cecilbuffington.com Tribute to the American Soldier
U.S. Armed Forces OATH
Oath recited when enlisting into the United States Armed Forces.
"I, ______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Creed of the InfantrymanI am the Infantry.
I am my country's strength in war, her deterent in peace.
I am the heart of the fight, wherever, whenever.
I carry America's faith and honor against her enemies.
I am the Queen of Battle.
I am what my country expects me to be
the best trained soldier in the world.
In the race for victory,
I am swift,
armed with a fierce will to win.
Never will I fail my country's trust.
Always I fight on,
through the foe,
to the objective,
to triumph over all.
I fight to my death.
By my steadfast courage, I have won 200 years of freedom.
I yield not- to weakness,
to superior odds,
for I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight.
I forsake not-
my sacred duty.
I am relentless.
I am always there,now and forever.
I AM THE INFANTRY!
A SOLDIERS PRAYER
I saw a soldier kneeling down, for this was the first quiet place he had found. He had traveled through jungles, rivers and mud. His hands were scarred and toil-warned.
He folded his hands and looked to the sky... I saw his tears, as they welled in his eyes. He spoke to God, and this is what he said.
God Bless my men, who now lie dead; I know not what You have in mind , but when You judge, please be kind....when they come before You, they will be poorly dressed but will walk proudly, for they have done their best.
Their boots will be muddy and their clothes all torn...but these clothes they have so proudly worn. Their hearts will be still and cold inside, for they have fought their best and did so with pride.
So please take care of them as they pass Your way...the price of freedom they've already paid.
The Final Inspection
Which must always come to pass,
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod,
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
The Soldiers Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone I had come down the chimney with presents to give, And to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand, On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different.
It was dark and dreary.
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, Not how I picture a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night, Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon around the world, the children would play, And grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone, On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, "Santa don't cry.
This life is my choice; I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my Country, the Army."
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep.
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night, This guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day. All is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right. "Merry Christmas, my Friend, and to all a Good Night."
I AM A SOLDIER.
My blood permeates the soil of many countries.
I have gasped my last breath on many a desolate stretch of beach.
For you...all of you, the children who play in the parks, the mothers who watch over them,
the fathers who struggle to sustain them.
There are those here who have belittled and reviled me, who have made a mockery of me and what I stand for.
You, also, have I suffered and died for.
I withstood heat, insects and disease so the right to dissent would be yours.
I endured the pain and terror of battle and the maiming of my body to ensure that you might worship as you please.
I died in agony in order that you, no matter who or what you are, have the freedom to choose your own destinies.
AND I WOULD DO IT AGAIN because I believe in the ideals that made this country what it is today...FREE.
I love her with a deep and abiding love that transcends mere physical pain.
I AM A SOLDIER.
Pray that I will always be there, for if I disappear from this country, so will you.
Who are veterans?
Where do they come from?
A dictionary says a veteran is a person who has been in the Armed Forces. But is that simple?
I say NO it isn't!! I look at our flag to find the answer.
The RED Stripes stand for the courage and blood shed by the millions of our veterans protecting our country, our flag, and others' freedom. The WHITE Stripes stands for loyalty to our country, family, friends, and their fellow veterans. The BLUE field with 50 white stars on it, I see 50 states formed into a union. Where all veterans come from; the rich and poor, all races, religions, and creeds.
Furthermore, I see people who develop a special bond that ignores any barriers. A bond that lasts a life time and is thicker than water. A bond that only other veterans can understand. A taste of freedom that is only felt when the sacrifices were made.
This pages are created to give honor to all past, present, and future veterans who answered the call. Now, as you browse the page please take the time to reflect and remember all who made the ultimate sacrifices in order to give us the freedoms we take for granted.
Here is how someone else defines what a veteran is.
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.
Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg ~ or perhaps another sort of inner steel... the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.
Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.
You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She or he is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn't come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket ~palsied now and aggravatingly slow who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wished all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of this life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say, "Thank you!" That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot . . .