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From David Atherden
WHO IS HE?            
YOU SIT AT HOME AND WATCH  
YOUR SIPPING A
REFRESHING COLD ICED TEA,
THE NEWS COMES ON AND THEN YOU HERE,
THE ALL-STAR GAME IS DRAWING NEAR,
THEN YOU SEE A FAR OFF LAND,
WHERE MEN ARE DYING IN THE SAND,
A FROWN APPEARS ACROSS YOUR FACE,
YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT THIS PLACE .
WHO CARES ABOUT VIETNAM ACROSS THE SEA,
IT'S FAR AWAY AND DOESN'T CONCERN ME,
YOU'D RATHER HEAR THE BEATLES PLAY,
THAN LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD TODAY,
BUT STOP AND THINK A MOMENT OR TWO,
AND ASK YOURSELF,
DOES THIS CONCERN YOU?
ITS GREAT TO BE ALIVE AND FREE,
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GUY ACROSS THE SEA,
HE'S GIVING UP HIS LIFE FOR ME
SO I CAN LIVE UNDER LIBERTY.
HE'S FAR AWAY FIGHTING A WAR,
INSTEAD OF FIGHTING AT MY FRONT DOOR.
THIS GUY WHO LIVES IN FILTH AND SLIME.
HOW CAN HE DO IT ALL THE TIME?
HE'S ABOUT MY AGE SO WHY SHOULD HE CARE,
ABOUT A WAR SOMEONE ELSE SHOULD SHARE.
YOU CALL HIM VILE NAMES AND MAKE FUN OF HIS CAUSE,
YET HE IS ALWAYS FIRST TO WIN YOUR WAR.
YOU LUCKY GUY, YOU LAUGH AND SNEER,
BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER REALLY KNOWN FEAR.
THIS YOUNG MAN FACES DEATH EACH DAY,
BUT HE'S ALWAYS GOT SOMETHING FUNNY TO SAY.
NO MAIL AGAIN,
AGAIN A TWINGE OF SORROW,
OH WHAT THE HELL THEIR ALWAYS TOMORROW.
THE MORALE IS LOW THE TENSION IS HIGH,
SOME EVEN BREAK DOWN AND CRY.
HE WANTS TO GO HOME AND SEE A LOVED ONE.
HE WORKS ALL DAY AND STANDS GUARD ALL NIGHT.
HE'S TIRED AND SICK BUT CONTINUES TO FIGHT,
THE COLLEGE CROWD THINKS HE'S A FOOL,
BUT THATS WHAT MAKES HIM HARD AND CRUEL.
YOU DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT HE WILL DO,
LIKE GIVING UP HIS LIFE FOR YOU.
HE SACRIFICES MUCH YET HR ASK NOTHING IN RETURN,
JUST SO THAT YOU CAN STAY SCHOOL AND LEARN.
HE BELIEVES IN FREEDOM AND AMERICAN LIFE,
NO PARTIES AND DANCES FOR THIS YOUNG MAN,
UNTIL HE COMES HOME AGAIN.
THE DAYS ARE HOT AND THE NIGHTS ARE TOO,
WHAT WONDER A COLD CAN OF BEER CAN DO!
HE DREAMS OF COLD BEER AND A THICK JUICY STEAK,
WHEN SOMEONE SHOUTS,
WE'VE GOT A HILL TO TAKE.
SOME WILL BE HEROES BECAUSE THEY ARE BRAVE,
AND OTHERS WILL GET A WREATH ON THEIR GRAVE.
YOU'LL RECOGNIZE HIM AS HE WALKS BY,
THERE'S A SADDENED LOOK IN HIS EYE,
HE WALKS SO PROUD YET LOOKS SO MEAN,
HE'S CALLED THE WORLD'S GREATEST FIGHTING MACHINE.
NO WONDER HE'S PROUD,
HE'S A UNITED STATES MARINE!  


SEMPER FI  
CPL. DAVID ATHERDEN
U.S.M.C. 1965-1969
Taken from a letter written by Lester Atherden in 1965.

Lester was killed March 4, 1966.