By Clara M Ammons
Forwarded by NanDogTC

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule;
For this great nation under God,
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We 're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!



By Clara M Ammons
Forwarded by NanDogTC

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule;
For this great nation under God,
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We 're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!



By Isaac Asimov
Forwarded by Forrest Pontenberg

I have a weakness — I am crazy, absolutely nuts, about our national anthem. The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I'm taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem — all four stanzas. This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting.

“Thanks, Herb,” I said.

“That's all right,” he said. “It was at the request of the kitchen staff.”

I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas. Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before — or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was NOT me; it was the anthem.

More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang ALL four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and NOT me. So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over 'freedom of the seas'. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war. At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a 'three-pronged' attack. The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England. The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west. The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D.C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort. On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to 'negotiate' his release. The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the 'bombardment' of Fort McHenry was about to start.

As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting, and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, “Can you see the flag?” After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called “The Defence of Fort M'Henry,” it was published in newspapers and swept the nation . Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” — a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as “The Star Spangled Banner”, and in 1931 Congress declared it the 'official anthem' of the United States.

Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key:

Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through' the night that our flag was still there.
Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

(“Ramparts,” in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort.)

The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer:

On the shore, dimly seen through the mist of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep.
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
'Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

(“The towering steep” is again, the ramparts.) The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure. In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise. Since the time of that war (1812), the British have been our staunchest allies, hence this third stanza has not been sung. However, I know it, so here it is:

And where is that band who so dauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
>From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n - rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto: —”In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O 'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes, and listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears.


By LT Don Ballard USN (Retired)
Forwarded by Jack Hollinsworth via Rex Roark, courtesy of the author’s son.

Ballard joined the U.S. Navy in 1935 when he received $21.00 per month. What the author says in his words is true. In 1935 only 13 men joined the Navy from Tennessee and Don was one of them. He loved the Navy and all the men he served with in WWII.

Come gather round me lads and I'll tell you a thing or two,
About the way we ran the Navy in nineteen forty two
When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight,
I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right.

We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat hat on our head,
And we always hit the sack at night. We never “went to bed.”
Our uniforms were worn ashore, and we were mighty proud.
Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they were not allowed.

Now when a ship puts out to sea. I'll tell you son, it hurts!
When suddenly you notice that half the crew wears skirts.
And it's hard for me to imagine, a female boatswains mate
Stopping on the Quarterdeck to make sure her stockings are straight.

What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath?
Holy stoning decks at night- cause you stirred old Bosn's wrath?
We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait.
And it always took a hitch or two just to make a rate.

In your sea bag all your skivvies, were neatly stopped and rolled.
And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.
Your little ditty bag, it is hard to believe how much it held,
And you wouldn't go ashore with pants that hadn't been spiked and belled.

We had scullery maids and succotash and good old S.O.S.
And when you felt like topping off - you headed for the mess.
Oh we had our belly robbers - but there weren't too many gripes.
For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.

Now you never hear of Davey Jones, Shellbacks Or Polliwogs,
And you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.
Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main event.
You even tie your lines today - back in my time they were bent.

We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned
If you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.
And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed- you still made morning muster.

Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it's U.C.M.J.
Then, the old man handled everything if you should go astray.
Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn't be surprised
If some day they sailed the damned things- from the beach computerized.

So when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best,
I'll walk right up to Him and say, “Sir, I have but one request.
Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue
Like I did so long ago on earth - way back in nineteen-forty two.”



By Major Van Harl USAF (Ret.) 4 July 2006

We buried an old Naval veteran today.
His passing was quiet, far from that terrible affray.
He had survived and done well in his final years.
Unlike his shipmates, who perished in unfathomable fears.

They were not supposed to be in port, they should have been out on patrol.
Coming to ”Pearl” for an Admiral’s inspection would bring a deadly toll.
Sailors were sleeping-in, not worried about the inspection order. “Now hear this, this is not a drill, sound general quarters.”

Chaplin Schmitt was headed for church-call when the attack started. Within eleven minutes, to his heavenly father he had departed.
He was below decks helping injured sailors make it safely out.
A place was waiting in heaven for the Padre, there is no doubt.

Father Al would be the first Chaplin to die in that world war.
Pushing injured sailors thru a hatch, “move topside” he did implore.
He could have made it out alive, if not for Navy protocol.
Senior man stays until the end, directing escape for all.

Private Joseph Lawter was on the fantail with his bugle ready to blow.
After first call, he saw something flying in, straight and low.
“Corporal of the guard, those are Jap planes flying just above the drink.”
“Lawter you get paid to blow that bugle, not think.”

It was too late, the first torpedo slammed into the port side.
Within minutes more would strike the Okie’s tough old hide.
Too many hatches were left open in anticipation of the Admiral’s inspection.
It is easy in hindsight to see the error of this fatal leadership misdirection.

The Oklahoma was senior and she should have been moored inboard. Putting her to the outside left the Okie open to the Japanese horde.
This may have saved the Maryland from destruction on that December day.
But it left one grand old dreadnought, lying on the bottom of the bay.

The USS Oklahoma was an older battleship, from an earlier generation. With her 14 inch guns she stood ready to defend the nation.
She had never fired a shot in anger, not even in the First World War.
Now she is on the bottom of the ocean, her big guns never again to roar.

Off Spain the Oklahoma was there to protect Americans in harm’s way
In this new war she was lost to the Navy and the Nation in the opening day.
She rolled over in minutes with her keel raised to the Hawaiian sky.
429 men were trapped below, and were destined to die.

The Japanese sank the Oklahoma, a long list of crewmen they did cull.
As small boats were passing, banging was heard on her turned up hull.
Seaman Garlen Eslick and 31 others were trapped in an artificial night.
It would be 28 hours before they again saw the glow of daylight.

With hammers and chisels rescuers worked to pierce that dying ship.
No cutting torches because life from seamen’s lungs it would strip.
The crewmen were dying as the water continued to rise on the Okie’s inside.
Work harder, work faster they must peel away, the old girl’s armored hide.

Airman “Spider” Webb had been on board the Oklahoma for just a day. He did not know where to go, as he sprang from his rack were he lay.
He would push himself through a port hole, that’s all he could do.
But the Jap’s would see “Spider” again over Pacific skies of blue.

“Spider” Webb would go on to win his pilot wings of gold.
Taking on the enemy in the air, he proved to be a man of bold.
Dog fighting, he surrounded 40 Jap planes creating a moment’s thrill.
But that day he upped the score for the Oklahoma, with eight aircraft kills.

The Barber brothers all joined the Navy to serve their Nation with pride.
The three shipped out on the Oklahoma standing side by side.
In the end they all would be lost, with no remains to be returned.
Leroy, Malcolm and Randolph, respect from a grateful nation you earned.

There were other brothers to serve and die on the Oklahoma that day. They all had a sad history in this new war to play.
Lost forever were the brothers; Woods, Trapp, Palmer, Blitz, and Castro.
Into heaven they ascended, as the crew of a small boat they did row.

“This is a real air raid, this is no sh__”
Not a standard shipboard broadcast, but it got the message out there quick.
Ensign Herbert Rommel returned to his guns as Zeros skimmed the bay. But Captain Rommel would survive, to fight and win another day.

Over 1300 crewmen were assigned to the Oklahoma on that sunny morn.
Eventually taps would be sounded for 429 on a bugler’s sorrowful horn.
The wounded would be pulled from the water and tended as heroes all.
The rest of the crew would be reassigned, to meet a suffering nation’s call.

The Oklahoma never returned to challenge her enemy to a fair fight.
It took years at “Pearl” to right her and bring her deck into the light.
She was sold off as scrap after they pulled from her, those big guns.
The USS Oklahoma was finally lost, sunken under tow in the Pacific sun.

We must remember the Oklahoma, for the crew their time is running out.
It must be marked in stone, to be preserved in a military redoubt.
Ford Island will be the home to a memorial that will stand the test of time. For the Naval veteran he can visit and say “I was there, she was mine.”

We buried an old Naval veteran today.
This one, a shipmate who had seen that tragic December day.
But he survived to meet his nation’s demand, to seek justice for all.
He fought hard for his nation, and now takes his final military call.


Major Van Harl USAF Ret.


The following excerpts are from a recent e-mail I received from Master Chief Firecontrol Technician E. A. Hughes, U.S. Navy (Ret), regarding a poemn I published on this web site under POETRY entitled, (UNKNOWN) I WAS A SAILOR.

Hughes is the author of the authentic version of that work, entitled, ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN, Copyright 1952 and revised in 1978 Copyright. It is printed below following his comments.

