A TRIBUTE TO MY FRIEND
LANNY LONG

CORPSMAN 1968

The Vietnam war is just a vague memory now,
And most of us who fought it were never even asked to take a bow.
We simply came home, picked up the pieces and went on somehow......

The American public doesn't have a clue,
As to what some of their U.S. Marines were asked to do.
But I know, and I'm writing this to show my respect for you.

The battlefield has always been the Corpsman's domain.
He's there for us no matter how harsh the weather or how rough the terrain.
He brings comfort, and just by being there he eases the pain.

Being wounded in battle is a terrifying plight.
Somehow it's worse yet in the middle of the night,
But having a Corpsman there helps us to overcome our fright.

The call "HELP!! CORPSMAN, I'M HIT" always comes at the worst possible time.
There is no cover, the hillside is always steep and hard to climb.
It's either rocky shale or covered with slime.

War is hell!! It's the scourge of the earth,
And combat is the "acid test" of a man's true worth.
He's not a coward or a hero just by virtue of his birth.

He takes on his values from his family, his leaders and his friends.
He's no saint! That he never pretends.
But, we can see his true character by the message he sends.
He's a gentle soul, but his body is hard and lean.
He may be frightened but his voice sounds out calm, firm and serene,
"COVER ME BOYS, I'M GOING OUT TO HELP THAT WOUNDED MARINE"!

He dresses our wounds, then as he looks into our face,
He prays to God for strength, wisdom and grace,
Wondering if any of us will ever get out of this terrible place.

We are far from the comforts of home, and death is always near.
When we are about to lose our life, it becomes even more dear.
We bond closely together as we try to overcome our fear.
But we wouldn't even consider trading places with the guys in the rear.

When there is a trouble spot in the world and tempers begin to flare,
You can bet that the Marine Corps will soon be there,
Whether it be on land, at sea or in the air.

We Marines are a proud bunch and our motto is "Semper Fi."
We train hard and we shoot for the X in the bullseye!!
We look sharp in our dress blues and we make the ladies sigh,
But when the chips are down and we watch our comrades bleed and die,
Every one of us is man enough to break down and cry.

When the battle is over and the dust has had a chance to settle,
We try to pay tribute to those who have truly shown their mettle.
We praise the pilots, the tankers, and the gunners.
We pin ribbons on everyone from the generals to their runners.

But it's the Corpsman who has cradled a bloodied head to his chest,
That will be remembered with kindness when we have forgotten the rest.
You proved that you had the right stuff when put to the test, so...

STAND TALL MARINE, YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST!!!

SEMPER FI !!
DAVE ALTHOFF

LT.COL.USMC (RET.)


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