Til the Day they Die

The below poem is not only representative of my thoughts as a Marine whose tour in uniform has ended, but the countless Marines who have viewed themselves in the same vain. As Marines we are branded by tradition, esprit de corps, pride and fraternity. Once we have earned the Title of Marine, be it in peace or war, we can no more purge ourselves of it then we could our natural birthright. It is a Title that remains with all Marines till the day we die? and some of us take it to our gravestones to tell the angles we have arrived, and the devils they are to beware.

TILL THE DAY THEY DIE
Hank Donnerstag

The birth of a Marine is on that day
Having earned the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
For that?s the day of standing tall
With a pride that couldn?t be greater.

Throughout the rigors of basic training
There?s a metamorphosis taking place;
A past life ends while another begins
With a title that can?t be erased.

With a heritage passed on
And distinctions so easily seen,
It?s more than just the uniform
In the making of Marines.

It?s fortitude and conviction,
Values taken to their graves;
It?s honor after tours have ended
For the remainder of their days.

The fire contained within the ember
Hides its heat without a glow?
It?s the Marine?s fire that burns forever,
The ?Spirit? within their soul.

?Once a Marine, Always a Marine!?
It?s the ultimate of all truths,
For there is no other service on Earth
That?s paid such heavy dues.

Whether they served for 30 years
Earning ribbons and medals galore,
Or never having tasted battle?
They are Marines for evermore.

To say a Marine is ?X? or ?Former?
Will warrant immediate retraction.
Marines are Marines till the day they die?
But even then, the Title is everlasting!

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

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