Dear Sgt. Grit,
Recently my mother in law was cleaning out some drawers and came across some of my father in laws things. (My father in law has been dead many years now). In it was a laminated code of honor, an old chauffeurs license and this poem my husband had sent him from Viet Nam. It came from a military news paper they had when he was over there. I want to share it with you.
Where Are You Going
submitted by Diane Watson
“Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
On this glittering morn of May?”
“I’m going to join the Colours, Dad;
They are looking for men they say.”
“But you’re only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad;
You aren’t obliged to go.”
I’m seventeen and a quarter, Dad
AND EVER SO STRONG, YOU KNOW.”
So you’re off to France, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you’re looking so fit and bright.”
“I’m terribly sorry to leave you, Dad,
But I feel I”m doing right.”
“God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad,
You’re all of my life you know.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll soon be back, dear Dad,
AND I’M AWFULLY PROUD TO GO.”
“Why don’t you write, Young Fellow My Lad?
I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I’m awfully sad,
and it’s months since you went away.
And I’ve had the fire in the parlor lit,
And I’m keeping it burning bright
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit
INTO THE QUIET NIGHT.”
What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad?
No letter again today.
Why did the postman look so sad,
And sigh as he turned away?
I here them tell that we’ve gained new ground,
But a terrible priced we paid;
God grant, my boy. that you’re safe and sound;
BUT OH I’M AFRAID, AFRAID
They told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad;
You’ll never come back again:
Oh God: the dreams and the dreams I’ve had,
And the hopes I’ve nursed in vain!!
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you proved in the cruel test
Of screaming shell and the Battle hell
THAT MY BOY WAS ONE OF THE BEST.
“SO YOU’LL LIVE, YOU’LL LIVE,YOUNG FELLOW MY LAD,
IN THE GLEAM OF THE EVENING STAR,
IN THE WOOD-NOTE WILD AND LAUGH OF THE CHILD,
IN ALL THE SWEET THINGS THAT ARE.
AND YOU WILL NEVER DIE, MY WONDRFUL BOY,
WHILE LIFE IS NOBLE AND TRUE:
FOR ALL OUR BEAUTY AND HOPE AND JOY
WE WILL OWE OUR LADS LIKE YOU.”