Paul F. McCann
OLDER SOLDIER – FUTURE TROOPER
The old drill sergeant walked up and down checking out the new recruits,
His uniform was threadbare now like the laces that tied his boots.
Now and then he stopped to make a comment about army life,
“I’ve been in the army so long,” he said “it’s almost like a wife.”
A snigger was heard in the front rank and the sergeant wondered why,
So he took to ask the question and looked them him squarely in the eye,
“Tell me Sonny what’s so funny about the army life and me.”
The answer came back from the new recruit almost immediately.
“Well if you’re married to the army sir, does she look after you?
Your jacket has holes, your boots need soles, and your hat is worn out too.”
“You can’t put new patches on old jackets,” his trumpeted voice blew.
“And if you want to walk in my footsteps you’ll need an old soul too,
New hats are worn on new heads like yours, not on some old heads like mine.
Looks can be deceiving, see this uniform’s stood the test of time”
Then he told the recruits why he wore that old uniform today.
He remembered how he felt the first day he earned a soldiers pay.
It was the uniform he fought in when he was just out of school;
It was the uniform that first taught him how to obey the rule.
That uniform covered his body but held his heart firm and strong.
The holes in his jacket were from bullets that never did him wrong.
The more he spoke the less of a joke his old uniform became,
The welcome was one of perseverance; commitment was its aim.
©Copyright March 1, 2006 by Paul F. McCann