Poem – “The Conversion”

From the C.B.I. Theater of operation Roundup newsletter came this poem of wisdom.  Just something to keep in mind – no matter what theater of operations OR which war the veteran emerges from….

THE CONVERSION

When bugles sound their final notes
And bombs explode no more
And we return to what we did
Before we went to war
The sudden shift of status
On the ladder of success
Will make some worthy gentlemen
Feel like an awful mess.

Just think of some poor captain
Minus all his silver bars
Standing up behind some counter
Selling peanuts and cigars
And think of all the majors
When their oak leaf’s far behind
And the uniforms they’re wearing
is the Western Union kind.

 

Shed a tear for some poor colonel
if he doesn’t feel himself
Jerking sodas isn’t easy
When the eagle’s on the shelf
‘Tis a bitter pill to swallow
‘Tis a matter for despair
Being messengers and clerks again
A mighty cross to bear.

So be kind to working people
That you meet where ‘er you go
For the guy who’s washing dishes
May have been your old CO.

Published 6 October 1944

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Daniel Barnett – Goodlettsville, TN; US Army, Korea, RHQ/187th RCT

“You Are Not Forgotten”

George W. Biggs – Nogales, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII. Tuskegee airman / Korea & Vietnam, B-47 & B-52 pilot / US Customs Service

Harold L. Dick – Tipton, MO; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Gunner’s mate 2nd Class, USS Colorado, KIA (Tinian)

Lloyd Gruse – Baltimore, MD; US Navy, WWII  /  US Army, Korea & Vietnam

Virdean (Davis) Lucas – Newton, KS; Civilian, USO, WWII

Ramon Maldonado (103) – Carriere, MS; US Army, WWII

Isaac Parker (17) – AK; US Navy, WWII, Mess Attendant, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Steve Stibbens – Dallas, TX; USMC, Vietnam, Gunnery Sgt. (Ret. 20 y.), Bronze Star, Stars & Stripes journalist

Andrew Vinchesi – Malden, MA; US Navy, WWII, pilot

Lloyd Wade – Westminster, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. C/127th Engineers/11th Airborne Division

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 24, 2020, in Home Front, Post WWII, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 111 Comments.

  1. Good poem, and true — enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    The poem is wonderful, but I have to admit, I really, really liked the cartoons. ~Connie

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I watched you when you started out. You have a great following. I sincerely liked the poem written in 1944. I hope you pass the torch..high if you ever decide to call it quits. I would always like to see that beacon of bravery rekindled. Sincere thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a deep poem that really made me think! Thank you for sharing a poem that people like me that haven’t served would never have thought about! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Despite the humor, there is real poignancy in that poem, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That is a great poem, and still so true.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Excellent piece of writing gp, made me start to think of quite a few of my seniors over the years and where they ended up, believe me mate after twenty years and being discharged as a Wo2, the reality of civilian life really smacks you in the face.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Funny. But true.

    Most officers I’ve known have made smooth transitions to civilian life. The ones with eagles have an admittedly harder time letting go of their elevated privileges…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That was a great poem. Sad but true.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I identify most with the guy who missed the ocean …

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for your like of my post, “End Times 25, Revelation 14:6-8, The Vision of the Angel with the Gospel ;” you are very kind.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. That is a powerful poem. I think there are/were many soldiers who regretted getting out of the military.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. A lovely poem full of humor and sadness

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very well written..!🙌🏻🌸🌸

    Liked by 2 people

  15. That’s a clever poem indeed. When my dad left the Royal Artillery after being a regular soldier for 12 years, he initially took a job making tea chests at a rate per 100 chests. He told me many years later that he missed being the Regimental Sergeant Major so much, he had considered reenlisting many times. But my mum stopped him, as she didn’t want to travel as an Army wife.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. An enjoyable poem with a powerful message! 🙂
    When I was teaching I always treated my students with respect and encouragement because I knew so many of them would end up doing great things.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. What a change that would be from being in command to working for someone else in a much less important position. The veterans take on many faces when they return back home. Great, meaningful poem!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This poem reminds me of the retiring Navy master chiefs I saw as students when I worked at Saint Leo College. It was a big letdown for them to realize that the corporate world wasn’t going to beat a path to their door.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like my uncle. A career Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. He got a job as foreman in a factory and just couldn’t comprehend that when he told someone to do a job – it didn’t always get done!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Greetings from Oklahoma! We successfully escaped The Peoples Republic of Calizuela …

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That’s true. You never know what the future brings so be kind to everyone. Your role can shift drastically.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I like the gentle humor of this poem. I agree, too bad we do not know the poet.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. That is so true ! And caused a lot of problems for people who couldn’t get jobs, the RAF, for example, not demobbing many people until November of 1945 or later.
    I read quite a relevant little story recently. An ex- RAF squadron leader goes to look for a job in late 1945. The man behind the office counter says “What kind of job would you like?” He replies “Well I don’t really know.” And the man says “Well, what is your biggest skill ?” And the squadron leader says “Well, if I have the right equipment and the right people with me, I know how to destroy a medium sized town in twenty minutes”.
    And that’s a true story!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I believe it, John. That’s exactly what he was trained to do!! You don’t happen to know what kind of job the man got , do you? (I was thinking demolition for the construction industry?)

      Like

  23. I know it is a shock to some Servicemen to return to ‘normal’ life. To some there is a feeling of loss of purpose – and pride. In that sense I think it is important to keep in touch other Brothers in Arms if possible. The Legion (which seems in decline) (and this Blog) can serve this worthy and important purpose. Who else can understand and know this kinship, but your Brothers?

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Love the poem. I wonder if the poet was writing because he held rank and now is working at a job below his skills, or wring out of the kindness of his heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Delightful and I suspect true. RT.

    BTW, the picture of the boys lugging those huge duffel bags on their shoulders. I have one of my daughter shouldering one on her first day at USNA. She said as soon as she was away from the cameras, she dropped it! That thing’s heavy!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. That’s really beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Great poem.
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    Liked by 1 person

  28. Father reckoned he could not have gone back to be a librarian very easily…he stayed on after the war. One of the men who had served under himcame to see him and said he thought it was just as well for the library service that he hadn’t gone back! The users might not have taken kindly to doubling round the library if they were late returning their books.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. GP. I love this poem. It reminds me of the 1946 movie The Best Years of Our Lives. I hate to see homeless vets “working” a street corner. My husband and I refer to it as “office hours” because so many of them seem to keep regular hours on their particular corner. What I do not know if drugs are one of the reasons that they are there or if there is some other reason. I know in the past that the military has created programs for vets transitioning back to civilian life whether they are retiring or just getting out of the service.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. That’s a great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I don’t comment often, because I recieve and read your posts in my email. But I wanted you to know I read them. Yours is one of the few truly great blogs!

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Great poem!Sent from Samsung tablet.

    Like

  33. Not only is the poem well-written, the message is as relevant as ever. There are all sorts of adjustments that have to be made when such a dramatic life change comes.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Very good advice. I’ve often been surprised to learn the military or pre-retirement status of the ordinary person I’ve met.

    I love that first cartoon. It reminds me of when my father was trying to teach me how to golf.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. A thoughtful reality check…

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Poem – “The Conversion” – Zubi Elite Writing

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