.
The lady was at the hair salon and so I visited with her husband while waiting for her to return. He is 98 years old and still in fairly good health. It was difficult to understand him, however just listening was important. My daughter works at an old folk’s home and she tells me that a great part of her job is just to sit and listen to the old folks. They can’t remember current things, but their childhood memories are much alive. Most people, even visitors don’t want to listen. Listening can also provide important information about their state of health. .
So, listening to Herr Hundt was important to him. He said how cold it is in Russia right now and said he knows how cold it can get. He was in the Ukraine during the war and they slept on straw on top of a stove to keep warm. He was wounded and when he returned home, his wife had died from an air raid. He was introduced to a girl whose husband worked in the mines and died of Miner’s disease. They married and moved to Göcklingen where they have lived ever since. The lady is ten years younger than he and have lived a happy life together.
He talked about the war and how stupid the current war activities in Africa (Mali) are. I think that anyone who experienced war understands better than others the tragedy for everyone involved.

We have two ears and one mouth and that should indicate that we should listen twice as much as we talk. Being around older people is educational. History comes alive when they relive their experiences. Once they are gone, their stories die with them.

We had a nice visit and I was given a bottle of wine for my birthday. I didn’t want to take it, but to refuse would have been an insult. Until recently, Herr Hundt still did the cooking. Now they receive a hot meal every day delivered by an organization that provides meals to older people. For a nominal fee, they get a good catered meal.

Old soldiers are interesting people. They did their duty for their country, regardless of politics, and those who survived will never forget. Don’s poem is right on target.
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alj
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Location : San Antonio

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyWed Jan 16, 2013 8:46 am

Abe said:

Quote :
Don’s poem is right on target.

Worth saying again. "Don’s poem is right on target."

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Don Stephens
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Don Stephens

Number of posts : 1355
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Age : 81
Location : Wherever my hat's hanging today!

A Soldier Died Today Empty
PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyWed Jan 16, 2013 1:25 pm

Abe F. March wrote:
Don, may I have your permission to copy your poem? I want to print it out a give a copy to Hermann Frech.

Abe, feel free to give Hermann a copy.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: A Soldier Died Today   A Soldier Died Today EmptyWed Jan 16, 2013 4:16 pm

I found the poem that Don posted if anyone is interested in reading more poems by the same author, A. Lawrence Vaincourt:

http://vaincourt.homestead.com/common_soldier.html

_________________
A Soldier Died Today 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ A Soldier Died Today 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
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