Only Veterans Know...


I've been thinking a lot about Veterans and Veterans Day coming up.

I was thinking about maybe I could write something that would honor Veterans or give you my thoughts on what Veterans mean to me.

Or, maybe I could do both.

What I decided to do instead was I'm going to share my three favorite poems about Veterans with you and let you decide for yourself how I view and honor Veterans.

True, I could have written something myself but I think when you read these three short poems you'll see that the people who wrote these said it better than I could ever have said it myself. 

So, I hope you enjoy these poems as much as I do and I hope in some small way it sheds some light for you on what it means to be, and the life that many Veterans have.

The Final Inspection - by SGT. Joshua Helterbran

The soldier stood and faced his God, 
Which must always come to pass; 
He hoped his shoes were shining bright, 
Just as brightly as his brass. 
"Step forward now, soldier, 
How shall I deal with you? 
Have you turned the other cheek? 
To my church have you been true?" 
The soldier squared his shoulders and said, 
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't; 
Because those of us who carry guns, Can't always be a saint. 
I've had to work most Sundays, 
And at times my talk was rough; 
I've had to break your rules my Lord, 
Because the world is awfully tough. 
But, I never took a thing That wasn't mine to keep; Though I worked a lot of overtime, 
When the bills got just too steep. 
And I never passed a cry for help, 
Though at times I shook with fear; 
And sometimes ... God forgive me, 
I've wept unmanly tears. 
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here; 
They never wanted me around, 
Except to calm their fears. 
If you've a place for me here, Lord, 
It needn't be so grand; 
I never expected or had too much, 
But if you don't, I'll understand.
"There was a silence all around the throne, Where the saints often trod; 
As the soldier waited quietly, 
For the judgment of his God. 
"Step forward now, soldier, You've borne your burdens well; 
Come walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, You've done your time in HELL!"

Just a Simple Soldier 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 buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer, for ol' Bob has passed away, and the world's a little poorer, for a soldier 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, quietly going on his way; 

and the world won't note his passing; 'tho 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 of their 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, 
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 sometimes disproportionate, to the service 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 is so long ago, 
that our Bob's and Jim's and Johnny's, 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 really want some cop-out, with his ever waffling stand? 

Or would you want 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 the paper that might say: 



To all our Soldiers past and present, God Bless 

Glory to the American Flag, long may she wave 

So many have been covered with her when they've 
gone to their grave 

So many of us have taken for granted that our 
freedom will always be 

We tend to forget those who have kept that 
right for you and for me 

A Soldier will stand and fight all night to 
keep us from harm 

While some of us sit at home and refuse to 
lift an arm 

Some sit around and complain all day how 
wrong this war must be 

While a Soldier pushes that aside to continue 
to fight for you and me 

Some sit around and complain about the food 
their going to eat 

While a Soldier works straight through 
hungry and weary on his feet 

While you sit around and complain about what 
you have or where you live 

Remember what a Soldier somewhere for you is 
about to give 

A Soldier stands tall and proud and ready for 
the fight 

We must stand strong behind them through 
their hard and arduous plight

Last but not least I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this today. 

Also, I just want to personally say "Thank You" to all Veterans no matter what branch you served in or what job you did you are "Never Forgotten" my brothers and sisters.

*If you have a favorite poem about Veterans and you'd like to share it with everyone please leave it below in the comments I'd love to read it.

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