“I wrote a short essay entitled ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN in 1958 while attending Denver University after my first hitch in the Navy. My English 102 instructor did not think much of it. She did give me a passing grade because ex-Navy people (her brother for one) said the content was right at home for Sailors.

“Her basic comments were: 'The structure is not good and Navyman is two words.'

“This short essay was submitted to the annual freshman writing contest at Denver University. Because most of the work from the freshman class was even below this level, I was given a passing grade. And since my grade was already given I never corrected any of what she said were deficiencies.

“You are correct when you stated that this work has many names. They include: I WAS A SAILOR, I AM A SAILOR, I LIKE THE NAVY, I LIKED THE NAVY, ONCE I WAS A NAVY MAN, (two words for NAVYMAN), etc., and in many cases had no title at all. The contents of the work were also altered to reflect anything that any Sailor wanted to add to the work.”

(Jug’s note: In the Keeping Apace version referenced above, Vice Admiral Koenig made it clear that the author was unknown.)

“I went back into the Navy and served another 20 years, retiring with over 24 year’s service in 1978. After retiring I felt I had much more to say about Navy men that I had known, ships that they served on or I served on, and some of the places these Navy men came from, so I added these things as I felt were necessary. There are also some other changes that I made to the original.

“I made this major change to ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN in the latter part of 1978 and will continue to make changes to remain what I consider to be up to date. I also added two of the Destroyers I served on, the USS William R. Rush and the USS Turner. One of my last changes was to add the Destroyer Cole to the list of proud Navy ships.

“I thank you for your indulgence if you got this far, and I will include the latest revision of my work for your consideration for inclusion to your very informative web site.”

E. A. Hughes, FTCM
USN (Retired)


I like the Navy. I like standing on deck during a long voyage with sea spray in my face and ocean winds whipping in from everywhere - The feel of the giant steel ship beneath me, it's engines driving against the sea is almost beyond understanding - It’s immense power makes the Navyman feel so insignificant but yet proud to be a small part of this ship - A small part of Her mission.

I like the Navy. I like the sound of taps over the ships announcing system, the ringing of the ships bell, the foghorns and strong laughter of Navy men at work. I like the ships of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, sleek proud cruisers, majestic battle ships, steady solid carriers and silent hidden submarines. I like the workhorse tugboats with their proud Indian names: Iroquois, Apache, Kiawah and Sioux - each stealthy powerful tug safely guiding the warships to safe deep waters from all harbors.

I like the historic names of other proud Navy Ships: Midway, Hornet, Princeton, Sea Wolf and Saratoga. The Ozark, Hunley, William R. Rush and Turner, the, Missouri, Wichita, Iowa, Arizona and Manchester, as well as The Sullivan’s, Enterprise, Tecumseh, Cole and Nautilus too- all majestic ships of the line - Each ship commanding the respect of all Navymen that have known Her - or were privileged to be a part of Her crew.

I like the bounce of Navy music and the tempo of a Navy Band, “Liberty Whites”, “13 Button Blues”, the rare 72 hour liberty and the spice scent of a foreign port - I like shipmates I've sailed with, worked with, served with or have known: The Gunners Mate from the Iowa cornfields; a Sonarman from the Colorado mountain country; a pal from Cairo, Alabama; an Italian from near Boston; some boogie boarders of California; and of course, a drawling friendly Oklahoma lad that hailed from Muskogee; and a very congenial Engineman from the Tennessee hills.

From all parts of the land they came - farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England - the red clay area and small towns of the South - the mountain and high prairie towns of the West - the beachfront towns of the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf - All are American; all are comrades in arms - All are men of the sea and all are men of honor.

I like the adventure in my heart when the ship puts out to sea, and I like the electric thrill of sailing home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends, waiting on shore - The extended time at sea drags; the going is rough on occasion. But there's the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the devil-may-care philosophy of the sea. This helps the Navyman - The remembrances of past shipmates fill the mind and restore the memory with images of other ships, other ports, and other cruises long past. Some memories are good, some are not so good, but all are etched in the mind of the Navyman - and most will be there forever.

After a day of work, there is the serenity of the sea at dusk. As white caps dance on the ocean waves, the sunset creates flaming clouds that float in folds over the horizon - as if painted there by a master. The darkness follows soon and is mysterious. The ship’s wake in darkness has a hypnotic effect, with foamy white froth and luminescence that forms never ending patterns in the turbulent waters - I like the lights of the ship in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green sidelights and stern lights. They cut through the night and appear as a mirror of stars in darkness - There are rough stormy nights, and calm, quiet, still nights where the quiet of the mid-watch allows the ghosts of all the Sailors of the world to stand with you. They are abundant and unreachable, but ever apparent - And there is always the aroma of fresh coffee from the galley.

I like the legends of the Navy and the Navymen that created those legends. I like the proud names of Navy Heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Beach, Farragut, John McCain, Rickover and John Paul Jones. A man can find much in the Navy - comrades in arms, pride in his country - A man can find himself and can revel in this experience.

In years to come, when the Sailor is home from the sea, he will still recall with fondness the ocean spray on his face when the sea is angry - There will come a faint aroma of fresh paint in his nostrils, the echo of hearty laughter of the seafaring men who once were close companions - Now landlocked, he will grow wistful of his Navy days, when the seas were the largest part of him and a new port of call was always just over the horizon.

Recalling those days and times, he will stand taller and say: “ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN !”

E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS), USN (Retired)
Copyright, 1958, 1978


By Marsha Burks Megehee, Katrina survivor, Picayune, Mississippi

Jug: Thank you for including my poetry on Keeping Apace. I really enjoy your site. My 89-year-old dad is USA, retired.

This one was the most difficult I have ever written. I hope it gives a sense of having been there. I was. South Mississippi will never be what it was before August 29th, 2005. Please share.

Unfortunately, all the media seem to think it happened only in New Orleans. The only thing I can figure is that the people of South Mississippi had a chain saw in their hands by August 30th, instead of holding out an empty one for federal assistance.


(Written from the author's heart, on seeing the storm's aftermath in Bay St. Louis-Waveland, Mississippi. Although many of the ancient Southern Live Oak trees were destroyed, an amazing number survived America's worst natural disaster- Katrina, August Twenty-nine, 2005. In many places, only the Live Oaks remain.)

Live Oaks weeping shredded rubble tears,
For souls who perished in the wind and wave.
A curbside steeple - the church no longer here.
Stone steps now only lead to yesterday.

A yesterday before Katrina's winds and woe,
When landmarks stood the test of storm and time.
Historic mansions felt Gulf breezes blow,
Untold yesterdays, before August twenty-nine.

A day when lives were broken, hearts were torn,
By tempest winds and Hell's own twisted tide;
When loved ones died, or they survived to mourn.
With shredded rubble tears…the Live Oaks cried.

Grey-bearded Oaks, where Summer's children played,
Imagining sand castles on the shore.
Brave French explorers rested in the shade,
Of their leafy arbors, Centuries before.

Strong Live Oaks weeping for the towering pines,
Naked, bowing to a tempest's Southern Reel.
Twisted, daggered, post-Katrina clothes lines.
Tires perched high like Gulls, arrayed surreal.

In mounded, wave-built levees made of dreams
Survivors mine damp treasures of the past.
Unbelieving faces, haggard rescue teams.
The Oaks scorn Neptune's tide, Katrina's blast.

Their sentried alleys leading from the shore,
To stately spirit mansions of the mind,
Precious diamonds, that the Gulf Coast wore;
Ghost houses, that Katrina left behind.

Live Oaks reminding, Spring will come one day,
Green leaves emerge, forgetting sorrow's tide,
To shade God's Eden… rising by the Bay.
On August twenty-nine… the Live Oaks cried.

Copyright 2006
Marsha Burks Megehee
Katrina survivor, Picayune, MS

Visit Marsha’s website HERE [ ].


By Marsha Burks Megehee.

Don't hurt the terrorists, they might sue!
We just can't have them black and blue.
Make “Nice” with them for heaven's sake,
Take pains that you no bones do break.

Refrain from panties on their heads.
Forget what wise old Sun Tzu said.
In this war don't you dare
Shave their legs of Muslim hair.

Feed them good and kiss their asses,
As memories of Nine Eleven passes.
Offend them not - cause no pain,
Though mustard gas should fall like rain,

Subways look like Hiroshima,
Abdullah has to bail out FEMA!
Turn your cheek a hard three-sixty,
From dirty bombs… Broadway to Dixie.

Remember we must not offend,
Though gasping on a radiant wind!
The world must love us as we die!
Bend over… kiss your ass goodbye!

Copyright 2005


By Marsha Burks Megehee

Mother, where are you?
Do you remember me?
If only I could find the door
To who you used to be.

