One For Uncle Sam

Poem By Paul Harold Martin

When I was yet a young man,
And full of zest and dare,
I flew the fastest planes they had,
Without a damn or care.

The throttle of my little care,
Was always on the floor,
My home was just for parking,
Of my hat upon the door.

And when my country called me,
Because they had a war,
My buddies came a running,
As their fathers had before.

Some of us were lucky,
Though we couldn't see it then,
For the service wouldn't take us,
And they wouldn't tell us when.

We were starving for excitement,
Which feeds the youthful eye,
And if were couldn't have it,
We thought that we would die.

The quiver in the stomach,
The tingling of the spine,
I thought the others had it,
And I wanted it for mine.

So I got a job of driving,
Testing tanks for Uncle Sam,
Till it turned my brain to jelly,
But I didn't give a damn.

Just to know that I was needed,
And to get that crazy thrill,
Of trying to bust ‘em open,
By jumping off a hill.

I made of lot of money,
But I didn't save a dime,
Thought I could do that later,
For I was in my prime.

I learned to belt the bottle,
Spent money right and left,
And when it came to women,
You can bet that I was deft.

Then as quickly as it came,
The war just went away,
And the Germans and the Japs,
Were put away to stay.

Then I waited, how I waited,
For my buddies to return,
Then I heard that in their bombers,
They did crash and burn.

Now I know it's downright morbid,
But at that time and place,
I felt like I'd been cheated,
As if I'd lost the race.

That was a thousand years ago,
And now I'm getting gray,
And I often think of all those guys,
And of the Judgment Day.

They'd have to have a special place,
Their kind always do,
Where a thrill a minute is the fare,
With missions they can chew.

Now if I ever make it,
To the halls of Paladin,
There'll be some M.P. waiting,
Who just won't let me in.

Then outside their lofty barracks,
I'm gonna raise some hell,
I'll holler loud and clear to all,
And to my pals that fell.

So if and when I see them,
I want their acknowledgment,
That they had all the chills and thrills,
While I had languishment.

Then you know what they'll say to me,
I'd bet a buck against a damn,
"You missed the greatest thrill of all,
The one for Uncle Sam."

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