Tribute to World War II Veterans

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-By Orv Alveshere-

The Hired Man Wore Army Clothes
         The Olive-Green Undershirt
“The war, the danger and fighting was getting old,”
Were some of the Army stories our hired hand told.
“I spent much more time in Europe than I wanted,
With not a single day my mind wasn’t haunted.
I heard those noisy bullets, whizzing past my head.
When soldiers, our buddies, on various days lay dead.
We thought, from deep in the trenches, our catacomb,
Why can’t they stop the war and let us all go home?”

Cold Weather and Hot Lead
We each dug our own foxholes deep with a shovel
To survive that negative life in that hovel.
The live bullets came whistling by with many hits,
And we wondered what day we could be blown to bits?
Our Army would move and chase and wait, then run.
I carried a water-cooled, heavy machine gun.
Weighing twenty-two pounds with hot water and foam,
Why won’t they stop fighting, so we can all go home?

A Hot Flash on His Leg
Something hit my leg and it felt suddenly hot;
I tried to drop into a trench. It hurt to squat.
It was a big, fresh, open scar, with seared-skin split.
My entrenching tool was bent, an indirect hit.
It was what we called a shovel that saved my leg,
From a 50-caliber slug, a powder keg!
We were all so fatigued by that battle-syndrome;
Why can’t they stop fighting, while I can still go home?

We Didn’t Start the War
In a foreign land we trudged for miles across the snow.
We saw scared civilians, more than we could know.
List’ning to the heavy artill’ry rounds they hurled;
We wondered why they wanted to conquer the world?
Any rest was fitful sleep, while guarded by others;
While we dreamed of our spouses, fathers and mothers.
 We left destruction wherever our troops did roam;
Because we hated war and wanted to go home.

Would World War II End?
It was not my war. I had to do my duty.
It was fear of unknown death that made us moody.
We protected other soldiers, as best we could;
And sometimes our buddies were downed where they stood.
That machine-gun was so heavy to lug around.
Our backs were cold and sore from sleeping on the ground.
Our food, the canned “C” rations, gave us gastronome.
World War II was over. Some sons, daughters and husbands went home!

By Orv Alveshere  (C) 1995

Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.

Orv’s Cowboy Poetry tells of the days of life on the ranch in Midwest America when horses were used for transportation, field work, Sunday-go-to-meetings, and more. Read cowboy poetry from our beloved Orv Alveshere who recalls the days and memories from his past growing up farming on the prairies of North Dakota. Revel in the glory days of the true cowboy. Take steps back into the history of rural farm life, when horses were the centerpiece of the ranch and instrumental in the survival of the families that built America.

More of Orv’s Cowboy Poetry may be found at: