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He is only 19

He is an American and only 19

by: Nick Ibarra
(Commanding Veterans in Defense of Liberty™ 4/67 )
prior combat service USMC

He just graduated high school a year ago.
He’s from Missouri, California, Tennessee.
Possibly from Oregon or even Maine,
He is an American who is only 19.

He is on a boat ride with his friends,
The closest and best he will ever know,
As the water is splashing in from the sides,
It was his calling; he accepted the call to go.

The first crack wisps through the boat,
As the front latch draws down to the water,
He and his friends load out as a heard,
Against machine guns and as cannon fodder.

Some friends who laughed and joked,
Just the night before,
Their gear is too heavy or bullets pierce their body,
They never make it to shore.

But he himself makes it to shore,
His body worn, his rifle no longer clean,
But with honor he charges and fires,
He is an American who is only 19.

Years later he reads of a victory,
Of which he took part,
But it was no victory for him,
For there is still hurt in his heart,

June 6, 1944,
For us a day long ago,
But for him it was yesterday,
And that we should always know.

So when you pass him on the street,
His “WWII” hat sitting proud,
Give him gratitude and respect,
And thank him while we can, here and now.

For many years ago,
He was on a boat at sea,
Preparing to make history,
He is an American who was only 19.

-Nick Ibarra, 6/5/2017

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