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Posts: 180
(5/26/01 3:14:06 pm)
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Author Unknown

The young Marine was weary and he sought a little rest
with a helmet for his pillow and his rifle on his chest.
He had seen the gunships fire, he had heard the cannons roar
He had seen the Navy's power as he made his way ashore.

Then he thought about his rifle and he found it rather small,
with the gunships and the cannons it was nothing much at all.
The efforts of a rifleman meant little it would seem,
then as he slipped into a slumber he dreamed himself a dream.

The man who stood beside him, held a musket in his hand,
and close around his neck wore a heavy leather band.
"When I was on old Ironsides" the apparition said,
"there were cannon balls and cutlasses, wherever danger led.

There were pistols too and daggers at every fighters side,
when the ships would come together on the rolling, heaving tide.
But when it came to boarding with the battle fury hot,
it was rifles, always rifles, that made the telling shot."

The apparition faded and standing in it's place,
beneath a shallow helmet he saw another face.

"When we were in the trenches in the wooded Marne,
there were mortars, tanks and cannons more than I have ever seen.
But when the final charge was made, to push the German's back,
it was rifles, always rifles, at the point of attack."

The face changed only slightly while the helmet stayed the same,
and the island that he spoke of had a more familiar name.

"They hit us very early, when the war had just begun,
on the wings of all their bombers, we could see the rising sun.
Our pilots and our gunners who fought and fell at Wake,
wrote a story full of glory that time shall never shake.
But when the enemy drew to make the final reach,
it was rifles, always rifles, that met him on the beach."

There next appeared a shadow in a swirl of stinging snow,
and it's eyes were all aglow,
In fifty at the Chosin when the big guns couldn't talk,
the First Marine Division took a freezing walk.
"When all the world except the Corps had counted us as gone,
it was rifles, always rifles, that let us carry on."

The scene was changed to summer and the face was hard and lean,
But the tired eyes were fired with the light that says "Marine."

"At Khe Sanh when they shelled us, we were wrapped in rolling smoke,
and the thought of survival was a grim and ghastly joke,
But when their waves came swarming in to finish the assault,
it was rifles, always rifles, that called the final halt."

There next appeared a General as solid as a tank,
with three stars on his collar to signify his rank.
His stature and demeanor were the military type,
and in his hand he carried a stubby little pipe.
His jaw was squarely chiseled, his eyes were clear and keen,
and his bearing left no question, he was a Marine's Marine.

"The message we're conveying, the burly General said,
is that through our troubled history the rifles have always led.
We've had cannons, tanks and mortars, we've had weapons by the score,
we've had battleships and fighter planes to compliment the Corps.
We've had a most impressive arsenal that obviously is true,
but the final thrust for victory has always been with you.

It was rifles, always rifles, when the Corps was sorely pressed,
and the weapon that you carry must meet the final test.
So sling that rifle proudly for everything we do
with mortars, tanks and cannons is in support of you."

The young Marine awakened and put the dream aside,
though now he clutched his rifle with a certain touch of pride,
And then he glanced to notice that lying near his hand,
was a stubby little pipe and a heavy leather band.

Posts: 665
(5/27/01 10:37:02 am)
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Thanks Sharon.Weapons and the War's change but not the Spirit.
...and two hard boiled eggs.

Posts: 8
(5/29/01 2:59:41 pm)
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I'll be passing this on to my Marine.
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