I was once a poor civilian
And contented as could be,
Living in a country
Of the brave and of the free.
Then in nineteen hundred forty one,
On the seventh of December
Was the attack of Pearl Harbor—
A day we all remember.
We knew that we were then at war,
Which all could plainly see;
We knew that now the time had come
To save democracy.
Then, at the age of twenty-one,
I could hear the draft board call
“Andy, you’re going to be a soldier,
So just get ‘on the ball’.”
And, sure enough, the time had come—
My number, it was due;
The notice in the mail box said,
“A ‘physical’ for you.”
I then felt kind of shaky,
(I’ll say it in this poem)
For I would soon be going
To a place that’s not like home.
The doctor looked me over,
From my head down to my toes,
I could see that there was something wrong,
The way he pulled his nose.
He then said something to himself. I asked,
Would you please repeat?
“My boy, I hate to tell you,
But that heart of yours does leak.”
I didn’t know what to say,
I was a little nervous,
He said, “You are unfit to be
In military service!”
So out I went, upon my way,
But I couldn’t understand
Why my heart just would not harmonize
With the wrist watch on his hand.
For two long years I roamed around
And worked hard every day,
With a 4-F card in my pocket
But a 1-A card on the way.
I could hear the army calling—
This was too good to last,
The 4-F card getting rusty
And my heart getting better fast.
So, Camp Roberts, “Here I come,
My civilian days are o’re,
And I must now adjust myself
To army life and war.”
It wasn’t an easy thing to do,
But this one thing we know—
We must protect the U. S. A.
From Hitler and To-jo.
Each day we walked those rugged hills,
The going, it was rough,
At times I thought my heart gave out,
But instead, I was getting tough.
And when my training days were through
I passed it by a fraction;
I’ll never forget the words they said,
“My boy, you’re ready now for action!”
Just before we left our shores
For a land many miles away,
I was granted a nine-day furlough,
For which I was thankful, I’ll say.
Those nine days I’ll ne’er forget,
To see the folks at last;
But, here’s the tragedy of it all,
It went by far too fast.
And when we left our golden shores
There wasn’t much to say;
Only hoping and praying
For a safe return someday.
We know that God is with us
And will guide us on our way;
May He bring us safely home again
At His appointed day!