I see a look within your eyes
That fills my heart with fear.
Dear Mother, Where are you now?
I wish you still were here.

Each day we live “The Long Goodbye”
As you wander far away.
I cannot find my Mother now,
And I’ve still so much to say.

Words to bless and comfort you,
Both here… and where you’ve gone.
I pray God grants you mercy,
As you travel realms unknown.

Today I’ll hug the stranger
I’ve never met before,
Who looks just like my Mother did,
Who’s not here anymore.

Copyright March 25, 2006
Marsha Burks Megehee

Dedicated with love to my mother, Melva Rester Burks

Visit Marsha’s website HERE [ ].


By Marsha Burks Megehee
In deepest respect for America's Gold Star Mothers
Forwarded by Russ Vaughn

His Mother held the folded flag, it was a somber day.
A mosaic of tears and memories as she heard the bugler play
The last song for a soldier, as she held his folded flag,
And memories of the letter he wrote her from Ft. Bragg.

He wrote, “Please Mom, don't worry, I have to see this through.
Make your world a safer place. It's something I just had to do!
It's not just Nine-Eleven, Mom, that stirred my warrior soul.
Not screaming words of Jihad - a hero's words: 'Let's Roll!'

“Scenes of Dark September, Mom, as people fell like snow.
For me, it was the tattered flag raised high at Ground Zero.
Remember how I waved her Mom, when I was only ten?
I waved and waved her on The Fourth, and Veterans Day again!

“It was the words that grandpa said, 'She stands for all that's true.
Her red is for the blood men shed. Son, that's what soldiers do!
Guard her well and wave her high. Let no one treat her bad.
Honor the men who died for her, they gave her all they had.

“'A gift of home and family, golden memories as they grew old.
A fine young grandson…like I have. Son, Freedom's bought… not sold!'
So Mom, If I should pay the price to keep her waving high,
And you receive the folded flag - be proud of me… don't cry!

“Place my flag on grandpa's shelf with his medals from World War II
And the folded flag he got last year that grandma gave to you.”
His Mother held the folded flag. It was a somber day.
She placed it high on “grandpa's shelf”, then bowed her head to pray.



In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview. When asked by one Member of Parliament why he believes so much in America, he said: “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out.”

By Marsha Burks Megehee

Have you seen the yellow ribbon,
Or those Red, White and Blue?
Some are big some are small,
Some ragged, some bright new.

On mighty Oaks and spindly ones,
That with Old Glory wave,
On every road I travel
In your home of the free and brave?

From windows, poles and porches
Across a thankful land,
Dear Soldier, fighting in Iraq,
May God reach out His Hand!

May he bless and keep you
While shining Freedom's Light
Upon the sands of Freedom's Hope,
Making darkness light.

Dear Soldier, fighting in Iraq,
My words cannot express
The high esteem I hold for you,
Please don't believe the press!

Or Hollyweird's fat Mullahs -
“Oh! You dirty rats!!!”
In this war for freedom,
The good guys wear white hats!

Freedom is no fantasy!
Golden Rules…don't bend!
Yelling “Cut!” won't stop the bombs,
“Til Osama’s “Gone With the Wind!”

So keep safe and God Bless You!
I'll write real soon, again.
My soldier of Dark September,
Hero, brother, sister…. godsend!
Marsha Burks Megehee. Copyright 2005.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American GI. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.


Freedom Is Not Free
By Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington
No, Freedom isn't Free!

Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong
See this Web site. []
E-mail Kelly. []


When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland.

The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation also was made based on her simple but eloquent poem. This little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is the author of the following “anonymous” poem winging across the Internet.”

Author’s name unknown. Forwarded by Bill Thompson

What do you see, nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit,
With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food
And makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
“I do wish you'd try!”

Who seems not to notice
The things that you do,
And forever is losing
A stocking or shoe?

Who, resisting or not,
Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding,
The long day to fill?

Is that what you're thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse,
You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am
As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten
With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters,
Who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen
With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now
A lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty,
My heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows
That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now,
I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide
And a secure happy home

A woman of thirty,
My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other
With ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons
Have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me
To see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more,
Babies play round my knee,
Again we know children,
My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me,
My husband is dead,
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing
Young of their own,
And I think of the years
And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman
And nature is cruel;
'Tis jest to make old age
Look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone
Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again,
My battered heart swells.

I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living
Life over again.

I think of the years
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact
That nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer, see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an old person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. You might be there yourself someday.


From an unknown Navy mom via 1stAdmPAO

My son came home from school one day,
with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough
to put me in my place.

Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today,
The “Children's Bill of Rights.”

It says I need not clean my room,
don't have to cut my hair.
No one can tell me what to think,
or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion,
and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head,
and I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want,
and pierce my tongue and nose.
I can read and watch just what I like,
get tattooed from head to toes.

And if you ever spank me,
I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges,
with the marks on my behind.

Don't you ever touch me,
my body's for my use,
not for your hugs and kisses,
that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals,
like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control,
And it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights,
so you can't influence me,
or I'll call Children's Services Division,
better know as C.S.D.

Of course my first instinct was
to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson
made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face,
he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping
at the local Goodwill Store.
I told him, “Pick out all you want,
there's shirts and pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D.
who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes
instead of those Nike Airs.

I've canceled that appointment
to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned
so I'll decide what's best.”

I said “No time to stop and eat,
or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn
to make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite,
and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions,
a favorite dish of mine.”

He asked “Can I please rent a movie,
to watch on my VCR?”
“Sorry, but I sold your TV,
for new tires on my car.

I also rented out your room,
you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires
just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now,
I'll choose what we shall eat.
That allowance that you used to get,
will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski,
dirt-bike, and roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights,'
It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying,
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out,
instead of C.S.D.?”


Author unknown. Also titled I Like The Navy, and others.

(Although this item has been attributed to Vice Admiral Harold Koenig, U.S. Navy Retired, he responds that he is not the author and has tried unsuccessfully for several years to find the name of the actual originator.
“I receive many internet messages requesting permission to use it,” he writes, “and I always reply that anyone who does so should attribute it to AUTHOR UNKNOWN.“)

Jug's Note: Since this article was published, the true author of the original essay, Copyright 1958 and 1978
has contacted Keeping Apace. Go to POETRY and click on (HUGHES) ONCE I WAS A NAVYMAN.

I like the Navy.

I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

I like Navy vessels - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers.

I like the proud names of Navy ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won.

I like the lean angular names of Navy 'tin-cans” Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy, -mementos of heroes who went before us.

I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea.

I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.

I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.

I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life.

I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are”shipmates.”

I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed “Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port”, and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside.

The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the 'all for one and one for all' philosophy of the sea is ever present.

I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night.

I like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead.

And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe. I like quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere.

And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness.

I like the sudden electricity of “General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations”, followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war - ready for anything.

And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones.

A sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood.

In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow.

And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks.

Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.

Remembering this, they will stand taller and say:


Source: Snopes [http://www.;f=15;t=002311;p=1 ].

Two thousand one, nine eleven
Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, “Let's sit, let's chat”

They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
“I have a dream!” and once he did
The Newcomer said, “Your dream still lives.”

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
“We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine”
The Newcomer said, “You died not in vain.”

From a man on sticks one could hear
“The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, “We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test.”

“Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,”
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores

A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

“Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not”

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, “Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me”

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
“Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!”

So said Martin, as he watched the scene
“Even from nightmares, can be born a dream.”

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
“I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow — but I don't see fear.”

“You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one.

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
“Take my hand,” and from there he led
Three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven

Author UNKNOWN (What a shame!)


I wrote this poem a number of years ago, following my return from a nostalgic 40th anniversary year reunion weekend with my former high school classmates. It was the first one we ever held and also the first time I had seen most of them since our graduation and scattering to the four corners of the world during WWII and beyond. - Jug

By Byron D. Varner, 1981

I went back to the old hometown to capture yesterday,
But somehow things were not the same as when I’d gone away.
Oh, there still stood some buildings that I recognized of yore,
And here and there a name I knew… a sign upon a store.

Most streets were as they used to be, but some of them had changed.
New ones had been added and the town was rearranged.
The old landmarks were all but gone, replaced by something new,
And seldom did I see a person that I thought I knew.

Those few acquaintances I saw had changed along with time.
“Friendly strangers, now,” I thought, “with lives so unlike mine.”
The passing years had not erased my vivid memories,
Of days gone by which I remembered in my reveries.

I saw myself still in my youth in all those yesterplaces,
With all my family and good friends and their familiar faces.
The things we did, the way we were, the good and bad times shared,
The way we helped each other and how much we really cared.

