THE FORGOTTEN MERCHANT MARINE
by Walter Drew
Over a half century has passed and we've yet to be told.
About the men on the ships who carried more than their load.
The first Americans to die even before the war was declared,
Loving fathers and sons, hardly any were spared.
More seamen perished, more than any other branch it is said.
One seamen out of thirty-two gave his life and is now dead.
Yet children lost fathers and mothers lost sons.
Wives lost their husbands before the conflict was won.
No military honors were bestowed on these men.
No mention of heroism was ever told to their kin.
No parades or open arms met them back home.
Only ridicule and scorn and sarcasm the tone.
That dark cloud of disrespect still hangs and it looms.
It has taken over fifty years to try heal these wounds.
Yet loved ones still mourn and the injured still ache.
They have given up wondering if this is some kind of mistake.
The scars still remain, the story is untold.
They ask not for themselves the honor to be bestowed.
They ask for their comrades who gave their life to the ocean.
So their relatives at home can remember them with devotion.
THE LONLIEST DEAD
by M.C. Middlebrooks
They are the loneliest dead who rest beneath the waves
In graves unmarked, unknown. The bugle's soft farewell,
As taps say, "We remember", touches not their sleep.
Why should the forgotten listen to its poignant, haunting spell?
Where the white lines of crosses lie in ordered rows,
The fields are green and cherished, each cross bears a name,
Identifying valor and honoring its repose --
A land has pledged itself these dead shall live in fame.
But the long, slow convoys that grimly took
Their losses so that some might batter through
Sailed in quiet and secrecy; their dead may look
In vain for a salute from those who never knew.
Yet when the bugle blares the call for that last review,
And the great regiments sweep past the mighty dead,
Grouped round Washington, bearing flags that flew
On every battlefield where patriots blood was shed.
Will the weary thousands in tattered dungarees
Hang back ignored as they have been so long?
No. Eyes that have seen their country driven nigh its knees
And led it back to victory can judge that silent throng.
They shall march to a tune that has the deep slow beat
Of waves on a rocky shore, their banner shall proudly bead
The legend, "We held the balance 'twixt victory and defeat,
But when our armies needed them, the goods were there."
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Posted by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" at 11/16/2006 02:11:00 PM
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Two, often three times per day, Four Humvees would exit from the sanctuary, such as it was, of their Forward Operating Base, to play the deadly Game of IED Roulette and RPG Lottery. Before them, standing by the Gate, at the start of each deadly Roll of the Dice, was Evil, displayed in all His loathsome malevolence in the guise of Printed Words Upon A Sign: "TODAY MAY BE YOUR TURN TO DIE!" The Twenty-four year old Platoon Leader, a young man, cast in the role of Strong, Heroic Father Figure to the even younger men who accompanied him into Hell's Blackest Darkness; that Grotto of Fear, filled with Death's deafening roar of Threatening Thunder, placed reassuring hands upon the shoulders of these dear frightened children as they sobbed out through their tears, "Oh Lieutenant! I'm so afraid!"
"I, too, am afraid." said the Lieutenant, "But don't fear the Thunder; we know it's Lightning that does the damage!"
The Four Humvees would then bravely venture forth into the Unknown; each filled with a precious cargo whose Strength and Courage is their Love for those who stayed behind, who can only Hope and Pray that "It is Our Son who will come back unharmed."
Posted by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" at 11/12/2006 01:04:00 PM
Friday, November 10, 2006
(Dedicated in loving, respectful tribute to all Our Sons of America, who have ever fought for, are fighting for, and will continue to fight for, the freedom, safety, and security of we, who are their loved ones, especially to: Daniel Burch Anton, Gene "Gomer" Corley, LT. Harris, Bill “Chief” Helmsley, Eric V. Jablonski, Mitchell Padgett, “Scotty,” Dannie Taylor, and all those, who are of us, who chose to place themselves in harm's way in Defense of the American Principle
"THE FIGHTING MAN"
through Steve Savage
There is a man who walks among us, the most respected of us all;
He is not the politician nor the guy who bats a ball.
He is not the teacher or doctor, the scientist nor the priest;
And certainly not the critic, that pusillanimous beast.
No! It is the Man of True Authority, the One we love and revere;
The One who reigns in His own Light, the One we hold so dear.
Cowards honor the diplomat, whose words inspire flight,
Substituting dishonorable wrong in place of honorable right.
We are for that Fighting Man, that One who is standing tall,
Whose courage, strength, and love for us brings Freedom to us all.
