They Tell Me of You

Author: Thomas Dolphin

rose illustration

Good morning, my son, it’s been a year,
Memorial Days come by so fast.
I wanted to tell you that each year at this time
Your brothers call and speak of your past.
They remind me of how close you became
During each workup before you deployed,
Of all the dumb things you did to each other.
Your company was always a joy,
Many have told me how smart you were —
Citing history and books you have read
Claiming they would have done things different
If they listened to what you have said —
That the sacrifices in preparing for battle
Were difficult for all families concerned,
But knowing that you would be with them
Aided in their hopes to return. 

They let me know how brave you were
That in battle you led the way,
Calmly assessing the plan for the fighting —
Giving directions that would save the day,
That you carried a wounded soldier
Down a mountain far and high
Getting him fast to a Navy corpsman,
Assuring that he would survive.
Fearless described you in battle,
Surrounded with many wounded on the ground
That you came from over the next valley,
Providing cover for those all around.
I want to assure you, my son,
Your brothers have made it real clear:
They thank you every day for your Courage
When they thought their own deaths were near.
I always knew you would stand out,
That you took seriously the job you’re assigned
But for those that became your brothers,
You could never leave any behind.
Your brothers will always remember you
For the friendship and care you did provide,
Telling me stories of what you meant to them,
Knowing I wasn’t there when you died.

Memorial Days will come and go.
Families will gather, remember, and cry,
But those stories that are told by your brothers
Change my sorrow and tears to Pride.
This Day, we pause to remember
All those Heroes we have lost in our wars,
To you and your brothers and sisters,
Thank you for protecting our shores.

Arlington at Memorial Day

Thomas Dolphin is the Surviving Father of Staff Sergeant Patrick R. Dolphin, U.S. Marine Corps.

Photos: TAPS Archives, Pixabay