I especially want to honor the service of two very dear to me:
Staff Sergeant James L Walton, service in China (1949) and Korea--Inchon, Pusan and the Chosin. Jim departed to the Great Parade November 2, 2003. May he rest in peace and enjoy the precious company of fallen comrades.
E-4 David D Walton, service in Desert Storm and now serving in law enforcement in Cochise County, Arizona.
I want to share a couple of verses which have appeared in a number of places, poems I wrote to celebrate my two personal heroes.
The Last Muster
Selfish in my love and needing
I resisted this final goodbye
But time marches on so relentless
And the last formation drew nigh.
I knew that the trumpet had sounded,
Knew you would answer that call,
Realized it was right, good and proper
And found I could smile after all.
Your step was not quite as steady
But you held your head high and proud
As you strode out to join your comrades
In that parade for the heavenly crowd.
Once again that small band of brothers
Stands assembled upon Fiddler's Green.
I blink when once more the young faces
Square shoulders and brave hearts are seen.
My eyes haze with tears as the sight fades
But I know 'tis the truth I have seen
And my heart spills pride, joy and sorrow
For my Hero, my Love, my Marine.
4 Nov 2003 GMW (c)
A Marine's Mother. . .
Just the other day, it seems,
you were still my little boy,
chasing butterflies and dreams
with the effervescent joy
of childhood. But today
you return, and what a change‑‑
not the youth I sent away
but a man, completely strange.
"Mom, we call this 'dress blues'. . . ."
Whose is this stern eyed face?
From close clipped hair to shining shoes
who is this man in my son's place?
There's so much I can't recall.
When did your voice become so deep?
When was it you grew so tall?
Was I blind or just asleep?
Yesterday your gun was a toy‑‑
now you tower above the crowd,
and this man, grown from my boy,
is making me so sad, so proud. . . .
GMW, 1983 (c)