Then as this dream began to fade, I saw reality:
Another time, a different place, had changed my life for me.
The “good old days” had disappeared like mist a wind could stir.
Things aren’t the same as they were then. Perhaps they never were.

One can’t go home into the past, or try to make it fit.
Our present thought about the past is all there is of it.
Our real home is within us. It is right here where we are.
No need to search the old hometown, nor travel very far.

Today is all that truly counts. Tomorrow isn’t here.
The way we live our “every day” affects our “every year.”
And when that year becomes the past we then can look back, seeing
The worthwhile things that we have done to justify our being.


By Byron D. Varner

One hundred years of age, I see,
Is what folks want to live to be.
An age to which most all aspire
As each month takes them to the wire
In life's cavalcade.

I pondered this, and I agreed
That it could fill a human need,
But only if a newfound plan
Could elevate the thoughts of man
So age could retrograde.

The first rule would be to divide
Those hundred years, and then decide
Which years I’d start to live out first,
And how to minimize the worst
With all the rules obeyed.

I'd choose last two-thirds myself,
Since I am nearly on the shelf.
I'd like the opportunity
For latter day immunity
From past mistakes I've made.

Instead of being ripe old eighty,
I'd start at thirty (not so weighty),
The second time that I'd been there
Albeit with more savoir-faire
From all my groundwork laid.

Back again at youthful age
I would know that I'd be sage,
With wit and wisdom there for me
To overcome adversity
Face evil unafraid.

With newfound vigor, future bright,
I'd never ever hide my light,
Nor fail to help someone in need
Whatever color, race, or creed
With love that would pervade.

I'd work to know that senior age
Requires not to disengage
From youthful thought or youthful ways,
And spend my time in fruitful days
With others to persuade.

“If I knew then what I know now,”
I've often said, as in a vow.
Well, now at thirty I could use
Whatever expertise I choose
Because my dues are paid.



(With a tip o’ me hat to the gent who penned the original.)
By Russ Vaughn

Oh, Donny boy, the snipes, the snipes are bawling,
From spin to spin, some generals now decide,
The war’s all wrong and for your head they’re calling,
‘Tis you, ‘tis you must go, they want your hide.

But, guard your back from those now in the meadow,
From starry pundits' claim they told you so.
To hype their books, they snipe you from the shadow,
Oh, Donny boy, oh Donny boy, they hate you so.

And if you run when all the media’s lying,
Then truth is dead as dead the truth may be.
They’ll howl and hound you ‘til you are a’ dying,
And spiel an evil epitaph for thee.

And they will sneer no matter what befalls thee,
At all your dreams of sweetest victory,
For if you win they’ll still not ever love thee,
You’ll see no peace until Bush cuts you free.

Oh, Donny boy, the snipes, the snipes are bawling,
From spin to spin, they’re crying for your hide.
Your war is lost is what the media’s calling,
‘Tis you must go, they want ol’ Rummy fried.


By Russ Vaughn, who prefaced it with this comment: “I wrote this over a year ago and it received modest distribution. It also earned me threats over a period of several weeks from a deranged liberal who didn't like my reasoning. I thought perhaps now would be a good time to send it out again.”

Try crossing our southern border; try going the other way,
To enter Mexico illegally for an extended, unlawful stay.
Ignore immigration quotas, all their visas and their fees,
And quietly slip their border, anytime you damn well please.

Just sneak in past the policía, ignoring Mexican laws;
You’ve a desperate need to improve your lot; you have a righteous cause.
With Evil Bush in power now, destroying your liberal order,
You’ve a right to seek asylum, to trespass their northern border.

Once there, speak English only and demand it in their schools;
Forget assimilation; make Mexicanos change their rules.
What right do these Latinos have to make you learn their lingo?
Tell those churlish campesinos¹ you’ve the right to remain a gringo.

Move right on in, live your own way, ignore their cultural norms,
And demand the use of English on all their official forms.
Free healthcare is, of course, your right; let poor peones² pay,
For bilingual health providers throughout your border-bending stay.

Be sure to have a baby just as quickly as you can;
A citizen in the family helps legitimize your clan.
Then have another three or four, or maybe six or eight;
Don’t worry how you’ll feed them, just demand help from the state.

Paisanos³ paying taxes may resent your reckless breeding,
And protest loudly to their states about your gringo kids they’re feeding;
“But it’s just our way,” is your excuse, “Brought from our Yanquí land.”
How dare they question gringo ways they’ll never understand?

So defend your Anglo ethos; yield not your Yanquí essence;
And demand a driver’s license to legitimize your presence.
Just so you know what you’ve done wrong in case of policía stops,
Insist the Federales must teach English to all cops.

Make Mexicans accept your ways, make them your pliant fools;
Demand a Yanquí culture course be taught in all their schools.
So what you paid no taxes; when you’re an old gringo who will care?
File for your Seguridad Social, after all, you’re due your share.

If all this sounds preposterous, an irrational expectation,
Dems are demanding it for Illegals now in our multicultural nation.

¹ Rube, hick, unsophisticated person
² Laborer, worker
³ Citizen


By Russ Vaughn

You media pansies may squeal and may squirm,
But a fightin' man knows that the way to confirm,
That some jihadist bastard truly is dead,
Is a brain-tappin' round fired into his head.

To hell with some wienie with his journalist degree
Safe away from the combat, tryin' to tell me,
I should check him for breathin,' examine his eyes.
Nope, I'm punchin' his ticket to Muj paradise.

To hell with you wimps from your Ivy League schools,
Sittin' far from the war tellin' me about rules
And preachin' to me your wrong-headed contention
That I should observe the Geneva Convention,

Which doesn't apply to a terrorist scum
So evil and cruel their own people run from,
Cold-blooded killers who love to behead,
Shove that mother' Geneva, I'm leavin' em dead.

You slick talking heads may preach, preen and prattle,
But you're damn well not here in the thick of the battle.
It's chaotic, confusin' it all comes at you fast,
So it's Muj checkin' out because I'm going to last.

Yeah, I'll last through this fight and send his ass away
To his fat ugly virgins while I'm still in play.
If you journalist wienies think that's cold, cruel and crass,
Then pucker up sweeties, kiss a fightin' man's ass.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


By Russ Vaughn

It’s now clear there can be no ambivalence
About the Liberals’ moral equivalence;
Where they now have lost all perspective,
Or any desire to be truly objective.

Their comparisons began to be troubling
When “Fats” Moore got their fuzzy heads bubbling,
With his “terrorists as Minutemen” inanity,
That unleashed all this Liberal insanity.

Amnesty twits poured “Moore” fuel on the fire;
Their calling Gitmo a gulag was sure to inspire
The loons on the Left to more treasonous tropes,
And “Moore” metaphors from fifth columnist dopes,

With Bush-hating congressmen carping, complaining
About conditions no worse than my own basic training,
Where screaming mad sergeants deprive you of sleep,
Make you sleep on cold ground, and herd you like sheep.

Had they ever served, our deceitful Dick Durbins
They’d have more than hot air in their treasonous turbans;
Had they worn the uniform, endured deprivation
They might not so quickly condemn their own nation.

Founding fathers were terrorists Brian Williams indicts,
Another media effete who never fought for his rights.
With their traitorous comparisons, the Libs fail to see
They’re getting dangerously close to “the fightin’ side of me.”

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

For Merle Haggard’s classic song lyrics for Fightin’ Side of Me CLICK HERE [ ]


By Russ Vaughn

It began when ol' Dubya gave Al Gore the boot,
Those gun-hating Dems really started to shoot.
Their weapons of choice though leave much to desire
For they're usually off-target and so often misfire.

In his blustering barrages, as everyone knows,
Al Gore is most likely to blow off his own nose.
And in hitting his targets, Teddy's chances are slimmer
He's no better at bombast than he was as a swimmer.

John Kerry took aim at Bush's war in Iraq
But salvoes from Swiftees left him smoking black.
Daschle went to Dakota with all barrels loaded;
When the smoke finally cleared, he had clearly imploded.

They were gunning for George, but without enough practice
And ended up full of holes, their butts full of cactus.
That dimwitted cowboy turned out muy mal
Blew the Libs clean away at their O.K. Corral

Howard Dean, more than most, embodies the phrase,
“Shoot yourself in the foot,” yet may see better days.
If DNC chiefs decide the Party needs Deaning,
Shooting yourself in the foot will have Party-wide meaning.

Senator Boxer shot holes in her own reputation,
Taking potshots at Condi before the whole nation.
We can't wait for the chance to see Nancy Pelosi,
Take aim at ol' George: “BAM!” there goes her toesy.

