by Bonney Jo Bott 11/11/2007

Once upon a time there was my friend,
Someone on whom I could depend
And never had a need to pretend.

He served in the military with pride,
Never trying to hide,
Always ready to provide.

No accident he was called a Serviceman.
My soldier with his big smile and plan
Helped people better than any other man.

Freedom was not free
For either you or me
Here or across the sea.

Not his choice, he was called to war
Far across the ocean on a foreign shore
Where he heard guns and bombs roar.

The fear of grenades was hated
And terror invaded,
But vivid memories faded.

Seeking arms open wide, he might have tried to hide
Tears he cried but confided that God was his guide
And remained at his side.

Those at home were not aware
Of unfortunate images without compare.
He survived through destiny and prayer.

Basic rights secured four decades past
With hope that peace and freedom would last,
And his unit could return home fast.

My Veteran has a day of his own
Yet shared with others, not alone,
Their commitment and dedication known.

They march in the Veterans Day Parade.
We show gratitude for sacrifices made,
Protecting our rights, the prices they paid.

Hear twenty-one guns shoot
A VeteransÕ salute.
See the crowd root!

In celebration, our flag waves
For mature soldiers so brave
Who secured civil liberties we crave.

My goal to honor my friend publicly,
I offer thanks for United States security,
His contributions acknowledged by our country.

More than expressing overwhelming respect, IÕd say
I embrace him in every way.
Have you hugged your Veteran today?