David R. “Poppa” Alexander


Marching along with only the sergeant’s voice on their mind
“Jody was home when you left, your right” and more of that kind.
Up the hill and over again to the rifle range they went
Never a thought of anything else for they were going to be Rangers they were hell bent.

The physical training was rough if you were from the city
The boys from the country for them found not one bit of pity.
Eating out of a tin pan and drinking from the canteen
Not one man jack of them actually thought the sergeant was mean.

Finished with their training, and off to their first assignment
What joy and relief they felt at their reassignment.
Arriving at a new duty, not knowing what to expect
Now at least some of the new guys would show them some respect.

Short lived was the assignment that held such glee
For within a few short months they were ordered to go with more like you and me.
Across the waters to a distant land
Many now wished that they had that mean old sergeant to give a guiding hand.

Into the bush and with new men they didn’t know
But together they would bond and fight an opposing foe.
First just strangers, then friends, then brothers
Sure they watched and depended on them and no others.

Watching many die, when they knew that it could be them
With each day and each death, they grew of friendship to condemn.
Knowing that when friends become so and they give their all
It leaves a place within them that no one or nothing can stall.

Such is the life of a combat veteran, and all the thoughts he can contrive
As he does his duty and as he fights to survive.
One learns that death isn’t the worst thing that can be
Dealing with the deaths and mutilations will sometimes cause for death for one to plea.