We'll not tolerate lying, fumes Senator Dayton,
A lightweight compared to the lady he's baitin.'
But he shoots from the lip and quite clearly he misses,
While eighty-five colleagues hand out Condi kisses.

This “Gang that won't shoot straight,” is really no puzzle,
Did you ever see a Lib knew his butt from his muzzle?
Have you fathomed the lesson that runs through this poem?
All guns should have locks if there are Libs in the home.

Russ Vaughn


By Russ Vaughn 9-6-05

It’s readily apparent to most of us
The New Orleans mayor missed the bus,
Ordering those with cars to evacuate,
But those without to sit and wait;

To wait for busses that never came,
Never left the lot to Hizzoner’s shame.
Now water swirls around their wheels
While Mr. Mayor squirms and squeals,

And points the finger everywhere,
At others who the blame should bear.
Mr. Mayor needs to show some class
Take his own advice, get off his ass;

Quit blaming others and get to work,
Stop being a finger pointing jerk;
Act like a man, not a whimpering wuss,
Who fell asleep on the job and missed his bus.

The following commentary by Bob Williams in Wall Street Journal On Line (forwarded by Dick Blaisdell) is just one more “nail in the coffin” of those locals who have been trying so desperately to shift the real blame away from where it most belongs



By Russ Vaughn

Michelle Malkin notes, I believe with some error,
The politically correct are handmaidens of terror.
But handmaiden may be a too-mild appellation
For the worms at the core of the threat to our nation,

Who are far more concerned with our socialist purity,
Than commonsense measures for our nation’s security.
They’ll insist we don’t need anti-terrorist powers,
Till terror bombs blow down their own ivory towers.

More than mere handmaids in true servile sense,
They’re concubines of correctness in Jihadist tents,
Plying socialist sweetmeats to death-dealing masters,
Naively abetting more future disasters.

Respect our dark brothers say these houris beguiling,
No need for your paranoid, racist profiling.
Forget swarthy males from the East caused our losses,
We must share their pain, understand their root causes.

These handmaids ignore their own reasoning powers,
Like no grannies flew planes into those twin towers;
Or why we’re not shown after a terror event,
Any mug shots of men of Caucasian descent.

They insist we ignore facts as plain as their faces,
Like Islamo-fascists tend to be certain races.
No, Michelle, dear, I fear that handmaiden’s in error,
Simply too mild a term for these true whores for terror.

This poem was inspired by Russ Vaughn's reading Michelle Malkin‘s article HERE. [ ]


By Russ Vaughn, April 8th, 2006
Inspired by the Sean Hannity with Ward Churchill interview [ ].

We send our kids to college,
To get an education;
We send them there for knowledge,
Not to learn to hate their nation.

The billions that we pay
These high priced institutions,
Should pay to teach our kids a way
To seek life’s best solutions.

But Sixties losers from the Left
Have seized the ivory towers,
So now our kids must sit bereft,
Absorbing agitprop for hours.

Hearing not the words of Winnie,
A true Churchill of distinction,
But some phony Indian ninny,
Who prophesies their extinction.

And while your kid can’t get in Yale,
Can’t make the grade or cut,
They admit a turbaned, Taliban male,
A terrorist from a hut.

So now he learns at our expense,
And no women dare sit near,
How to worm his way past our defense,
Undermine all we hold dear.

What fools they are who claim to be
The brightest in our nation;
Not even smart as you and me,
Despite their lofty station.

No common sense do they possess,
Or they’d teach our kids what’s right;
Their Marxist minds a muddled mess,
They’re fools won’t see the light.

Someday our warriors will return
seeking higher institutions,
Should not surprise those so unwise,
they may face retribution.


By Russ Vaughn

How many of you Liberals does it take to win a war?
Well how the hell can we tell? You won't fight one anymore.
You say that you support the troops, but the truth's plain as your face,
You'd pull us from the battle, march us home in full disgrace.

You've no stomach for the fighting, got no mettle, got no pluck;
If you ran this war on terror, we'd be a very well-plucked duck.
The wolves of Jihad smell your dread, can smell your craven breath,
And emboldened by the fear they scent, lust for our bloody death.

“But wait,” you protest piously, “We are fighters for the poor.”
Might we suggest you start to fight, before wolves come through the door?
Do you think they'll still believe in you, your poor, your gays, your blacks,
When the wolves run wild among them, sinking fangs into their backs?

Think then that they'll be caring, when they're counting out their dead,
We inflict pain on a captive wolf to learn what's in his head?
Do you really think, you bleeding hearts, when they bleed in scarlet torrents,
They'll care we cage the savage wolves, search lairs without signed warrants?

For years we watched your “feel good” courts defang our criminal laws,
Handcuff our police, give felons rights, espouse the criminals' cause.
Felonious wolves were freed to prey, and we suffered their wild rages
‘Till “thinking” men took back the courts, put the wolf packs back in cages.

With your same old clueless “feelings” you now decry this war;
And with your same old fuzzy logic, common sense you still ignore.
We must look into “root causes” and we must try to “feel their pain;”
Pardon if our eyes start rolling, at your same old lame refrain.

It's hard to fathom whence you come, perhaps some flawed eugenics,
That begets utopian pessimists, sires optimistic cynics.
Thanks be the power to rule the land remains beyond your means;
A regime of yours, would be like, no doubt, being ruled by pimpled teens.

Your quixotic quest for a world love nest, denies some truths quite real,
Like the need to have some “thinking” folks to preserve your right to “feel.”
Abhorring blood on your own hands, there's a hard truth you've ignored,
Someone else must take your plowshare, and beat it back into a sword.

So how many of you Liberals does it take to win a war?
Or is there simply nothing you believe worth fighting for?
How is it that you've never learned, like most when they grow older,
That appeasing badness is a bad idea, only makes the bad guys bolder.

Has your fear of spilling human blood made you Jihad's useful fools,
Ignoring that their wolf packs never fight within the rules?
By your demand we stay our hand, you weaken and you bind us;
Forcing us to fight off wolf attacks with that hand tied behind us.

So we bend some rules, in war you fools; so what? Show some respect,
When it's your fuzzy-headed “feelings” “thinking” men fight to protect.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


By Russ Vaughn

What a prize to show for her life of toil,
A bus that runs on vegetable oil;
To keep it running will prove no strain,
Run a fuel line from her peanut brain.

As once again she shows us all
How wrong we are and how we’ll fall.
She’ll grant no quarter, cut no slack,
Get her picture taken on a camel’s back.

Jihad Jane will show us once again,
She’s smarter than all the President’s men;
I doubt Sun Tzu could tell us more
Than Jihad Jane when it comes to war;

She’ll save the world, bold Barbarella,
More wily and wise than any Army fella.
While she fancies herself truly Machiavellian
A more apt description is piggy Orwellian.

It’s true Jane could write an encyclopedia
On fooling the drooling mainstream media.
Princes of prime time breathlessly follow;
Sputum she spouts they eagerly swallow.

Trumpet her tripe as trustworthy truth,
Pushing her pap down the throats of our youth.
Reporters will climb right on down in that sewer,
Covering every mile of Jane’s veggie-fueled tour.

While wiser minds wait, holding their breath,
Warily wondering just how much death
All her agitprop antics will incite this time,
And whose lives will be forfeit for one fool’s crime.

In most scripts of life, we become wiser with age;
But this airhead actress cannot get to that page.
So she’ll be well remembered, as well she should,
As the dumbest damned broad in Hollywood.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Infantry
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

(With a tip of the hat to Ollie North's column on this subject, Vegetable Oil and Tours of Duty.” )


By Russ Vaughn

I never thought there’d ever be
A thing I could dread more,
Than the horror I might live to see:
A President Al Gore.

But when Kerry got the Dem’s pick,
Vying for our veteran votes,
Like other vets I re-upped quick
For a tour on Swiftees’ boats.

We handed him his haughty head
In November 2004,
Made him pay for all the lies he’d said
About us in our war.

We knew this colorful fellow;
He wasn’t red white and blue;
He was Hanoi red and yellow,
Or any shade would get him through.

Again he’s shown his colors true,
Neither olive green nor camo;
No, more a patrician, elitist blue,
To give him academic ammo.

Angry now he stands defying,
On millions of glowing tubes,
Telling us our eyes are lying:
He didn’t call our troops all boobs.


By Russ Vaughn

It never occurred to me, ever before,
That our Navy would win the Vietnam War.
When they took to their boats in this year of elections,
With the mission of making some major corrections
I shared their belief, John should not be elected,
And their view overdue, truth should be resurrected.
Yet I questioned the course they'd set themselves for,
Knowing how John was loved by the media whore.

