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May 28, 2006

Who Cares if A Soldier Dies?

Take a man and put him alone,
Put him twelve thousand miles from home.

Empty his heart of all but blood,
Make him live in sand, in mud.

This is the life I have to live,
This the soul to God I give.

You have your parties and drink your beer,
While young men are dying over here.

Plant your signs on the White House lawn;
"Lets get out of Iraq".

Use your signs and have your fun,
Then refuse to use a gun.

There's nothing else for you to do,
Then I'm supposed to die for you?

There is one thing that you should know;
And that's where I think you should go!

I'm already here and it's too late.
I've traded all my love for all this hate.

I'll hate you till the day I die.
You made me hear my buddy cry.

I saw his leg and his blood shed,
Then I heard them say, "This one's dead".

It was a large price for him to pay,
To let you live another day.

He had the guts to fight and die,
To keep the freedom you live by.

By his dying, your life he buys,
But who cares if a Soldier dies?

I found this at the website of a Marine who is stationed in Iraq,
I don't know who wrote it but it also asks that those in the Military who care, add their name to the list.

In honor of those who died, I will post the names of those who already signed it, and I would ask that you also leave your "signature" (It doesn't have to be your real name) in the comments.

Those who already signed:

Cpl Mankin
LCpl Garcia
LCpl Newman, Jessica Lee
LCpl Montes
Cpl Kennick
SPC Pierce
SGT Headley
SPC Mott
SGT Duke
SPC McKinney, Douglas
A1C Williams, Crystal
PFC Lewis, Marcus
SGT Wright, Carter
PV2 Gray,Brandon
SrA Villarreal
SrA Viles, Kristina
SSgt Evans, Martin
SrA Evans, Meghan
SrA McCoy, Scott A...
SrA DiBenedetto, Austin P.
Proud Navy Wife - Robblee
Posting in honor of my boyfriend, Pvt. Sykora
Proud Army Wife-- SPC McCosh
Gisela Lanning *Proud Army Wife* ~~~ Sgt. Lanning
Christy Weintraub *Proud Army Wife* ~~~~Spc. Weintraub
Sgt. Chavira
A1C Villa aka LTK
A1C "Boots"
S.T.B Army Wife- PFC Stanton
SPC Beerbower, James
CDT Short, Carrie
CDT Nonella
PFC Swick
SPC Morris
Sgt Rios
Sgt Chillis
SPC Segura
PV2 Chamberland
PFC Noyes
SPC Pike - 2/87th INF
SPC Castillo, Daniel - 2/1 Infantry 172nd (SBCT).
SPC Strickland, Blake 2/1/ INF.
CPL Hiller, Jonathon A 52nd INF
SFC Bench, Christopher A 52nd Infantry 172nd (SBCT)
SPC Eck, Jeffrey A co 52nd IN (AT) 172nd SBCT
SGT Priest, jason A 52nd IN (AT) 172nd SBCT
SGT Graham, Clifford
SSG Davis.......Prior Service
SGT Olliff---- Afg
SGT Heberling, Chris, Army, Afghanistan
SPC Cordell, Brian, ARMY, Afghanistan bitches
SPC George
PFC Bernard
PFC Spiker
SPC Quimby-ARMY, Ansbach, Germany
SGT Johnson Meghan, Iraq
SGT STOUT, Jason-Iraq
SGT Heard, Andria-Ft. Hood. TX
My husband CPL Robbie Light, Ft. Hood, TX (KIA 5/1/06 Iraq)R.I.P.
A1C Mark Mears/ Afghanistan
Cpl Young, George O-- III MEF, 3rd MRB, ELMACO-Okinawa Japan 2846/USMC
Cpl Nathan Cole Cosby.... OKINAWA
MastaGunz morin okinawa IIIMEF
Lcpl. Silvia- TQ, Iraq, USMC
Cpl Frawley Iraq, USMC

- Joatmoaf -

May 28, 2006 at 10:13 PM | Permalink


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» Memorial Day Links from annika's journal
I couldn't recommend any Memorial Day post more highly than this one, from Cassandra of Villainous Company. Also read this angry poem: "Who Cares if A Soldier Dies?" re-posted at I Love Jet noise. God bless America's heroes and defenders.... [Read More]

Tracked on May 29, 2006 1:22:51 PM


Joatmoaf - Former Navy Airdale and current DoD Civil Service.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 28, 2006 10:16:24 PM

I remember...

