Spirit of America
by Erich Hartung
This isn't a usual story. I'm not a Marine, but rather I'm active-duty Navy. I have a cousin who's a Marine, and as a matter of fact I used to be a Young Marine when I was in high school. But the purpose of my email is to simply submit a poem that I wrote in memory of Cpl Jason Dunham, the recen Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life for fellow Marines while in combat in Iraq in 2004. I was extremely humbled to hear his story and at the same time burdened to write something in honor of his sacrifice. I hope and trust that you could use this poem to remember everything that Jason as well as other Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen have done not only for our country, but also for each other.
I am personally NOT looking for any kind of recognition. You'll notice that my name is not even on the poem document. I just want other Americans to be aware of the courage and selflessness that Cpl Dunham exemplified for God, country and Corps. I also hope that his family will some day see this poem, for this is my way of saying "thank you" to them as well.
Thank you for your time. Semper Fi and God bless!
The Spirit of America
You won't find him on a field,
playing football for some fans;
And you won't hear him on a stage,
singing solo for some band.
You won't see him on TV
entertaining many folks;
And you won't hear him at the club
telling off a bunch of jokes.
Instead you're gonna find him
working hard behind the scenes;
Fighting, sweating and bleeding hard
with United States Marines.
Most of us can't comprehend
of what went through his mind;
Or why he chose to join the Corps
and leave civilian life behind.
When the bullets started flying,
something landed at their feet.
Once they noticed what it was,
they knew their maker they would meet.
But he was forced to make a choice,
a choice to hide or dive.
Being the man that he was,
he chose to save some lives.
As the tears rain down
from the heav'ns up above,
A mother and a father cry
for their son they'll always love.
He was just a child to some,
but a hero to even more;
The bravest of the brave,
devoted to the Corps.
You would find him with his friends
forever standing tall.
But he was just a boy of twenty-two
when called to give his all.
We just don't understand why,
so we just cast our doubts.
But we just don't see that
it's what America's all about.
And as this young man
is laid to final rest,
He fits perfect in formation
with our nation's best.
Lest we not forget
what the Good Lord up above has said,
"Greater love hath no man
than to lay his life down for a friend."