John A. Belles

John A. Belles is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant and resides in Rolla, Missouri.


The grizzled old Sergeant stood at attention in his greens,
In a ceremony to honor his service and his legacy, it seems.

Twenty-plus years of sacrifice and giving America his best,
Summed up in a two-line narrative and a medal pinned on his chest.

Reflecting back on his life and the service that he has given,
Shows this career was a calling, and for it he was certainly driven.

Passion for God, Family, Country and comrades alike,
Shown like a beacon when they handed him the mike.

“The Backbone of the Army, that’s what we’re called,
We make it happen, and it should be respected by all.”

“Now, many came before us, and many have passed,
I wasn’t the first, and I surely won’t be the last.”

“I’ve carried the torch, with pride, just as far as I can;
Now I’m passing it on, knowing that it’s in good hands.”

“The Army’s in my blood and you’re all in my heart,
But, our past contributions, well they’re only a start.”

“With high expectations and a challenge that’s great,
I know that you’re up to it, and I know you can’t wait.”

“America is safe tonight, and you are the reason,
You carry the torch through every storm and season.”

“I leave you today with great sadness and sorrow,
Yet knowing, because of you, we’ve a brighter tomorrow.”

He stood a little straighter as he shuffled away,
With a tear on his cheek, for God’s help he did pray.

Because of him and others, the Backbone is as strong as steel,
And those baptized by the fire, know well the honor that he feels.