We Guards of the '50's, who served at Kagnew Station, Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia, were not trained as Military Police Officers. We were Infantry MOS. Generously punctuated among our ranks were men who proudly displayed the Combat Infantryman's Badge, which they were awarded for so heroically engaging America's enemies in the Korean Conflict. Some had even received Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, and Silver Stars. It has taken 50 years of retrospection to appreciate within the depths of our souls, the unbelievable sacrifice that these men made for America. They were modest men who never spoke of their courage under fire. To us, they were just "Chief," Scotty," "Lt. Harris," and other familiar appellations which somehow masked what noble men they were who walked among us. This a tribute to these men.
(For those Guards of the '50's, if you can recall the names of those heroes of our time, or if any Guards have, or have had, sons who served in combat, please e-mail their names to me so I can list them on my Blog; not to honor them, because it is they who have honored us, but to somehow let their spirits know that we who remain, have not forgotten.)
Posted by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" at 11/10/2006 06:52:00 AM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
"If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present; but if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past." -- Master Po
"Deal with evil from strength, but affirm the good in man through trust. In this way, we are prepared for evil, but we encourage good." -- Master Kahn
"And is good a great reward for trusting?" -- Young Caine
"In striving for an ideal, we do not seek rewards. Yet trust does sometimes bring with it a great reward, even greater than good." -- Master Kahn
"What is greater than good?" -- Young Caine
"Love." -- Master Kahn
"And what is love?" -- Young Caine
"Love is harmony, even in discord." -- Master Kahn
"To be alone, without one to love, is a waste of the body. To be not alone, without one to love, is a waste of the soul." -- Master Kahn
"Examine the flower. Is not the flower, in each position, yet a flower?" -- Master Po
"Shall I then treat each man the same?" -- Caine
"As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all." -- Master Po
"Yet, the flower beneath the water knows not the sun. Other men, not knowing me, will find me hard to understand." -- Caine
"Accept the ways of others. Respect first your own." -- Master Po
"I have three treasures which I hold and keep. The first is mercy, for from mercy comes courage. The second is frugality, from which comes generosity to others. The third is humility, for from it comes leadership." -- Master Po
"Strange treasures. How shall I hold them and keep them? Memory?" -- Caine
"No, Grasshopper, not in memory, but in your deeds." -- Master Po
"But Master, how do I not contend with a man that would contend with me?" -- Caine
"In a heart that is one with nature, though the body contends, there is no violence, and in the heart that is not one with nature, though the body be at rest, there is always violence. Be, therefore, like the prow of a boat. It cleaves water, yet it leaves in its wake water unbroken." -- Master Po
"Ten million living things have as many worlds. Do not see yourself as the center of the universe, wise and good and beautiful. Seek, rather, wisdom, goodness, and beauty, that you may honor them everywhere." -- Master Kahn
"Where is evil, in the rat, whose nature it is to steal grain, or in the cat, whose nature it is to kill the rat?...The rat does not steal, the cat does not murder, rain falls, the stream flows, a hill remains. Each acts according to its nature." -- Master Po
"See the way of life as a stream. A man floats, and his way is smooth. The same man turning upstream exhausts himself. To be one with the universe, each must find his true path and follow it." -- Master Kahn
"The river seeks its own level. It will not fight the rock, it flows around it. The rock becomes a refuge in the river." -- Master Po
"You cannot put out water with fire." -- Caine
"How'd you find out about this stuff?" -- Huntoon
"I listened." -- Caine
"If you plant rice, rice will grow. If you plant fear, fear will grow." -- Caine
"Reach out, yet be wary of what you allow yourself to grasp." -- Master Po
"If the jury cannot see innocence in my eyes, will they find it in a lawyer's mouth?" -- Caine
"Each waking moment is as a rung on an endless ladder. Each step we take is built on what has gone before." -- Caine
"Ignore the insulting tongue. Duck the provoking blow. Run from the assault of the strong." -- Master Kahn
"The wild boar runs from the tiger, knowing that each be well-armed by nature with deadly strength, may kill the other. Running, he saves his own life and that of the tiger. This is not cowardice. It is the love of life." -- Master Kahn
"Between father and son, there is a bridge which neither time nor death can shatter. Each stands at one end, needing to cross, and meet....The bridge of which I speak, Grasshopper, is your love for him." -- Master Po
"We taught you, young man, because you already knew." -- Master Kahn
"The pole, the bow, the arrow, are one, not many things." -- Caine
"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
"Do you know the praying mantis? It looks like it's praying. That is the position it takes before it kills." -- Master Kahn
"If you tie two birds together, though they have four wings, they cannot fly" -- Caine
Posted by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts" at 11/02/2006 03:04:00 PM