Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Apropos

I normally try to write my own stuff and shy away from hanging my hat on the peg of others work, but I came across this poem today by the worlds greatest poet, Edgar A. Guest. Originally published in 1918, near the end or just after WWI, it struck me as rather relevant in 2005.

To the Men at Home
by Edgar A Guest

No war is won by cannon fire alone;
The soldier bears the grim and dreary role;
He dies to serve the Flag that he has known;
His duty is to gain the distant goal.
But if the toiler in his homeland fair
Falter in faith and shrink from every test,
If he be not on duty ever there,
Lost to the cause is every soldier's best.

The men at home, the toiler in the shop,
The keen-eyed watcher of the spinning drill
Hear no command to vault the trench's top;
They know not what it is to die or kill,
And yet they must be brave and constant, too.
Upon them lies their precious country's fate;
They also serve the Flag as soldiers do,
'Tis theirs to make a nation's army great.

You hold your country's honor in your care.
Her glory you shall help to make or mar;
For they, who now her uniforms must wear
Can be no braver soldiers than you are.
From day to day, in big and little deeds,
At bench or lathe or desk or stretch of soil,
You are the man your country sorely needs!
Will you not give to her your finest toil?

No war is won by cannon fire alone.
The men at home must also share the fight.
By what they are, a nation's strength is shown,
The army but reflects their love of right.
Will you not help to hold our battle line,
Will you not give the fullest of your powers
In sacrifice and service that is fine
That victory shall speedily be ours?

5 comments:

B2 said...

That's a great poem, that clearly expresses its ideas... and convincingly so. Thanks.

Always Question said...

Chaplain, welcome home.
I've been meaning to post a comment to you ever since you posted after the attack on the chow hall in Mosul.
I wanted to tell you... I've been in a few mass casualty situations... this was 40 years ago, of course... with a few different chaplains. I'd have been honored to have worked with you.
Semper Fi

Johnathan Court said...

Good Day Chaplain!
I too have been meanning to post a comment for quite some time. I guess mainly because I feel the Lord leading me to be a Chaplain.
First I will say, I am very greatfull for what you are all doing in the Middle East.
Second is a question I hope you have time to answer. From your expieriance, about what is the ratio of time you are away from your family to the time you are stationed close enough to go home to them at night? I have heard it is suppose to be 6 months every 3 years, but I don't think that sounds right. Thanks again for serving, and helping me with this question!
Shalom!

Stephanie said...

I have to say...I really appreciate men like you trying to influence the soldiers overseas for the better. My dad has served in the army all my life. I only have a portion of understanding of what you are going through, but I do understand some.

I will pray for God to give you an annoiting when talking to these men and women. I know that I really want to work with soldiers later on and I also know that it can be extremely hard at times to reach them. But just remember you have a Sister in Christ who will be praying for you. *Steph

Anonymous said...

You are helping bring the light into a world that is increasingly under a darkening sky.
God bless you and keep you safe from harm.

Stuart