Just A Common 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 Legion buddies listened,
for they knew whereof he spoke

But we'll hear his tales no longer
for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer,
for a soldier died today

He will not be mourned by many,
just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary
and quite uneventful life

Held a job and raised a family,
quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing,
though 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 their whole 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
A guy who breaks his promises
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?

A politician's stipend
and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate
to the service that 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 was so long ago
That the old Bills of our Country
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 want a politician
with his ever-shifting stand?

Or would you prefer 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 a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning,
for a soldier died today.

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