A Ranger's Prayer

I pray that I need never teach

Our son how to take a beach.

Where obstacles and mines abound

And bullets patter all around.

I pray that he need never face

Machine gun fire from a hidden place

With artillery churning up the sand

And smoke obscuring all the land.

I pray that he need not perspire

From the heat of an LSI on fire,

Or see an LCA go down

While some men swim, and some men drown.

I pray that he need not dig in

To escape the shells that search for him.

Or, sprinting across a hedgerow's gap,

Midway, feel a bullet's slap.

I pray that he may see the sky

Without barrage balloons riding high.

Or hear a whistle somewhere round

Without dropping to the ground.

I pray that he need never hear

The whistle of bombs that fall too near.

Then lie beneath the rain of stones

That crush men's flesh and smash men's bones.

I pray that he need never roam

O'er land and sea so far from home.

But laugh and love and take a wife

To love and cherish all his life.

      -----   Victor J. 'Baseplate' Miller



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