Once A Marine, Always A Marine

Once A Marine, Always A Marine
by Jennifer Smith-Percy

Once a marine always a marine
I see it in the graying photo
A young Marine on his way;
On his way to Vietnam;
Stoic, loyal, brave
Seen in the tightness of the jaw
The slight rise of the chin.
Ready to fight, not for a medal
Not for glory or for parades.
Ready to fight for the freedom of
A man, woman or child he?s not met;
Except, in the eyes of
His father, mother or girlfriend.
Once a marine Always a Marine
I see it in the face of an older man
Still the same tightness in the jaw,
The slight rise of the chin,
And something in the eyes unexplainable
To those not blessed with the honor to know a marine.
Once a Marine Always a Marine
I see it in the older man that stands beside me as I battle illness
The same tightness of the jaw
Slight rise of the chin
And absolute strength in the eyes.
The eyes that look at my daughter with something other than pride,
other than bravery ?
Once a Marine Always a Marine
I see it in his eyes, LOVE.

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