The Navy Recruiter Came to my School Today
By Joseph C. Stockett
The Navy Recruiter was at our school today
He's trying to make his quota
So he can keep his bonus pay.
His uniform was tidy
His shoes were polished bright
His head was shorn in flat-top
His manners so polite.
He spoke of wild adventures
In countries far away
With extra cash for college
When we return someday
From fighting wars for freedom
To protect the stars and stripes
Anywhere the flag is planted
Be it wrong or be it right.
"Be all you can be", began his line
"Fulfill your destiny
Come serve with pride and glory
In a ship upon the sea."
He promised free education
In a military school
To turn down his great offer
He said I'd be a fool.
I thought about his presentation
There was something sleazy in his style
He wanted my name and number
So he could call me after while.
He had a sophisticated method
A captive audience were we
But his soft-sell propaganda
Failed to convince me:
My Grandpa was killed over China
Fighting the Japanese
My Uncle was shot dead in Korea
At a torture camp on his knees.
I was born in 1971
But my father never heard my name
He was accidentally killed in Vietnam
When the U.S. Navy dropped bombs on Da Nang.
They sent their condolences to my Mother
She was six-months pregnant you see
His death drove her to an early grave
And now all that's left is me.
The Navy Recruiter doesn't tell the truth
He's a vulture preying on simple youth
His pretty sales-pitch is a filthy lie
He gets paid to send you off to die.
Editor's note: Joseph gave me permission to publish his wonderful poem. Thank you Joseph
(c) Copyright 2009
The Journal of History - Spring 2009 Copyright © 2009 by News Source, Inc.