Ignored and dismissed by the media queens
Being shrewd, savvy sailors they still found the means
To reach out to the people, to open their eyes
To a phony John Kerry and his war story lies.
With their very first ad, they torpedoed his boat,
A Cambodian Christmas would no longer float.
His heroics unraveled, his stories fell flat,
Especially that one 'bout his magical hat.

John called on his lawyers and media whores,
And threatened the Swiftees with vile legal wars.
But these warriors kept charging back into the fire,
And made the folks wonder, “Is Kerry a Liar?”
Till the question of whether he's telling the truth
Was still in their minds in the election day booth.
So the brave Swiftees gave us what we'd not had before,
They gave us our victory in the Vietnam War.

Those brave, stalwart sailors, falsely labeled as liars,
Stood firm and stood tall, kept directing their fires,
Steadfast, unrelenting, they served once again,
And defeated John Kerry, these honorable men.
All Vets can take pride, yes all, not just some,
That we won the last battle of Vietnam.
It took far too long to bring an end to our war
But we did, November Second, Two Thousand Four.

To our Brothers, forever on that long black Wall,
You've been vindicated now, one and all.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


By Russ Vaughn

On a hill in San Diego
Stands a monument to our losses;
A tribute to our wartime dead
Like many other crosses.

Against a tranquil azure sky,
This cross has borne the years,
It’s spreading shadow falling
Upon graves that bear our tears.

For decades no one’s questioned
This pale tribute to our slain,
Until angry Libs at ACLU,
Decided to complain;

And seek a federal order
From robed fools in Sodom town,
That this offensive Christian symbol
Must forthwith be torn down.

To everything’s a season,
A time for birth and dying,
A time, too, for love of country
To fall victim to Liberal lying;

A time for those of any faith,
Those heartfelt, frank believers,
To be ridiculed and rejected
By hollow harsh deceivers;

But there is a time as well
When truth must sure prevail,
When our hearts sense basic truth,
Causing fools like these to fail.

And stand we must against these fools,
Or it will be our gravest loss,
If these fools succeed when they demand,
Mr. Bush, tear down that cross.

The Left has ne’er forgotten
How Ronald Reagan brought their fall,
When with his words he changed the world,
By tearing down their wall.

Russ Vaughn
May 2006


By Russ Vaughn, 3-20-05
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Vietnam 65-66

A flickering dawn lights Islam's hills
A faint emerging light.
Can the torch of Lady Liberty
Flare away Medieval night?

How fitting our bold symbol
Of all that's good and right
Eyewitness to the Jihad's wrath,
Stands forefront in this fight.

Her torch is not mere sculpted bronze,
To those in Mullahs' chains;
But a lamp held high against the sky
Showing them that hope remains.

Their feudal sheiks view us with scorn,
So obsessed with earthly pleasure;
But one thing they fear that we hold dear,
Is that Bill of Rights we treasure.

We drove a tyrant from his throne,
Brought his people free election.
Think it concerns them overmuch,
WMD's escaped detection?

Just behold those blue-stained fingers,
Like the Lady's torch, held high,
So proud of their brave turnout,
Putting Liberals to the lie.

How say you now nay Sayers?
What of your dire predictions?
Like fools you swore naught's solved by war,
Another of your Liberal fictions.

But now you face a hard clear truth:
A truth that you forswore:
This aborning Bush Democracy
Was midwifed by his war.

Within the womb of Islam,
Freedom's heart so feebly beats.
Is it up us to make it thrive,
To birth it their streets?

What say you disbelieving Libs,
How now shall this thing go?
Shall we execute your exit plan,
Or stay and help it grow?


“Semper I” is an old Marine Corps term applied to those few selfish careerists who place their own success ahead of their men and the well being of the Corps. Congressman John Murtha is a living example of that disgraceful term.

By Russ Vaughn

A bugle blows in Arlington,
Lilting notes fill still sad air,
An eagle’s tears a globe fall on,
Trail an anchor with despair,

For a man we’d wish had not to die,
Brave youth among the best,
A Marine, he lived for Semper Fi,
And with Semper Fi he’ll rest.

So sadly is the contrast,
Between those who talk and fight;
Fat Pols for whom their war’s past,
But now can’t see the light,

Accusing brave young fighting men,
Of crimes they can’t defend,
Disgraceful fat old congressmen,
Who’ve lost the will to win.

Yes there we see the difference,
Between those who fight to win,
And a congressman with no sense,
Who’s committed grievous sin;

He’s turned against his Corps,
And no one knows quite why,
Except he loves himself much more:
Classic case of Semper I.

Semper Fi to all Marines everywhere, from an old paratrooper who holds Congressman John Murtha in as much contempt as you do.

Russ Vaughn
327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

See also this site [ ].


By Russ Vaughn

I thought I'd seen it all I guess
In videos from the East;
Enough to tell me nothing less,
We're dealing with a beast.

Such savagery and blood lust,
Sawing off our soldier's head,
Ensures to me that we must
Leave all these bastards dead.

And yet may God preserve us
From those too weak to serve,
Faint of heart, afraid of service,
With no will to save, preserve.

They shriek about the troops lost,
Deplore our mounting dead,
Ignoring what our freedom cost,
In the steps our nation tread.

Now when their country needs them
To mount a solid front;
They'd sacrifice our freedom
For the power they so want.

On flag-draped coffins standing,
Crassly using our dead brave,
To our enemy they're now handing,
What those dead fought so to save.

Some day there'll come a reckoning,
A payment for the pain,
To those who used our dead so ill,
for naught but power's gain.


During the 2004 national election, our adopted “Poet Laureate” sent the following letter to the editor of the San Antonio Express. “To my utter amazement, they published it!” he reported:


Good heavens, may wonders never cease! I just read a Jan Jarboe (South Texas Ultralib) column and found myself agreeing with her. Her advice to Democrats that George Bush is not the dummy they think he is reminds me of a good ole' boy from South Alabama who once worked for me.

We were making a product presentation to a military procurement officer who was extremely full of himself and patronizing to us as civilian marketers, talking down to us as if we were entirely ignorant of the system. Offended by his condescension, I thought of explaining that we were intimately familiar with the proper procedures but then thought better of it. It was, after all, my salesman's account, so I should let him handle it.

For thirty minutes he sat there in wide-eyed awe, hanging on to every word of this pompous buffoon's detailed explication of military procurement, interrupting with only an occasional, “Wow,” or “Gee, so that's how it's done.” Knowing my guy was a senior Reserve Navy officer and intimately familiar with this whole process I just sat there and bit my tongue.

When we finally got out in the parking lot, with an order even larger than we had sought, I said, “Jim, why on earth did you put up with that blowhard, like that?” To which he winked, waved the order forms and drawled, “Hey, Boss, sometimes you just gotta out-dumb 'em.”

Ain't it the truth? Just ask Ann Richards. Or Al Gore. (And now John Kerry.)

Russ Vaughn

P.S. - Liberal Democrats love chants; so I have a brand spanking new one for them: “Two! Four! Six! Eight! Never Misunderestimate!

Rereading the letter recently, Vaughn was inspired to write the following poem.


Did you really believe we're too stupid to see,
How you tried to deceive us with smug sophistry?
Did you actually think we'd accept without thinking,
That our ship of state's hulled, our economy's sinking?

We saw how with help from your media tools,
You picked just the right captain for your ship of fools.
With your Cambodian Admiral at the helm of your boat
You needed an ocean of lies just to keep him afloat.

You put forward no spokesman with a true honest voice
And offered the voters no acceptable choice.
Your party got “jacked” by the loons on the left,
And the rest of you've yet to wake up to the theft.

You let billionaire bandits with a Bolshevik whiff,
Take your “ride” for a drive that went straight off the cliff.
So, do you now blame your loss on these crazies and flakes?
Nope, by Jove, it was Rove - must've messed with the brakes.

Even now that you've lost, you refuse to accept,
That your party's outdated and its leaders inept.
The election is over, and with your masquerades falling
The true YOU we see is truly appalling.

You've nothing but scorn for true faith and belief
Holding up Christianity as some election year thief.
Your apostasy's clear to those Blacks and Hispanics,
Who, next time around, just may be your Titanics.

So now as you sit contemplating your fate,
Sipping modest Chablis, Camembert on your plate,
Just remember your failure in sowing false fears,
And let this burn in your brains for four more long years:

Even owning the press and controlling the tube,
You got your butts whipped by an' ole' Texas rube.
So, keep pondering this 'til your brains are all numbed
Rove didn't outsmart you; you were smartly out-dumbed.

