End of Tour

 

Throughout the age across the world

Great men have come and gone

Some we recall, some not at all

Tis fate writes histories song

Many go unsung, unknown

Their feats yet no less great

Recorded not in some great tome, but in books beyond the gate

 

The gates are gold and guarded by

The warriors of the past

Who gave their all for loves true call

And strove until the last

Beyond the gates, beyond the sands

Of this old earthly shore

Past Iwo, Trunk, and Tinian

Are written our true lore

 

Of those who gave not only life

But lifelong work and toil

Not just a moments sacrifice define a service loyal

I raise my glass, a toast to you

Mentor, shipmate, friend

To the tasks still left to do, till your full tour shall end

 

I wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. It somehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. I regret not having done so. I understand the whole mask of command thing. I also know, having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville, that, in many ways, it is just that a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to be all things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separation from the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on so many things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.

 

So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above my sentiments unmasked. For those for whom it has meaning and value, Im glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.

 

Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass. Throughout the age across the worldGreat men have come and goneSome we recall, some not at allT'is fate writes history's songMany go unsung, unknownTheir feats yet no less greatRecorded not in some great tomeBut in books beyond the gateThe gates are gold and guarded byThe warriors of the pastWho gave their all for love's true callAnd strove until the lastBeyond the gate, beyond the sandsOf this old earthly shorePast Iwo, Trunk and TinianAre written our true loreOf those who gave not only lifeBut lifelong work and toilNot just a moment's sacrificeDefine a service loyalI raise my glass, a toast to youMentor, shipmate, friendTo the tasks still left to doT'll your full tour shall endI wrote this for a dear friend for his retirement, but never got around to giving it to him. Itsomehow seemed too sentimental to give to a Marine retiring from commanding an AT Brigade. Iregret not having done so. I understand the whole "mask of command" thing. I also know,having made several truly close friends in the Marines on both sides of the river in Jacksonville,that, in many ways, it is just that - a mask. That mask hides many things. It is impossible to beall things to all people, and when you must send some to near certain death, some separationfrom the reality of your uncertainties and fears must be masked. We miss out, however, on somany things when we fail to realize when wearing this mask is appropriate and needful.So, regardless of the additional ribbing I will get, I offer the above - my sentiments unmasked.For those for whom it has meaning and value, I'm glad I shared it. All the rest can bite my ass.