F. William Broome


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 17, 2008
Awarded: January 17, 2008
We met first on the training field
He a ‘shave tail’ lieutenant just out of college
Months later we had grown up
The baby-faced man and I stayed
While other went to schools and assignments
By combat time he commanded a full battalion
Proudly wearing a major’s gold leaves
He was tough and fair
His men’s needs always met by sunset
To the man his one thousand soldiers were ready
He was in charge totally
We loved him without saying so
Fighting the enemy for more than a month
Casualties were higher every day
He needed to check on his “boys” – to make sure
A single shell took out nine
Including a 25-year old commander
His remains rested in a body bag
On the tag his name rank serial number
And on the back of the tag lying on his chest
Printed in tearful bold letters
Words of ultimate respect – ‘The Old Man’