Copyright by Gordon Kuhn 11/10/2015
On this day the United States Marine Corps is 240 years old. I and other Marines all celebrate today worldwide.
Three simple syllables. Yet, one of the most powerful words in our lexicon. One of the most meaningful. It identifies the person so called as having a place in history. They left behind family and friends and stepped into the breach risking their lives for the protection of others and the freedoms we all share.
The word, the label, if you wish, transcends the ages, and more. It does not discriminate over sex. It does not look at cultural heritage. It cares not for your religion or political beliefs. It does not care if you were in one branch of service over another. It does not measure your service based on the tasks you were assigned. It does not care if you were drafted or joined as a volunteer. It only cares that you stood and took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
A simple word that identifies the person so honored as called as being a part of history. Each one has stories unique to the time and locations of where they served. Each left family and friends behind and stepped forward into the breach risking their lives for the protection of others and for the freedoms we all share.
Copyright 11/10/2015 by Gordon Kuhn
You stood your watch and honored are
Now feel the breath of history brush across your face
Here the voices of those who went before you
And those who came after whisper your name
You who left your family and friends behind
And stepped forward to protect them
Drafted or joined
You faced loneliness
You witnessed violence
And felt the cold sense of fear
And you stood your watches
Regardless of where you were
Or the time of day
Or the weather that surrounded you
In daylight or night, warm or cold, dry or chilled by rain
You kept your orders regardless of the pain
It matters not what sex you are
Nor the color of your skin
It matters not what religion you take comfort in
Or, perhaps, none at all
It doesn’t matter what task you were assigned
From clerk to rifleman, to sailor, or in the sky
You stood your ground for freedom and for family
You stood your watch, and honored are
And honor laid upon you the title: Veteran