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at May 28, 2006 11:26:59 PM

Well done.

Posted by: Katherine Armel at May 29, 2006 12:48:45 PM

oh to wear the uniform again.

Cpl. Jay Lesseig, USMC (ret.)

Posted by: jcrue at May 29, 2006 1:30:07 PM

What jcrue said.

TSgt Beth C., USAF (85-96)

I'd trade places with that young Marine any day, if I could.

Posted by: Beth at May 29, 2006 1:53:54 PM

God Bless this soldier, and all his fellows in arms...

Alan D. Briley, RN
Former SGT, 2nd Bn./325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, USA

Posted by: Alan D. Briley, RN at May 29, 2006 3:03:21 PM

Sgt. Humphrey, Stefan
Gulf War 90-91
OIF 1 2003-2004
and waiting to go back

Posted by: Sgt. S.Humphrey at Jun 6, 2006 9:46:50 AM

my family has lost one son to this war on dec 3 05 jimmy shelton,and my 18 year old leaves june 26 he comes from a long list of great men who will always be there for their country no matter what as a mother i would stand in front of all soldiers to keep their mothers and fathers from ever shedding a tear of lose my heart is with all soldiers i am so proud of you be safe and god go with you always

Posted by: lugenia graeser at Jun 7, 2006 12:01:28 PM

God be with you, Lugenia Graesser. Your son will be in my prayers tonight.

He Who knows and numbers all our days, and knows when even a sparrow falls, will not forsake him.

Joatmoaf, thanks for posting this poem. Lest we forget....

aka "Don Brouhaha"

Posted by: David Baer at Jun 19, 2006 10:43:44 PM

The opening two verses of this poem really jumped out at me. When I was in elementary school (this would have been '66 or '67) a group of us boys were selected to sing a song at the school Christmas program (you could still call it that then). The song was from a poem written by a soldier from the community (Lawrence, a suburb of Indianapolis) who had been in Viet Nam. The first lines of the song, as I recall them, were: "Take a man and put him alone, put him 12,000 miles from home, empty his heart of all but blood, make him work in sweat and blood."

After we sang this song (dressed up as soldiers) the MC, who was dressed as Santa Claus throughout the show, came on and talked about how 2,000 years ago a young couple expecting a baby also must have wondered about the hardships they were facing.

I don't remember the rest of the song/poem but I'm pretty sure it's different from what is here (at least in the words it used), but it really jolted me to see them again.

The rest of this

Posted by: Night Writer at Jun 24, 2006 12:28:28 PM

In June of 1969 a convoy I was on stopped near Red Beach, DaNang, Vietnam, and I remember seeing at the base of a monument: "Take a man and put him alone, put him 12,000 miles from home, empty his heart of all but blood, make him work in sweat and blood." I was not there long enough to write down anymore.

Posted by: Jerry at Jul 5, 2006 3:51:25 AM

It is a poor rewrite of the original, twisted out of shape and context from a different time and a war where the troops were not supported as the ones in this one have been. Which is all the sadder when you think that the poor boys in Vietnam were mostly conscripts, and did not choose to go willingly. The poem is attributed to PFC ' SKIP' Grover Cleavland Bowen, United States Army,Gunner and Crew chief, 09 - 20 - 48, KIA 02 - 19 - 69

Take a man, then put him alone,
Put him 12,000 miles away from home;

Empty his heart of all but blood,
Make him live in sweat and mud.

This is the life I have to live
And why my soul to the devil I give;

You 'Peace boys' put from your easy chair,
But you don't know what it's like over here;

You have a ball without near trying,
While over here the boys are dying;

You burn your draft card and march at dawn,
Plant your flags on the White House lawn;

You all want to ban the bomb;
'There's no real war in Vietnam.'

You use your drugs and have yoiur fun,
Then you refuse to use a gun;

There's nothing else for you to do,
And I'm supposed to die for you?

I'll hate you to the day I die,
You made me hear my buddy cry;

I saw his arm, a bloody shred,
I heard them say: "This one's dead."

It's a large price he had to pay:
Not to live to see another day;

He had the guts to fight and die;
He paid the price, but what did he buy?

He bought your life by losing his,
But who gives a damn what a soldier gives?

HIs wife does, and maybe his son,
But they're just about the only ones.

