A Veteran's Poem

A Veteran's Poem

The following is by my friend, a fellow Marine, Rick Waller. He wrote this for the Veterans program at his church.

Who I Am
by Richard Waller

I venture far from home, family, and friends;
I go to places I’ve never been;
I encounter people I’ve never known;
I see and hear things I’ve never imagined;
My days do not end with the setting sun.
Where I walk I do want it to be known.
When I speak I do not want to be overheard!

You say, “You are brave.”
I say, “I am well trained.”
You say, “You could die.”
I say, “Death is part of a living.”
You say, “I don’t believe in what you are doing.”
I say, “I do!”
You say, “Why do you do it?”
I say, “Because you don’t.”
You say, “That offends me!”
I say, “That is your choice.”
You say, “None of this makes sense to me.”
I say, “If you understood, you would understand.”

I am a defender of the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States of America,
For America,
For the Nations,
For the inhabitants of the earth:
I do not ask,
What do you believe?
What is your ethnicity?
What is your social status?
Do you like me?
I just defend and prepare to defend.
I train and train some more.
I am disciplined.
I am faithful.
I am trustworthy.

You are safe because I am brave.
I am brave so you can be safe!
Your safety is called FREEDOM.
My bravery is called DUTY.
I am a member of the Armed Forces of the United States of America,
Marine Corps
Air Force
Coast Guard
National Guard

Home of the BRAVE!
Home of the FREE!

Cpl. Richard (Wally) Waller
1st MAW
MAG 12
VMA 533
Chu Lai, RVN

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • 1stLt Gerald F. Merna USMC (Ret).,(Mustang MGySgt)

    Tom: MajGen Bruno Hochmuth was the only Marine General to die in Vietnam (as did two Army Generals and two Navy Admiral’s). Here is the tribute I wrote for Gen. Hochmuth: (paste this in your browser: “Gen. Hochmuth Story: By Gerald F. Merna, 1stLt USMC (Ret.)” Semper Fi, Jerry Merna

  • Father Richard Gorman

    If only each American citizen bought to his own life and calling the dedication, courage, and self-sacrificial service that Corporal Waller brings to our Marine Corps.

  • Ken Beck

    Karen I was on Hill 55 in 68 69. God Bless you and your late beloved Marine.

  • Jimmy Dorsey

    Well said Marine – I was in Chu Lai 69 & 70 VMFA 122 ooh-rah and Semper Fi to all Marine past n present

  • Arlene Engel

    This is a well written poem by Cpl Waller. He understands because he has walked the walk. Too many sit back and talk but don’t understand, and never will. My husband and I are both Marines, many of our family have served this country and are proud of our servicemen and women, and our USA. Ooh rah!

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