Veterans Day poem from 1940s
We are not ashamed of the uniform,
And, if you, Sir, are a friend
You will never say a word against it,
A word that might offend.
It has covered honored bodies.
And by heroes has been worn
Since the day our great Republic
And the stars and stripes were born.
Uniforms have many colors —
Some are khaki — some are blue;
And the men who choose to wear them
Are of many patterns, too.
Some are sons of wealthy parents,
Some are college graduates,
Some have all the manly virtues,
Some are merely reprobates.
Men of brawn, of pluck and daring,
Men of brain and knowledge, too;
Would you dare to spite these men
With the ones you know, the few?
No, we’re not angels;
Blackguards? Yes, a few of those,
But they got that name and rating
When they wore civilian clothes.
No man is at his best when drinking.
All act rough and curse and swear.
Drunken soldiers, or civilians,
Are disgusting anywhere.
Criticize, but treat us fairly.
We’ll appreciate it more
Than a lot of empty cheering
When we’re going out to war.
If you meet up with us in public,
On the street, or anywhere;
Stow your covert sneering glances,
And your patronizing air.
We are Uncle Sam’s defenders
As our garments plainly show;
While you may be a thief or parson.
How on Earth are we to know?
We don’t ask you your profession
Or your name, or what you do.
Though we’re only “common soldiers”
We feel just as good as you.
Who is there to judge between us
I ask you man to man?
Only one: The Great Almighty.
Name another, if you can.
So forget the haughty bearing and the narrow, foolish pride.
Get acquainted with a soldier
And the heart he wears inside.
Test, trust and understand him
Without prejudice or fear;
And you’ll very likely learn
That the soldier is your peer.
Submitted to the Racine Journal Times by Pamela Kay Ehnert, niece of Cpl. Norman Carl Wagner, Sur. Off. 3rd Army, Smith-Young Tower, San Antonio Poem written by “one of the boys in the office”.