21 December 2014


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 21 December 2014

"You can take the man from the Corps, but you'll never take the Corps from the man." Author Unknown

A poet?

Hardly. One, freestyle (as a real poet later identified the effort) from January past, have I to credit. Titled 'Still' - the contrasting definitions (not moving/continuing) of the word so intrigued - the prose honored my (still) Dad.

For today, another try.


Befitting Christmas.

But struggle I, to paint with words.

Carry On, Marines, Carry On!
by Colonel A. F. "Andy" Weddington, U.S. Marines (Ret)

In command,
a general;
a colonel;
too, a lieutenant colonel led.
All by example, as only Marines are bred.

And a captain, two bars collared, led.
The skipper's mission just not said,
but from out front night and day; 
by history, by tradition, by follower expected way.

The hat with emblem nor belt no collared bars did wear,
to lead and supervise striped their fare.

Shoulders striped with rifles crossed but diamond one;
not in the rough but more duty stern than occasional fun.
The hat with emblem and belt all earned to wear,
and solemnly pledged to train recruits entrusted to care.

To make Marines their dauntless chore.
To carry on grade and trade - to ne'er tarnish nor let fade
our illustrious Corps.
So one-by-one, to constantly inspect and later parade, 
a new Marine they ever made.

Colors at carry with armed guards nearby,
bold and bright high so fly - striking whatever the glorious sky.
An Anthem, a Hymn, and marches proud melodic air,
while grateful protected quietly listen and mistily stare.

For years and years of wear and tear,
collared bars and leafs and eagles and stars
and shouldered stripes no longer they wear.
Though title "Marine" all ever bear.

Now those they trained,
friends prayer while enemies beware.
For long as eagle, globe, and anchor on standby to fight,
America ever there - for freedom and right.

So, a toast proposed - with raised charged crystal not chalice -
to the honorable, the courageous, the committed
who willing live by the motto - Semper Fidelis.

Here's to Drill Instructors, the officers who lead and supervise them,
and that respected and feared rare breed simply known as
United States Marine.

Carry On, Marines, Carry On!


Post Script

For some real poetry, and more, by a Marine (SSgt Robert Hall, USMC(Retired) - Vietnam veteran and accomplished public servant and author), and books thereof, visit: http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com

For a fine little book on recruit training and leadership, pick up 'Pride and Discipline - Hallmarks of a Marine' by Colonel Donald J. Myers, USMC (Ret). Colonel Myers was the Commanding Officer of the Regiment at Parris Island (1982-1984).
Author's Endnote

The author served in Second Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC (1983-1986): Series Commander and Executive Officer, F Company; Battalion Operations Officer and Commanding Officer, HQ Company; Commanding Officer, D Company.

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