Lieut. Henry G. Lee,
Headquarters and Military Police Company of the Philippine Divison.
They said we were weak, we were aimless, They
said we were lost past reclaim.
We had “left the faith of our fathers” We were “blots on American’s name.
We were “soft and useless and drifters” And the
last youth’s census reveals
We were “parasite growth of the nation” We had “sacrificed muscle for wheels.”
The old men wept for their country, And sighed
for the days of yore.|
And sometimes we half believed them But that was before our war.
Before we heard the bombs shriek. And the
howling, ugly and shrill
That ripples across the rice paddies When ”Nippie” comes in for the kill.
Before we had lived on hunger, And terror and
nerves and pain
Before we had seen our buddies Die in the shattered cane.
Our war-our own little rat trap The hopeless
defense of Bataan
A rear guard with no main body, But a thorn in the flesh of Japan.
So now we can laugh at our elders, And now we
can give them the lie
For we “held the line that couldn’t be held” When they struck us at Abucay.
Weak? And drifters? And aimless? Go where the
steel was sowed
Ask for the nameless fox graves That dot the Hacienda Road
And ask at Limay and Balanga, Where the outposts
burrowed like moles
And the sky-trained flying soldiers, Died in their infantry holes.
And ask of the bamboo thicket, Deadly green and
And the bloody Pilar River, And the forward slopes of Samat
And, last seek the silent jungle, Where the
unburied remnants lie
Asleep by their rusting rifles, The men who learned how to die.
Who first squeezed the Garand’s trigger?
Who met the tanks on a mare
Who flew the primary trainers When Zeros were in the air?
Who watched the bombays open, Day after endless
Stayed at their anti-aircraft, With tons of “H. E.” on the way?
Who lead the Scouts at Quinon? Who plugged the
break at Morong?
Who but your parisite youngsters, The desperate men of Bataan.
So now we have learned our lesson, And how to
apply it too
And this the application, The things they said were true.
We were weak, we were aimless and drifters We
lived for ourselves alone,
But we have been tempered with fire, We are ready, U. S., to come home.
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