So you put this man there, all alone,
And he died for you - 12,000 miles from home.

[ Edited for content]

Posted by: Chris at Jul 24, 2006 5:03:43 PM

Thanks Cris for the original version. I won't however thank you for your personal interpretation of it today because it is so out of touch with the American military personell who are serving "over there" right now.

[Edited for context]

Posted by: Joatmoaf at Jul 24, 2006 6:24:35 PM

[ Too long and off topic - Deleted.]

Posted by: Chris at Jul 26, 2006 11:08:05 PM

[ Too long and off topic - Deleted. ]

Posted by: Chris at Jul 28, 2006 7:23:18 AM

Post your name and move along Chris, or just move along. This isn't your Soapbox.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at Aug 6, 2006 7:15:42 PM

No, it's your soapbox and clearly no disenting opinions or facts are allowed.

You say my posts were "off topic" but the topic was supporting the troops, and *I* addressed that in depth. Your mere lip service in support of them is sad. They deserve so much more.

So do me a favor, dittohead, and delete my original post and deleted topic headers just like you deleted your replies. I don't want ANYTHING left here at all. If you are going to be a censor, you might as well do a complete job. That way this pathetic website will be totally free of actual discussion or thought.

Either way I'm very happy to "move along" as nothing here is worth revisiting again.

My only suggestion is that you change the name to "I Love Only the Sound of My Own Voice."

Posted by: Chris at Aug 8, 2006 9:15:11 PM

I think both versions are great. I do not think it is wrong for someone to take things and change them to help relate to a cretin era, event extra… Both wars are totally different, but both are a lot alike too. Anyways like your page, wish you would post more writings, articles, extra like these.

Posted by: Amber at Aug 9, 2006 11:23:55 PM

OK I will. But right now I got caught up in a bunch of other stuff, takin' care of bidness sorta stuff.
I'll start posting some stuff soon.

You've posted your opinions on other threads without being deleted.
The difference between those qand this is, this is not really a discussion topic. It's more akin to a petition, and I simply asked folks to leave their name.
Choose your battles wisely, let this one go and pick another topic to debate on.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at Aug 11, 2006 10:43:16 AM

Hey Amber, thanks. Though actually what I and Joatmoaf tangled over was not if it was wrong for the writer to change the original (that never came up) but whether the terrible and unjustified disdain and anger on the part of people who didn't serve towards the poor guys who had to go to Vietnam exists today, as the modified poem implies. Then it morphed into an argument about what supporting the troops really means, and then it was censored. Sigh.

As for posting on other threads here before, Joatmoaf, umm, no, this was my very first time ever posting anything on any subject on your site.

I am sorry I mistook it for a discussion thread. I had nothing to go on but the comments others made on the modern poem, and your replies about my beliefs and support.

Sorry to have been so combative, but I take my support of this country, and my brother and friends in the service of it VERY seriously. You slandered that and I will never stand silent for that.

In the future I will take your good advice and choose my battles, and more importantly battlefields much more carefully. And so I retire from this battle and leave your field solely to you sir.

God save our soldiers!

Blessed Be,


Posted by: Chris at Aug 12, 2006 8:55:36 AM

Back to the petition of sorts. From the outside looking in, I'm seeing honest intentions from both gentlemen, so i do concur that the momentary dissention should be left to let lie. As I said, back to the petition:

LCPL Frazier, Joshua USMC
P'ohang, South Korea

God Bless

Posted by: josh at Aug 27, 2006 11:29:32 PM

How True...

Posted by: Pv2 Peter A. Trumble at Sep 29, 2006 10:53:16 AM

I think with all the bitching on this site you are losing sight of the real issue SUPPORTING the troops, my boyfriend has done two tours of iraq and is just off on his second tour of afghanistan. I am not trying to fuel this argument only remind you of the reality!! Both versions of the poem are good. All wars are different yet they all boil down to the same thing, the changes just make it more relevant to NOW!

Posted by: Motorbike Rider at Oct 24, 2006 2:42:39 PM

A friend of mine died in 1972. I found this poem on a bulletin board in his room during the funeral and has stuck with me all of these years. I am glad I found it again. Thanks

Posted by: susan at May 20, 2007 5:27:27 PM

Violet - sister of Cpl John Johnston Cosby killed in Iraq 16th July 2006.

Lest we forget...

Posted by: vi at Nov 15, 2007 1:48:20 PM