That's gonna stick in your craws 'til you're forced to disgorge,
All you smart liberal wienies just got out-dumbed, by George.

By Russ Vaughn
Proud Red State Retard and former Democrat
('til they made me a political homeless person and the Republicans offered shelter).


By Russ Vaughn

There's a character trait that's decided by fate
Comes sadly to many, far too faint, far too late.
They won't face the aggressor, stand up to his ire
They have not the will to fight his fire with fire.

So they bend over backwards to see all sides as fair,
Till they're faced with dragon breath fire in their hair.
Like our brethren in France, who'd know better than we?
Yet seem never to learn, seem doomed never to see.

Yes, it seems there are some, who’re determined by fate,
To possess not the courage to step up to the plate,
Who shrink from all threat because nothing's worth war.
But how can they know lest they've been there before?

Thank God some have courage, the will, yes, the grace,
To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.
Thank God we have stalwarts who'll stand for us all,
Who will rise to the challenge at their nation's call.

The faint-hearted, who fear, whose reaction is flight,
Have no comprehension of those who will fight.
To hide their own trepidation they attempt to demean
The rough men who defend them as barbaric, obscene.

Yet these rough men stand ready, hard weapons to hand,
To put placaters behind them, draw a line in the sand,
To preserve for the peaceniks what they won't defend,
So their own unearned freedom won't perish, won't end.

To appeasers, rough men are coarse government tools.
To rough men, appeasers are dumb delusional fools.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


The ALCU’s ultra liberal concepts, if enacted, could be the death of the America we knew in the 20th Century. Nothing seems sacred to ACLU’s warped sense of justice, but Russ Vaughn capsules the general reaction to their push against the Boy Scouts with this poetic response:

Scout's Honor
By Russ Vaughn

When I was a boy, yep, I was a Scout
And whole time I was, no Scoutmasters came out.
Nope, they stayed in the closet, if any were there,
And no parents protested our Scout meeting prayer.

We believed in our creed, truly honored our oath.
Our duty to God in those years was not loathe.
No, we pledged our young lives that we'd do our best
To honor traditions behind our Scout crest.

But our honor's now questioned by a liberal elite
That will settle for nothing but our total defeat.
Renounce God we're told, or we'll take you to court.
Scouting's now not for kids it's become lawyers' sport.

No, we haven't a right now to say who shall lead
The children we hopefully entrust to this creed.
So these possible predators we're told now to trust,
And hope our young boys don't fall prey to their lust.

I've had it with liberals, I'm full up to here.
They've pushed me beyond any warped legal fear
To the point that I say that whatever they do,
My mission in life: SCREW THE ACLU.

They've robbed me of Christmas, robbed me of youth,
In their misguided crusade for their brand of truth.
Like good ole' Dan Rather, ACLU you're a goner.
I pledge that to you on my cherished Scout's Honor.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


By Russ Vaughn

Most humans truly are like sheep,
Wanting nothing more than peace to keep.
To graze, grow fat and raise their young,
Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.

Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,
They sense no threat, nor fear, no harm.
On verdant meadows they forage free
With naught to fear, with naught to flee.

They pay their sheepdogs little heed,
For there is no threat; there is no need.
To the flock, sheepdogs are mysteries,
Roaming watchful round the peripheries.

These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar
With the fetid reek of the carnivore,
Too like the wolf of legends told,
To be amongst our docile fold.

Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?
They have no use, not in this day.
Lock them away, out of our sight
We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast
Has come to kill, has come to feast.
The wolves attack; they give no warning
Upon that calm September morning

They slash and kill with frenzied glee
Their passive helpless enemy
Who had no clue the wolves were there
Far roaming from their Eastern lair.

Then from the carnage, from the rout,
Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”
Thus is our nature but too our plight
To keep our dogs on leashes tight.

And live a life of illusive bliss
Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.
Until he has us by the throat,
We pay no heed; we take no note.

Not until he strikes us at our core
Will we unleash the Dogs of War.
Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath
Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;
We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 1965-66 []


By Russ Vaughn

Bold John sailed forth in his faux scow,
Till the Swiftees fired across his bow;
And legions of irate attorneys,
Could not defend Cambodian journeys,
Nor stories of his fabled hat,
So voters sensed they smelled a rat.

And while the networks denied them prime,
The Swiftees surely got their time.
While John screamed it was all a smear,
O'Neill came across sincere,
And forced Big John to duck the press,
To run, to hide from his specious mess.

But relentless those old Swiftee guys,
They bit, hung on, exposed his lies.
These brave old warriors once again
Stood for their country, for their kin.
They made us all look one more time
At the traitor who'd charged them with crime,

And gave false witness to their deeds
For nothing more than political needs.
It's a smear proclaimed the New York Times
Those liars all committed crimes.
Chris Matthews raged, foamed at the mouth,
Still the turncoat's campaign headed south.

So the Swiftboat Veterans' charges stuck
And made poor John a sitting duck.
He had no answers, no glib replies,
To cover up his treasonous lies;
That made us think, our minds aware,
The Swiftees had some truth in there;

What if he'd faked his combat valor,
Were all those medals tinged with pallor?
Dan Rather would not pay them heed,
But still the Swiftees made John bleed.
The mainstream pundits called them liars;
But no lefty slant could staunch these fires.

The blazes that these Swiftees set
Were burning John Boy's ass you bet;
And those Swiftboat fires just burned away
Till they fried John's ass on election day.
Now all you heroes on that Wall
Take solace seeing Kerry fall.

This scheming pol who stained your name
Has been denied his claim to fame.
The Swiftees stood and did their best,
Denied the traitor his life's quest.
You can rest in peace our honored kin
Your honor restored by honorable men.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


By Russ Vaughn

This poem was inspired by Ted Lapkin’s essay: HERE [ ]

Much like a victim of spousal abuse,
The Left always seems to have an excuse
For barbarous behavior by terrorist thugs,
Their violence dismissed with self-blaming shrugs.

Oh, they just can’t help it, they just get so mad,
When we get them upset by behaving so bad.
It’s not really their fault that we suffer their blows;
We provoked them ourselves as everyone knows.

Like a cowering wife with her bruised blackened eye,
The Liberal defeatists just keep asking why;
What is it in us our tormentors despise?
What will gain us some favor in those angry eyes?

It must be our doing that sets them aflame;
Our own bad behavior that must bear the blame.
If we just appease them, we grovel and simper,
Perhaps we’ll avoid the mad wrath of their temper.

Battered wives learn what the Left cannot see:
Excusing brutal behavior will not set you free.
Appeasing these madmen just maddens them more,
Till someday they’ll come and kill three thousand more.

Quit making excuses for these murderous men,
You Liberal appeasers who’d let terrorists win.
The only sure way to be free of their ire:
Defeat and destroy them; fight fire with fire.

Russ Vaughn


By Russ Vaughn

Such discord now ‘tween you and us,
Mainstream Media and populace:
You envenom all that we hold dear,
And revel in those things we fear.

You denigrate our national pride
Taking always now the others’ side.
A Media mamba, a poisonous pest
That lurks within our Eagle’s nest.

You arrogant adders puffed with pride,
We know truth’s on our Eagle’s side;
And care not what you snakes declare,
We’ve had it with your venomous fare.

Our Eagle soars above your wrath,
Your tortured, twisted serpents’ path.
From your low crawl, you fail to see,
Our Eagle strikes have set men free.

Now the Eagle from his lofty post,
Looks down upon your hissing host,
Who poison every good intent,
With noxious toxins you invent.

Like diamondbacks you loudly rattle,
Strike fear in those you deem but cattle;
But your cattle now look to the sky,
See the Eagle soaring, and know you lie.

Can you Media serpents win this fight?
Bring our Eagle down from newfound height?
No longer now caged up by you,
Only negative news to shape our view.

The Internet set our Eagle free,
Now we can hear, now we can see.
A Mainstream Media hissing lies,
Spitting blinding venom in our eyes.

Our Eagle’s spied you false purveyors,
Just negative fools and foul naysayers.
The Eagle knows now he is right,
That he’s with honor in this fight.

And despite your biting fanged attacks,
He’ll land upon your serpent backs;
An image that should give you pause:
A thrashing snake in Eagle’s claws.


By Russ Vaughn

The question you must ask yourself as you head to your poll
Is: who do you trust to lead us now that survival is our goal?
We tread the path of Jihad's wrath, where misstep could spell doom,
And future times of horrid climes in Holocaust's gray gloom.

What then, again I'll ask of you, should be our true agendas?
Privilege and prosperity? Or ways to best defend us?
Affluence won't concern us much. Other problems will confound us,
When our cities lie in smoking ruins with destruction all around us.

