David R. “Poppa” Alexander


He weighed 185 pounds and stood 6 feet tall
Straight and erect, he awaited the call.
His two small children really didn’t understand
But being a Marine, a father, husband but mostly a man.

His uniforms all cleaned and folded for travel
Not one of the seams did his loving wife allow to ravel.
His son and daughter made a game of helping dad
They had no understanding of war and he was glad.

Then came the morning when his orders came
Suddenly the packing was no longer a game.
This Marine hurried home to hold his wife and kids
After they were asleep he went from bed to bed for a memory that absence forbids.

As he left for a country that until now of which he had never heard
One final kiss to the kids, then to his wife a goodbye kiss no need for a word
As he reached the airplane he turned and wiped away a tear
He must be strong for his family was putting on a front of cheer.

A long trip and a thousand thoughts of his family waiting for his return
They all knew the time might come but being ready was hard to learn.
He could see his children in his mind playing on the lawn
His beautiful wife would worry dawn to dawn.

Then one day as the children were at play
A Marine came to their house late in May
His wife knew what he was going to say.
So many others had already faced this day.

This American Hero giving his life for his country
The part no one remembers is his family
The children growing up without a father
A wife without the man she loved trying not to be a bother.

Another Marine family giving all for you and me
So his children, yours and mine could grow up free.
A Marine now awaits them on the other side
But he will never know their real feeling of love and pride.

Author’s Note: Written for my active duty Marine nephew, Lanny Mize and his wife and two children