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 once 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 buddies listened quietly for they knew where of he spoke. But we'll hear his tales no longer, for ol' Joe has passed away, and the world's a little poorer for a Veteran died today.
He won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife. For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life. He held a job and raised a family, going quietly on his way; and the world won't note his passing, 'Tho a Veteran 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 of their life stories from the time that they were young, but the passing of a Veteran goes unnoticed, and unsung. Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land? Some jerk who breaks his promise 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?
The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives, are often disproportionate, To the service that he gives. While the ordinary Veteran, who offered up his all, is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension, small.
It is 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 really want some cop-out, with his ever-waffling stand? Or would you want a Veteran his home, his country, his kin, just a common Veteran, who would fight until the end. He was just a common Veteran, and his ranks are growing thin, but his presence should remind us we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, we find the Veteran'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 the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A VETERAN DIED TODAY.” Author 'Unknown’
Remember to say thank you to a veteran on Veteran’s Day and every day,
Lisa Beretz, LLBeretz@gmail.com
Thank you to Barb Trask for sharing this poem.