What sort of man, I ask you now, do we really want to lead us?
A nuanced pol, who talks and talks, while Jihadis grimly bleed us?
Or a fighter who will walk the walk, take the battle to them there,
Force their hand and make them stand - destroy them in their lair?

This veteran says let's fight them there; Lure all those fanatic fools
To where they face armed fighting men, not children in their schools.
I know how I shall vote this time, I'll vote to win this war;
Not to let John Kerry lose it, as he did mine long before.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 1965-66 []


By Russ Vaughn

Words of Santayana will be with us sure mañana,
When we face a fascist menace once again.
What we term a win today, we will learn to our dismay,
Is perceived as lack of will by evil men.

A lord of Britain led us, to a place where Nazis bled us,
Believing he’d found peace within his time.
At cost of untold billions and deaths of unknown millions,
We paid high price for this lord’s crumbling crime.

New fascist fires are burning, anti-Semitism churning,
Low priests of paparazzi pile the pyres;
With photos of destruction doctored with their foul corruption,
Our world’s again at mercy of bold liars.

Freedom’s slowly burning as new Fascists now are learning
Santayana knew his history, knew of men.
Events we face today have through history been in play,
Ignoring them we face chaos again.

The crime of man’s existence is his unexplained resistance
To take to heart hard lessons fathers learned;
To play again the fool, turn his back upon the cruel,
Till everything he loves lies dead and burned.

Wake up you fools and hear, Santayana’s voice is near,
For your children’s sake please take his words as truth.
Desire to just appease is a deadly vile disease,
Which will seal a deadly fate for your own youth.

Don’t listen but to me, just look back at history,
Never once has weakness ever been prevailing;
The only way to meet these new fascists is with heat,
The heat of war that dooms their dreams to failing.

Russ Vaughn 8 19 06


By Russ Vaughn

America’s forces have won all their wars
From Revolution to war in Iraq;
And Lefties, don’t point to the Vietnam War
Where you stabbed winning troops in the back.

No, the truth is we win; we win time and again;
Done it time after time after time.
Doesn’t matter to you, ‘cause whatever we do,
We’ve always somehow dropped the dime.

To Lefties our generals just have to be wrong,
Wrong tactics, wrong weapons, wrong forces;
We’re the gang who somehow can never shoot straight,
To hear the mainstream media sources.

Just look at their headlines, view every day’s news,
With their blistering barrages of blame.
To warriors out here at the point of the spear,
It’s those losers’ “No Right Answer” game.

In this lugubrious game loved by Liberal elites
There’s just but one rule to enforce:
Whatever we do in whatever war,
Must naturally be wrong, of course.

There is no right answer, no matter what,
Even when our warriors are winning;
There’s always the sly implication we lie,
In the splenetic stories they’re spinning.

In peacetime they charge our force is too large
During wartime they squall they’re too small;
In peacetime they whine we’re spending too much;
But in war, “Where’s the armor for all?”

With consummate confidence they know what’s best,
Puerile pundits so smug and so smarmy,
Pontificate loud to their Liberal crowd
That we once again have the wrong Army.

Pick a war, any war, or a period of peace;
Field marshals of the media are spinning;
If generals of journalism are so in the know,
Why are genuine generals winning?

So here at the front, harsh home of the grunt,
We ignore their attempts to defame.
The troops know the score, know what this war's for;
They can stuff their “No Right Answer,” game.

Inspired by Jeff Edwards, USN (Ret.), warrior and novelist whose article you can read
here [,14790,Edwards_031405-P1,00.html ].

SSGT Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division, Vietnam 65-66


In a rare act of defense against the media, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to the Philip Bennett, Managing Editor of the Washington Post, objecting to the tasteless political cartoon by Tom Toles that featured an Iraq War multiple amputee as the butt of its criticism of SecDef Donald Rumsfeld. Perhaps you have seen the cartoon and read the letter.

One of those who saw the cartoon is poet and Vietnam War veteran Russ Vaughn. It raised his hackles to the point of his originating the following poem about the Washington Post (which he calls WAPO).

In his note to me he said, “This may be too strong for some tastes. My usual forum, The American Thinker, turned it down because of the implied violence. Use your own judgment in deciding whether to post it or pass it on.”

As one who believes in free speech, I am posting it here. After you have read the poem, be sure to read the paragraph that follows.


Wanna draw a soldier, Toles? Here I am,
Back with all four limbs from Vietnam.
You wanna draw pictures of fighting men?
Just tell me where and tell me when.

I’ll give you a pose to impress any viewer,
Your punk arty ass comatose in the sewer.
Like all of your kind you don’t have a clue
Who fightin’ men are and what fightin’ men do.

That you, your kind, you effete panty waists,
With Hollywood morals, metrosexual tastes,
Would taunt a brave warrior’s fight for life,
Mock his loss, his pain, deride his strife;

And use his sorrow to support your screed,
With no concern for the warrior’s need,
Tells me you are clueless of the facts of war,
You’re a cut ‘n run, spineless, media whore.

Go to Walter Reed hospital, smug Mr. Toles,
To see those you’ve mocked, grave injured souls.
View wounded warriors with bodies so broken
And think again of the message you’ve spoken,

So abysmally ignorant, so smug, condescending
That even most liberals won’t waste time defending.
So Toles it’s a fact that your most famous work
Will proclaim you forever as a pitiless jerk.

And Washington Post:
You’re as bad as this weasel.
You gave him the forum,
Provided his easel.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Now that you’ve read his poem click on American Thinker [ ] and read his synopsis of the matter, including, “The diametric differences in the responses from military readers and liberal readers made me, once again, all too aware of the curious relationship that exists between those who protect and defend and those who are defended.”


By Russ Vaughn

Disaster strikes a world away.
We get the call, what do we say?
We move at once to ease their plight,
To aid them through their darkest night.

But comes shrill cries from carping Press,
“That's not enough to fix this mess.”
We know that, fools, but give us room
To counter Mother Nature's doom.

America gives to those in need,
With no regard to faith or creed.
We're there for all when need is great.
A helping hand to any state,

That's fallen under Nature's wrath
And needs a lift back to the path.
So what? They may have mocked our ways…
We'll turn our cheek 'til better days.

But there are those who hate us so.
They'll carp and snipe and hit us low.
Who'll bend disaster to their needs
And try to choke us on our deeds.

They'll play their dirty liberal tricks…
For them it's only politics.
In the face of massive human pain
They only think of their own gain.

But the world knows sure whom it must call
When disaster strikes, when nations fall.
America is the beaming light
That fades, dispels disaster's night,

And standing firm provides relief
To salve the pain, allay the grief.
So to hell with what our critics say!
America's fine. Still leads the way.


A poem dedicated to the families of the brave Ohio Marines

By Russ Vaughn

Why was it my son had to die,
To preserve some truth? To hide a lie?
Why did my country ask of me,
To sacrifice my hopes so totally?

Why must one home give up so much,
Among the few to feel death’s touch?
Why was it my son had to die
Please let me know, please tell me why.

Your son died in a valiant cause,
To save our way of rights and laws,
To keep the light of freedom glowing,
To keep the rights of freemen flowing,

To keep our tall torch burning bright
Against the terror, against dark night.
Your son gave up his valiant best,
To save our ways, preserve the rest.

True, politics is a darkened art,
Devouring lives of those with heart,
The heart to give their very best,
To serve, protect we helpless rest.

But, Lord, we’re thankful some will serve
We multitudes, who lack their nerve.
They take up arms and fight our foes,
Bearing bloody burdens for our woes.

Why was it my son had to die?
Why must I be the one to cry?
Because you are one of the few,
Who raised a son who truly knew,

Our freedom’s price is paid in blood,
Young men must die to stay the flood,
To keep the terror wolves at bay,
To save us all, preserve our way.

Why was it my son had to die?
Because your son was one fine guy.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66


Dr. David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight,
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask, “How are you“ do you hear the reply?
When the day is done do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores running through your head?
You'd better slow down, don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

Ever told your child, “We'll do it tomorrow“?
And in your haste nBy ot see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time to call and say, “Hi”?
You'd better slow down, don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life is not a race. Do take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over.



By Che von Lindberg, author [! ].
Forwarded by Bill Thompson

With thanks to my son Gary, who searched the web to discover the original source that changed the author's status from “unknown” and added the correct ending.

Dust if you must.
But wouldn't it be better
to paint a picture, or write a letter,
bake a cake, or plant a seed.
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must.
But there is not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear, and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must.
But the world's out there
with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must.
But bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go, and go you must,
you, yourself, will make more dust.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright, I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more, I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive, I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger, I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting, and I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess… and finally, I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye…!